Isaac Stein, MLA II/MDes RR 2020
Organization: Rebuild Metro, Baltimore, MD
Sponsor: Joint Center for Housing Studies Community Service Fellowship
“This past week, ReBuild Metro had a groundbreaking for a multi-unit residential building on the corner of Chase Street and Greenmount Avenue in Johnston Square. Mayor Young and Council President Brandon Scott both were in attendance and spoke to all the great work completed by the majority of stakeholders to get to this point. The housing project was supported by the City of Baltimore and the Maryland DHCD. Financing for this project leverages 4% LIHTC from Maryland DHCD and is syndicated by the Richman Group with City of Baltimore HOME funds, a seller’s note from the City of Baltimore, Project C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise) and State Rental Housing Funds, and tax-exempt financing. The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation also provided a large donation to get the project going.
The Greenmount Chase Project is a 60-unit, $15 million multi-family building. The project’s mission is to improve the living conditions for local families and to help catalyze economic growth in East Baltimore and Johnston Square. This project follows other projects where ReBuild Metro has invested over $85 million to develop more than 350 homes/apartments in Greenmount West and Oliver. This groundbreaking marks the first large project in the efforts focused in Johnston Square, the neighborhood that I have been focused on this summer. It was a great experience to feel and understand the amount of work that different organizations, community members and stakeholders put in to bring to fruition multi-unit affordable housing projects in distressed markets.
The Greenmount and Chase building is intended to be the foundation which will allow ReBuild Metro to redevelop a series of vacant homes for homeownership throughout Johnston Square over the next decade plus. The day after the opening, I was able to give a presentation and walking tour to the design manager of Parks and People (a non-profit Advocating for Parks and Green Space in Baltimore) and the project manager of the Johnston’s Square Partnership to discuss the open space plan for Johnston Square and a block-by-block development and open space strategy that I have been working on over the summer. The plan looks to connect open space along the Amtrak easement on the northern edge of the neighborhood to create a cohesive open space to connect the neighborhood. This plan portrays Johnston Square as the key connection between Baltimore Penn Station and Johns Hopkins Medical Campus, as well as developing strategies to curate open space at a pedestrian scale. I look forward to sharing more detailed information in my next post.”