$1B Redevelopment Breaks Ground in Baltimore

The city’s housing authority started the first phase of a six-year plan that will create 1,345 new residential units, as well as a variety of community resources and services.
1234 McElderry groundbreaking ceremony. Image courtesy of Ballard Spahr

The Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) kicked off construction for the 244-acre, nine-phase, $1 billion redevelopment known as the Perkins-Somerset-Oldtown (PSO) Transformation Plan.


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The first phase of the development calls for the construction of a four-story mixed-use building at 1234 McElderry St. Of the project’s 104 units, 84 will be designated as affordable and for lower-income families and the remaining 20 set as market-rate. The first building will also include 2,400 square feet of ground-floor retail and parking, a fitness center, a cyber lounge and two courtyards.

Once completed, the $1 billion PSO redevelopment will include 1,345 housing units on a 244-acre property. The project will also be home to two new parks, a new elementary school, a grocery store and other infrastructure improvements and upgrades.

The redevelopment is being built on the current site of the public housing development Perkins Homes, which is being demolished, and the former site of the Somerset Homes that was torn down more than a decade ago. Two development companies, Henson Development Co. and Mission First Housing Group, are working alongside HABC to tackle the massive project.

BALLARD SPAHR TO ADVISE HABC

As with many large-scale projects, there are many legal documents and paperwork that go alongside the construction. The Philadelphia-based law firm Ballard Spahr was tasked with serving as attorneys for the HABC for all things legal, like negotiating documents between HABC and the developers, according to Ballard Spahr Partner Amy Glassman.

The legal team handling the redevelopment includes partners Glassman and Molly Bryson and Associate Courtney Hunter, who are based in the law firm’s Washington, D.C. office.

Glassman told Multi-Housing News that the work timelines of the different phases would likely overlap and that there would soon be a lot of paperwork in front of them. She added that the finished project is expected to have a major impact on the surrounding area and Baltimore.

One of the development sites was a vacant lot and the other site was older public housing developments and they’re now being redeveloped with retail, a park, a school, market-rate units,” Glassman told MHN. I hope it’s going to have a huge impact not only for the face of Baltimore but on the lives of the low-income families that have lived in these developments.

Despite a cycle peak in new apartment developments last year, demand remains strong in Baltimore in 2019, according to a market report by Yardi Matrix.