Distressed East Baltimore Complex to be Converted to Affordable Housing
EJP assisted HABC with a Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant Application in 2017 and was awarded funding to revitalize the Perkins-Somerset-Oldtown properties. As development continues, EJP serves as Plan Program Manager and has developed Neighborhood Stabilization Plans for both Perkins and Somerset Homes in Baltimore.
The distressed, 629-unit Perkins Homes enclave is being turned into 1,345 affordable housing units in East Baltimore.
The $30 million public housing project was built in the 1940s and will be redeveloped with a mix of public and private partners, including Beatty Development Group, Cross Street Partners, McCormack Baron Companies, Urban Strategies, Housing Authority of Baltimore City, Baltimore City Department of Housing & Community Development, and the B.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Hord Coplan Macht is designing the redevelopment.
“The existing Perkins Homes residences were dated and poorly designed—all interior courtyards within the three-story buildings were facing inwards, with no balconies and limited access to natural light,” Keval Thakkar, a principal at Hord Coplan Macht, told Commercial Observer. “The mechanical systems were outdated and unreliable, and the amenity infrastructure was lacking. The area was just not conducive for families, who make up a large portion of the local population, and was not serving the residents well.”
The redevelopment will thus address the housing affordability and quality gap in multifamily housing, while better incorporating the rental community into the surrounding neighborhood.
“When it comes to affordable housing, design is all too often an afterthought,” Thakkar said. “Bringing a deeper attention to detail and consideration for Perkins Homes’ future residents, Hord Coplan Macht’s design is centered around supporting families, providing dignified and elegant units for people of all income levels with no visual distinction between market rate and affordable units, nor their amenity spaces.”
The amenity spaces will be located on the ground floor of the buildings to create a more active streetscape, and the outdoors will new bike lanes and greenery to establish buffer zones between play areas and the street while reducing traffic speeds.
Furthermore, Hord Coplan Macht’s master plan for the development is anchored by a central green space, “South Central Park,” where kids can play.
Construction has begun and the redevelopment slated to open next year.
By Keith Loria
AUGUST 24, 2022