• Baltimore officials have issued a request for qualifications for a redevelopment project.
  • They are seeking a developer for a blighted 49 acres in the Park Heights area.
  • The redevelopment is part of a master plan that was adopted in 2006.

Wanted: a developer with a vision for urban renewal on a neglected 49 acres in a big, troubled city with a boat-load of potential.

And, the city’s getting ready for you. It’s started ripping down dilapidated buildings to clear the land that’s needed to fulfill its vision.

The Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development has asked for qualifications from developers to turn the Park Heights area into a mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhood. Park Heights is located between Garrison Avenue, Reisterstown and Pimlico roads.

The vision, according to The Washington Post, is “development with an urban feel characterized by pedestrian scale, moderate density, connectivity, transit-oriented development and public spaces.”

“There’s going to be major development, millions and millions of dollars, being invested into Park Heights,” Cheo Hurley, executive director of Park Heights Renaissance, told The Post.

Park Heights Renaissance is a nonprofit that oversees the implementation of the Park Heights Master Plan. That plan was adopted in 2006, and sought to guide the rebirth of the 1,200 Greater Park Heights area. Investments in Park Heights total more than $200 million since the master plan was approved.

Officials are attempting to assemble another 13 acres for future development, but that would tag on as a future project, and not be part of this one.

In the process of assembling the parcels that are ready to date, officials say that they have dealt with each of the property owners individually, and ensure that each gets a reasonable price for their properties.

Also not included in this new request for qualifications is the retail areas to the south or the Pimlico Race Course. The retail and the racing concerns involved will work on those areas on their own, in cooperation with the city.

The rebirth has been gaining steam in the 10 years since the master plan was adopted. Already to its credit are the Ripken Fields at the C.C. Jackson Recreation Center, the redevelopment of what used to be the Pall Mall Apartments into low-income senior housing, and refreshing the Towanda Community Center.

Email Kimberley Sirk.

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