A group of civic leaders and developers broke ground Tuesday on a revitalization effort aimed at providing affordable town homes in Eager Park, an 88-acre neighborhood in East Baltimore. Henderson Crossing will be managed by Cross Street Partners, Apex Building Group, and City Life Historic Properties, in partnership with East Baltimore Development Inc., the City of Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, Brookfield Properties, and residential developers.
When completed, the new community will include 53 homes with desirable amenities such as open floor plans, first-floor owners' suites, and dedicated off-street parking spaces. Competitively and affordably priced, these homes will offer reduced taxes for 10 years under the Baltimore City Historic Tax Credit Program.
These homes will be located within the footprint of the Johns Hopkins Live Near Your Work Program, which provides grants of up to $17,000 to eligible employees of the university and health system to purchase homes in certain neighborhoods surrounding Johns Hopkins. They are also within walking distance of—and, in some cases, directly across the street from—Henderson-Hopkins school, a contract school of the Baltimore City Public Schools System operated by the Johns Hopkins University School of Education in partnership with Morgan State University.
"A home is the beginning and the bedrock of everything," said JHU President Ronald J. Daniels at the ceremony. "It is a place of security and of dignity that provides a foundation upon which families can rest today and have the space to imagine a future in which they flourish. And, of course, the more houses are built, the more houses become homes, the more the fibers of our community are strengthened. … So today, with a simple turn of a shovel, we affirm our core belief in this place. In our neighbors, our neighborhood, our city. Our home."
The groundbreaking ceremony took place in an empty lot at the corner of Ashland Avenue and Madeira Street, where several future homes will be located. Speakers at the event included Bernard C. "Jack" Young, mayor of Baltimore City; City Councilwoman Shannon Sneed; Stephanie Smith and Talmadge Branch, delegates from Maryland's 45th District; Bill Struever, managing partner and CEO of Cross Street Partners; and others. The ceremony featured the Hopkins Gospel Choir and was attended by student representatives from Henderson-Hopkins and the first Henderson Crossing homebuyers, Mark and Dynita Washington, who are both university employees.