Don't blink or you'll miss a unique home-buying opportunity. For one day only—Saturday, Sept. 10—all benefits-eligible Johns Hopkins University and Health System employees may qualify for a $36,000 grant toward the purchase of new townhomes and substantially renovated row houses in the Eager Park neighborhood—formerly known as EBDI—located just north of the Johns Hopkins Hospital in East Baltimore.
The Eager Park Home-Buying Extravaganza is made possible by our Live Near Your Work program, which since 1997 has partnered with Baltimore City to offer grants that assist faculty and staff in managing the down payment and closing costs involved with purchasing a home. Through LNYW, grants of differing amounts are available to employees who buy in designated neighborhoods around the Homewood and East Baltimore campuses. (Information on boundaries and amounts available before and after the one-day special event are available on the LNYW website).
Eager Park is named after the 5.5-acre green space along North Wolfe Street, from Ashland Avenue to Biddle Street, that will feature a fountain, amphitheater, fitness stations, and a seasonal farmer's market. The park, scheduled to be completed by December, is viewed as the centerpiece of an 88-acre renewal district that includes residences, offices, shops, the Henderson-Hopkins K-8 elementary/middle school operated by Johns Hopkins and Morgan State universities, and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Early Childhood Center. The area's growing list of tenants includes Walgreens, 7-Eleven, Harbor Bank, Atwater's, two new eateries by well-known local restaurateur Helmand Karzai, and a 194-room extended-stay Marriott Residential Inn that is expected to be completed by the middle of next year. Additional tenants will be announced in the coming months.
Katie Schroeder, Johns Hopkins' LNYW program manager, calls the Sept. 10 event a unique, enticing opportunity. "This is a significant cost savings for our employees in an amazing, progressive neighborhood," Schroeder says.
Andrew B. Frank, special adviser to Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels on economic development, says that with more than $1 billion of private and public investment since its inception, Eager Park is quietly becoming one of Baltimore's fastest-growing and most diverse neighborhoods. "The neighborhood offers early child care and K-12 education, walkability, access to transit, great open spaces, security, and places to eat and shop," Frank says.
The majority of available new homes are the 42 units in the future Towns at Eager Park development, located in the 1700 block of Eager Street. The three-story, brick-front Ryan Homes townhouses, which start at around $260,000, will feature one-car garages, granite countertops, a host of modern amenities, and 24-hour security. The houses—similar to the developer's Hepburn Model now in Greektown—can be customized with extra features such as home automation and an optional fourth-level loft. The estimated build-outs for the houses are three to four months. Ryan is offering an additional $10,000 if the homebuyer uses its mortgage loan company.
In addition to the $36,000 grant, homebuyers can take advantage of a Baltimore City new-construction tax credit over the first five years of ownership, starting at a 50 percent tax reduction and decreasing 10 percentage points over each of the following four years.
Renovated row houses available for purchase during the one-day sale are located on Washington, McDonogh, and Chester streets, with more information available in coming days.
Interested? To learn how to prepare to purchase a home on Sept. 10—and to find details about the time and location of the event—visit the Live Near Your Work website.