A $21.3 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant awarded this month to Baltimore City to invigorate an area at the East Baltimore campus's front step is expected also to make possible construction of two new Hopkins medical facilities and a parking garage.
The significance of this grant to the Hopkins community was spelled out recently in a letter to colleagues from Edward D. Miller, dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Ronald R. Peterson, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, which began, "There is great news this week for Johns Hopkins Medicine and our neighbors."
The HUD grant, funded by the federal Hope VI program, which supports revitalization of existing public housing, is earmarked for the site of the Broadway Homes housing project, an eight-acre parcel of land bounded by Broadway, Fayette, Orleans and Wolfe streets.
A revamped Broadway Homes area is seen as the linchpin to connecting Baltimore's Inner Harbor and central business district to East Baltimore.
The plan is to transform the existing public housing site into a mixed income and mixed use urban neighborhood. Specifically, the funds from the federal Hope VI program will be used for demolition of the 429-unit Broadway Homes and the vacant Broadway Tower, to be replaced with the new construction. The grant will make possible housing for low- and middle-income residents, a 1,600-space Hopkins parking garage and a community center with retail space on the ground level. A state-of-the-art replacement facility for the existing Enoch Pratt Free Library branch also will be part of the project.
The new Broadway Homes will resemble a traditional-style East Baltimore neighborhood with narrow, tree-lined streets and brick townhouses with front stoops and small flower gardens. In total, the new development will contain 140 two- and three-bedroom townhouses and 10,000 square feet of retail space. Twenty of the houses will be for sale, and 120 will be rentals.
The opportunity to build a new major parking facility will allow Hopkins subsequently to demolish the Broadway Garage, so it can begin construction on the new Women's and Children's Hospital and Critical Care Tower. Both facilities are scheduled to be built, in part, on land currently occupied by the Broadway Garage.
The Broadway Homes construction is scheduled to begin in 12 to 15 months and will be completed sometime during the next three years. The new parking facility, called Orleans South Garage, must be completed before the Broadway Garage is demolished.
The Broadway Homes plan is a public-private partnership between the Broadway Homes Resident Council, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, Johns Hopkins Medicine and Landex Corp., the project's developer.
To arrive at an approved plan, Hopkins staff participated in a charette with Broadway Homes residents, city officials, urban design associates and Landex Corp., then worked for months with a development team during a lengthy planning session and numerous public hearings. The Johns Hopkins Health System also has made a commitment to contribute to the cost of the construction and to extend to Broadway Homes residents existing programs such as job training, employment opportunities and health and community services.
Colene Daniel, vice president of corporate and community services for JHHS, said the Hope VI grant is a vital component of the East Baltimore campus master plan and a significant step forward for the community.
More than just a location for a new Hopkins parking garage, Daniel said the Broadway Homes area will now contain a "beautiful" housing facility that replaces older units whose time has come. Daniel, who is also co-chair of Hopkins' President's Council on Urban Health, said that Hopkins' involvement in this project stems from the institution's need to play an important role in development of the community.
"It's to our advantage to work with the community to revitalize the area where we live and come to work, as well as creating a place where patients can feel safe coming to receive care," Daniel said.
For more information on the Hope VI grant and to see artists' renderings of the proposed new construction, visit the Johns Hopkins Medicine Web site at http://hopkins.med.jhu.edu/HopeVI.