David Andrews was hired as the Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Education in 2010, shortly thereafter, he and his wife Marti faced the question – where in Baltimore do we live? After temporarily renting in Guilford, they decided to make East Baltimore their home, choosing City Life Builders to handle their home’s construction due to their years of quality home construction and creative design. The Andrews eventually purchased two homes on Chase Street and, with the help of City Life, conjoined them, looking to express themselves and assimilate into the community which they’d soon help to guide.
The resulting home – with the front door angled toward the intersection of Chase and Rutland – is warm and welcoming, reflecting the outlook of the Andrews and City Life towards the ever-developing surrounding environment. As the Dean, David Andrews was asked to oversee the construction and development of the $53 million Henderson-Hopkins K-8 School. With groundbreaking in June of 2012 and the goal of opening in the fall of 2013, Andrews was determined to be a part of the rejuvenation of this community. (To see the Andrews house virtually, use the 3D tour shown below. To see the official listing for the Andrews' home, click here.)
The East Baltimore Development Inc. (EBDI) is focusing heavily on the portion of East Baltimore between Madison Ave and Preston St, and Broadway St and Patterson Park Ave, however, the development hasn’t been restricted to the EBDI footprint – the neighboring Oliver community, to the west, has seen similar advancement. The previously mentioned City Life Builders already have two homes, ready to sell, on Caroline Street and are preparing to build three more, as the demand for homes continues to increase. (To see the City Life Builders' homes available for purchase now in Oliver, click here.)
In reality, there is a laundry list of benefits afforded to members of the EBDI and Oliver communities. Enrollment in the Henderson-Hopkins school guarantees to families their children’s evolving minds are in the best hands. Employees of Johns Hopkins are afforded up to $25,000 towards their home purchase as part of the Live Near Your Work program. Builders like City Life allow buyers to completely customize the home of their choice within their budget, as development and creativity are the new norms in East Baltimore. With additional savings from the city in the form of the Vacants for Value program and CHAP historic tax credits, the incentives are innumerable, and it’s only a matter of time before the secret is out.
Businesses are cropping up all around the EBDI footprint, as familiar local and national faces have already staked claim to some coveted plots. Atwater’s, the popular local café, has already opened a location at 1909 Ashland Avenue, their sixth branch in the Baltimore area. 1812 Ashland, Johns Hopkins’ self-proclaimed innovation hub for life sciences, already has plans in place to feature a Starbucks on the first floor. In addition, the Helmand Restaurant – which has enjoyed great success in Mount Vernon serving Afghan cuisine – has already agreed to open a fast-casual restaurant. (Click here for new custom renovations available in this area.)
With 15,000 new jobs promised over the next five years, $650 million invested to date, $100 million in completed infrastructure improvement, and a projection of $1.8 billion of investment generated over the next 20 years, the influence of this project is obvious. And with Johns Hopkins partnership, it successfully bridges the gap between the hospital and the community.
“Part of the property is called the Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins,” Scott Levitan, the senior vice president of Forest City-New East Baltimore Partnership, told AroundEagerPark.com. “But the area has always been planned as a mixed-use community, with a wide range of housing options, a hotel, new K-8 public school, shops, restaurants and recreational space, in addition to offices and laboratories. It was always intended to be a place where people will live as well as work.”
Eager Park is the 5.5-acre community park entering the next phase of development, eventually to span along Wolfe Street from Ashland to Biddle. It is consistently referred to as one of the anchors of the EBDI redevelopment, because, the park itself is focused on uniting the East Baltimore community; and with the planned amenities, there is no reason to believe it won’t be a pillar for years to come. Those include an amphitheater, playground, community garden, designated farmer’s market space, and a 150-foot wide grass space for community activity.
(To view the Eager Park website, click the above photograph.)
Once Eager Park is complete, a short two-block walk east down Biddle Street will bring you to the Hoen Lithograph building. With a planned 75,000 square feet of office space, Hoen Lithograph will host some particularly exciting tenants, including 20,000 square feet reserved for CanningShed, the canning operation from one of Baltimore’s most trusted culinary names, Spike Gjerde from Woodberry Kitchen. In addition to CanningShed, some variation of Gjerde’s Artifact Coffee from Hampden will also call Hoen Lithograph home, along with a proposed joint bookstore and community writing center.
“If you think about what EBDI offers people… it’s really astounding,” Andy Frank, the special adviser to the president of Johns Hopkins on economic development, told former mayoral candidate David Warnock in a WYPR interview in 2014, “They offer a set of amenities that you can’t get anywhere else in Baltimore.”
With all of the aforementioned work, this is just the tip of the iceberg in one of Baltimore’s most exciting projects. These home-buying incentives won’t be around forever, and many feel the time to buy is now. Stake claim to your slice of the future of East Baltimore, and over the years, watch the community – and your investment – soar. (Check out these new renovations ready for purchase.)