On July 19, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the award of a $30 million FY2017 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant to the Housing Authority of Baltimore City and the City of Baltimore for the Perkins Somerset Oldtown (PSO) Transformation Plan. The grant will leverage more than $540 million in committed funding from sources including the State of Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, tax credit equity and Tax Increment Financing. The PSO Transformation Plan will build on existing resources and assets such as the waterfront to the south and Johns Hopkins Medical Campus to the north to foster a vibrant community, ultimately replacing 629 aging affordable housing units one for one and adding 716 new units, for a total of 1,345 total units in a new mixed-income and mixed-use community. Mission First Housing Group is proud to be a member of the development team for this important project.
Mission First joins a development partnership that includes Beatty Development Group, McCormack Baron Salazar, The Henson Development Company, Commercial Group and Cross Street Partners, to pursue the redevelopment of the housing community.
“The Perkins Somerset Oldtown redevelopment is about to become a reality,” said Catherine Pugh, mayor of the City of Baltimore at the official announcement event. “This is not just a HUD investment. It is a state investment and a local investment. We know what investments in neighborhoods and communities can do.” This grant will improve this area of Baltimore and bring much-needed affordable housing in “neighborhoods that have gone neglected for decades.”
The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is a federal program that leverages significant public and private dollars to support locally driven strategies that address struggling neighborhoods with distressed public or HUD-assisted housing. This comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation focuses on three core goals: housing, people and neighborhoods.
The vision of the PSO Transformation plan is to create a new and vibrant mixed-income community stretching from Fells Point–home to Mission First’s Fells Point Station mixed income development–and Harbor East to near Johns Hopkins Hospital. The long-term plan is to transform this area into a Community of Choice, where individuals have pride in their home, their neighborhood and their community.
Development of the PSO Transformation Plan will take place in six phases, across two primary locations, beginning this winter. Mission First and partner The Henson Development Company are co-leading development efforts on the Somerset section of the project, which will include 396 affordable and 161 market rate units. McCormack Baron Salazar will take the lead on Perkins Homes, 532 affordable and 256 market rate units. The overall housing development is slated to finish mid-2023 resulting in a total of 1,345 apartments, including 928 affordable units (652 subsidized and 276 LIHTC/affordable) and 417 market-rate units.
The large-scale housing plan is complemented by plans for community amenities that include a new school, grocery store and two community parks, as well as new retail and businesses to round out the 244-acre “transformation zone.” Residents of PSO will also have access to an innovative service program and supports to address personal challenges and to establish a foundation for success. Collectively, this expansive redevelopment will build on existing assets, welcome new industry and relationships and provide families the ability to age in place while improving their lives in a safe, vibrant community.
Mission First is often asked by city, state and private sector partners to take on challenging, multi-faceted projects. The PSO Transformation Plan builds on this past work and experience, taking it to a larger scale, and will provide critical affordable housing and resources to at-risk communities. We are thrilled to be part of a team that will bring about an essential revitalization of this area in Baltimore, and create an economically integrated community for its residents.