Charles North

Urban Renewal Ordinance

HCPI Homewood

Community Partners Initiative

The JHU Homewood Community Partners Initiative, funded at $10 million over five years, will have a significant impact not only in Charles North but also in surrounding neighborhoods. THIS is YOUR opportunity to participate and submit your comments/thoughts/suggested actions to be taken within Charles North* in the five identified areas of engagement as listed below.  Please try to be specific.

*NOTE: You may also submit suggestions regarding resolutions to problems (projects, vacant housing, crime, safety, etc.), existing in neighborhoods which border Charles North which, if resolved, would have a positive impact on our community.

Please submit your recommendations, suggestions, and comments to Carolyn Frenkil via email: nsasasinc@aol.com  Include “HCPI” in the email subject line.

Click here for the entire HCPI report.

Highlights of HCPI

A number of universities in Baltimore have embraced their role as “anchor Institutions”, working closely with neighborhood leaders to strengthen the communities in which their campuses are located.  Johns Hopkins University (JHC), an anchor institution, recognizing that the health and wellbeing of JHU is inextricably tied with the physical, social and economic wellbeing of its surrounding neighborhoods has released the Homewood Community Partners Initiative (HCPI) report addressing these issues.  The key to successful university-neighborhood engagements lies in transparency, open communication, collaboration with community partners, and the recognition of shared values.  This report was compiled from comments, information, etc., received from the community partners (e.g., affected neighborhoods, government, residents/businesses, foundations, etc.) from many meetings over several months.

JHU has established an Implementation Team (IT), consisting of staff from the offices of President Daniels’, Govt and Community Affairs, JHU’s Schools, as well as faculty and other senior officials to coordinate this initiative.  Although not yet defined, JHU’s has indicated its wiliness to make available its resources, funds ($10 million in five years) and business relationships to facilitate the implementation of priority programs recommended in this report.

The HCPI will focus on 10 neighborhoods:  (1) Abell; (2)Barclay; (3) Charles North; (4) Charles Village; (5) Greenmount West; (6) Harwood; (7) Oakenshawe; (8) Remington; (9) Wyman Park and (10 Greenmount Avenue’s Main Street District.

Shared Vision of HCPI

Successful neighborhoods that are attractive, healthy and exciting

Vibrant Urban Center

  • A growing, diverse community with 3000 net more households than 2012 by building new, high density, mixed-use development where appropriate and desired and by strengthening low density neighborhoods and promoting increased home ownership.
  • Exciting and accessible retail
  • Thriving arts and entertainment venues and cultural institutions attracting residents and visitors from across the region.
  • Employment and business opportunities for residents
  • Nurturing environment for entrepreneurs, artists and young professionals.
  • Inviting location for business and investment.

Livable Communities

  • A strong residential real estate market in all HCPI neighborhoods, offering a variety of housing options while preserving the existing number of affordable units.
  • Attractive amenities that support a high quality of life, including a pedestrian ad bike friendly environment, safety, beautiful surroundings, open space clean public spaces and calm traffic.
  • High quality attractive public schools to which all families want to send their children.
  • Reliable and attractive public transit to employment, recreation, cultural and commercial centers.

Active, Collaborative Stakeholders

  • Active neighborhood, business and other civic organizations that build leadership; engage all residents, businesses, institutions and stakeholders; and foster collaboration to achieve the shared vision of the HCPI area.
  • Both area residents and universities make full use of the resources offered by the universities and the neighborhoods.

Cross Cutting Programs

Elements of HCPI:

  • Safety and Quality of Life
  • Housing
  • Public Education
  • Commercial real estate development
  • The power of local purchasing and hiring by JHU

Resources: Underlying this is the energy provided by an engaged and capable community: residents, neighborhood organizations, nonprofits and businesses, universities, etc, working in collaboration w/each other and the agencies of local and state government.

    • What issues/problems/needs should be addressed within the five elements (prioritize, i.e., safety, housing, etc.)  and
    • What type of assistance, engagement, would you recommend from each of the entities listed above (neighborhood organizations, business, universities, government agencies etc.)  to address the five elements, listed below.

 

Quality of Life: Transit, Safety & Sanitation, Recreation and Open Space

Challenges:

Transit:  Pedestrian & Bicyclist safety (crossing & lighting); Streetscaping gaps; One-way traffic corridors; Lack of signage; Poor gateways to neighborhoods; Grimy sidewalks; Loitering

Example suggestion: Support neighborhood associations and all stakeholder organizations to mobilize and channel, to the extent possible, their energies and efforts in each neighborhood to undertake neighborhood-appropriate improvements that create and maintain high quality amenities for residents and visitors.  To the extent possible – indicate type of improvement(s), what the neighborhood can do, and where and type of support is needed.

 

Blight Elimination & Housing Creation

Challenges:

High vacancies in some areas;  Absentee landlords; Row houses divided for rental; Concentrated affordable housing in some neighborhoods; Bad property management; Speculators; Pre-construction development financing gap; Weak market in parts of many neighborhoods; Lack of City resources for property acquisition and stabilization; JHU Live Near Your Work internal communications unclear and seems inadequate.

Example Suggestion: Design and implement a significant Neighborhood Improvement Projects Fund to provide matching resources for community initiated and implemented projects to improve quality of life, beauty and attraction of the HCPI area.  What type(s) of  improvement(s) do you believe are needed? What resources would be required?

Education

Challenges

Zoned public schools unattractive to middle-class families; Currently public schools do not have all the amenities/programs (i.e., music, dance, language, drama art); Lack of affordable/accessible early childhood education/program; Poor infrastructure, landscaping an programming at Dallas Nicholas; inadequate professional development for teachers; Remington is split zoned for two public schools; Lack of funding for declined program materials; all 3 public schools are at or over 85% free and reduced lunch – lack of income diversity; Children have unmet health needs (i.e., food on weekends, vision and dental care, etc.); Promoting and achieving diversity in public schools.  What do you suggest can be done with and without resources to address these problems?  Would it be worthwhile to engage services from dental schools, nursing school (Wellmobile), etc. for the unmet health needs of children?

Commercial Retail Development

Challenges

Select problem speculators; Bad property management; Vacancies; Lack of parking in 33rd St and St. Paul St areas; Pre-construction financing gap; Inadequate retail mix – especially on high-end; Lack of uses for upper floors along Greenmount Ave; Lack of stores in Greenmount Ave shopping center; Certain commercial areas lack redevelopment strategies; Lack of many sit=down restaurants & cafes, few bars in specific commercial areas, little retail shopping; Some areas have numerous businesses of the same kind; Little signage/marketing of commercial districts; No cohesive promotion of retail/attractions in or to JHU affiliates; High level of vacancies on Charles St between 21st and 25th street; Underutilized potential commercial properties along 25th St corridor

Example suggestion: Create a Retail/Commercial Development Fund to provide, for example, gap financing, matching funds as an incentive for developers assist nonprofits w/significant arts/community improvement income generating projects; support small rehabbers converting vacant or rental row houses to home ownership in block of growing strength. Recommend to JHU to commit or raise University resources and use JHU contacts/influence to secure additional funding.  Do you agree with these challenges? What type of community improvement projects do you suggest?  What do you suggest/envision as solutions to some of all of the above challenges?

If agreeable with the President and enough people within Charles North, a special meeting could be scheduled in late February where a representative from the HCPI group will be available to discuss, in more detail, the Report, respond to your questions and listen to your concerns and suggestions. 

In the meantime, please email your suggestions/comments, in advance to Carolyn Frenkil at nsasasinc@aol.com This is your opportunity to choose to be part of the solution to these concerns – or part of the problem!  It is a big undertaking and it’s going to take participation from all of you to take advantage of this Initiative.

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