(September 26, 2017) Annapolis, MD– Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford today with the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development hosted a community forum at Morgan State University in East Baltimore focusing on Project C.O.R.E. – Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise – a multi-year, city-state partnership to demolish vacant and derelict buildings in Baltimore and replace them with green space or the foundation for redevelopment. The lieutenant governor was joined by Baltimore City Mayor Catherine E. Pugh, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt, and Maryland Stadium Authority Senior Vice President Gary A. McGuigan, as well as Baltimore City officials and community leaders. During the forum, Lt. Governor Rutherford announced the state’s financial support for the redevelopment of the nearby Northwood Commons shopping center that will serve as a retail and commercial anchor for Morgan State University.
Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford at the Project C.O.R.E. Community Forum in East Baltimore on Tuesday, September 26, 2017. (Screengrab from Facebook video)
“Morgan State is a valued institution in this community, and for that reason I am pleased to announce the state’s financial support for the demolition and redevelopment of Northwood Commons,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “What is currently a blighted shopping center will soon become a thriving mixed-use town center which will serve as a retail and commercial hub for the surrounding community and for this university.”
“Through Project C.O.R.E. Baltimore is able to direct investment to all corners of the city and to create smart, sustainable neighborhoods,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. “It provides an opportunity to mobilize the community vision that we all share in common. Together we will transform blighted areas of our city into bright spots that anchor healthy neighborhoods in Baltimore, and continually engaging residents is essential to this process.”
In addition to remarks from the lieutenant governor and mayor, Secretary Holt provided an overview of Project C.O.R.E., which is funding projects in East Baltimore such as the Hoen Lithograph building, an 80,000 square foot historic building that will be transformed into a job training facility, adult literacy center, and community and office space. A panel featuring Secretary Holt, Commissioner Michael Braverman of Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development, and Senior Vice President McGuigan answered questions related to Project C.O.R.E. Lt. Governor Rutherford also announced the awardees of the Keep Maryland Beautiful community sponsorships. Keep Maryland Beautiful is a multi-agency state program that focuses on neighborhood beautification statewide through increasing urban greening, citizen stewardship, community education, and litter removal activities. In Baltimore City, the program complements Project C.O.R.E. activities by ensuring that lots cleared of blight remain clean and green.
“In such a short time, Project C.O.R.E. has brought together public-private partnership at a level never before seen in the city,” said Secretary Holt.
Through Project C.O.R.E, the state is investing $75 million supported by an $18.5 million investment from Baltimore City over four years for demolition and stabilization of blighted properties. After the demolition phase, Project C.O.R.E. will be supported by more than $600 million in financing opportunities through existing DHCD programs which help revitalize and redevelop Maryland’s cities and towns. For more information about Project C.O.R.E., visit: http://dhcd.maryland.gov/ProjectCORE.