Ten Year Redevelopment of Poppleton Set to Begin

| May 1, 2014 | 2 Comments

Rendering by Gensler

A massive development is set to begin later this year in Poppleton, a Southwest Baltimore neighborhood adjacent to the UM BioPark, Hollins Market, Franklin Square, Route 40, and Downtown. The project, which has already been more than ten years in the making, is part of an $800 million master plan that includes 2.3 million square feet of new construction and approximately 1,800 new housing units.

La Cité Development, based out of New York City, has spent the last ten years researching the project, bidding for the project, and then winning the rights from Baltimore City in 2006. After experiencing delays in property acquisition and financing, they are finally ready to begin construction after completing some preliminary demolition over the last nine months. “We expect to continually build for the next ten years,” La Cité President Dan Bythewood Jr. told SouthBMore.com.

They will be breaking ground on Phase 1A of the redevelopment in the third quarter of this year. This will include two new apartment buildings featuring 260 ‘workforce’ apartments and 15,000 square feet of retail. The buildings will be constructed on vacant lots at 101 N. Schroeder St. and 201 N. Schroeder St. Construction is expected to take about 18 months.

The building at 201 N. Schroeder St. will feature a park facing the Edgar Allen Poe House and Museum, which could also be partially used as outdoor dining space for the adjacent retail. The building at 101 N. Schroeder St. will feature a dog park. The buildings are six stories in height and are described as high-tech. They will feature an exterior highlighted by elements of rain screen, metal, stucco, wood, glass, and exposed concrete. The buildings will also feature sun decks in each direction for the morning and afternoon sun and an amenity space.

As workforce housing, there will be income specifications for qualifying residents, and those guidelines will be released when the project is closer to completion. “We are targeting teachers, firefighters, police officers, municipal workers, as well as students. We are looking for that core urban worker,” said Bythewood. La Cité is hoping to stabilize the neighborhood with workforce housing and later transition into building market rate housing.

In the retail space at the buildings, La Cité is targeting smaller neighborhood-focused businesses like restaurants, bars, cleaners, and smaller stores, but they will be constructing a larger retail footprint in the future with plans on bringing in a grocer and other big box-style stores.

With a development portfolio that includes mixed-use, hotels and golf courses in cities such as Miami, NYC and Las Vegas, La Cité became drawn to the project while they were looking at projects in Pennsylvania. Bythewood sees the Poppleton area as a place that can achieve the same growth as a place like Canton. “There are numerous examples of neighborhoods growing around this city. I think this area has great pockets and the Westside is priming itself to be another great area for Baltimore,” said Blythewood.

Poppleton is located just northwest of the rapidly expanding UM BioPark and La Cité is excited to be close to so much momentum. “The University of Maryland has done such a great job on the BioPark campus. They are a significant player with a huge workforce for which we would be happy to provide some housing to,” said Bythewood.

They also love the walkability of the community. “We really love that you can easily walk to Downtown, to an Orioles or Ravens game, and eventually to the casino. Baltimore is an amazing sports town and such a great place to host events,” said Bythewood.

As construction gets set to begin in the near future, La Cité envisions the future of  Poppleton as a really great blend of individuals from Baltimore City and they are are excited to get started. “We’ve really grown to love Baltimore and it is so exciting to see it grow.”

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Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.