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Light Rail - Howard Street
A Light Rail train passes properties on Howard Street the city wants renovated. (The Daily Record/Adam Bednar)

West Side properties draw one proposal

Howard St. Incubator submits only plan

The Baltimore Development Corp. received one response to a request for proposals seeking to renovate three properties along North Howard Street valued at $1.3 million.

The lone response came from Howard Street Incubator LLC, but BDC President Brenda McKenzie declined to discuss what was proposed.

“We just received the response, so it is going through a review right now to even see if it’s … fully responsive. I apologize, but we’re just a few days in, so it’s too soon to comment on the actual document,” McKenzie said.

She said BDC officials believe in the potential of the West Side.

“We are happy that we received a response, and as we go through our due diligence and review, we’ll know better if it’s a true fit,” McKenzie said.

Last week, Downtown Baltimore Partnership Inc. President Kirby Fowler said he anticipated artist groups being interested in the row of vacant three-story buildings in the 400 block of North Howard Street.

“I think the artists groups that will be bidding on these properties want to be part of an emerging arts scene,” Fowler said at the time.

The buildings are in the section of downtown that has been rebranded the Bromo district in an attempt to cultivate it as an arts and entertainment neighborhood in the city. There are about 7,291 residents who live in the area, with 4,100 condos and apartments with an occupancy rate of 96 percent, according to the request for proposal.

The request for proposal was issued in February and interested parties had until April 21 to submit a plan. The North Howard Street property requests were released at the same time as another more extensive project, but those proposals are not due until May 20.