During a community forum on a partnership between Maryland and Baltimore to demolish blighted vacant property in Baltimore and encourage redevelopment, Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford announced state financial support for the redevelopment of the Northwood Plaza shopping center into Northwood Commons.
The announcement was made at Morgan State University, which sits adjacent to the shopping center. A private developer has already committed to a $50 million overhaul of the shopping center.
“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. 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,” Rutherford said in a statement.
The downtrodden shopping center has long been a thorn in the side of communities surrounding it in northeast Baltimore. The property at times has been a magnet for crime. In 2008, former City Councilman Kenneth Harris Sr. was murdered in the shopping center’s parking lot.
Rutherford’s announcement came during a community panel on Project C.O.R.E., which stands for Creating Opportunity for Renewal and Enterprise. The program represents a $75 million investment from the state and $18.5 million from the city over a four year period to address blight in the city. Redevelopment efforts via Project C.O.R.E. are also eligible for more than $600 million in financing opportunities via existing Department of Housing and Community Development programs.