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Madison Park North breaks ground at former ‘Murder Mall’ site in Baltimore

A rendering of Madison Park North, as viewed from the southeast. (Submitted Photo)

The first phase of Madison Park North, a multi-block redevelopment in Reservoir Hill, is now underway. Baltimore-based firms MCB Real Estate, MLR Partners and Atapco Properties will develop the project, which is slated for completion in 2025. 

Located in the 800 block of North Avenue, the site was once home to the Madison Park North Apartments, a complex built in the 1970s and nicknamed the “Murder Mall,” due to it being known as a hotbed for violent crime and drug deals. The city worked for years in the early 2010s to remove the complex’s owners, who repeatedly challenged the effort in court, according to reporting in The Baltimore Sun.

Eventually, the parties reached a settlement, allowing MCB and MLR to take over the site in 2016. The developers began razing the apartment complex late that year.

The long-anticipated redevelopment aims to bring “generational impact” to the area, according to a press release distributed by MCB on Thursday. 

P. David Bramble

P. David Bramble, managing partner and co-founder of MCB. (The Daily Record file photo)

“This community has been waiting for investment like this for decades and I am so proud that we are leading the investment for a new West Baltimore gateway,” said P. David Bramble, managing partner and co-founder of MCB. “I know how important it is to have retail and new residential in this area because this is my neighborhood — the place where I grew up and still live with my family. The level of excitement I feel to get started on this project cannot be overstated and I absolutely love the fact that MCB is proving, once again, that there are opportunities in Baltimore’s often neglected neighborhoods.” 

MCB is also behind a number of other ongoing, high-publicity projects in the city; earlier this year, the firm announced that it would purchase the dilapidated Harborplace, and, in 2021, it took over the Clipper Mill redevelopment project, which includes about 140,000 square feet of commercial and office space.

The three-parcel Madison Park North project totals 8.1 acres. Phase 1 of the project, which will cost about $24 million, will include a neighborhood park, increased green space, new roads intended to improve walkability in the area, right-of-way improvements on North Avenue and 120 new townhomes. The three- and four-bedroom townhomes will cost between $350,000 and $400,000. 

According to MCB spokeswoman Kristen Durkin, Baltimore-based Berg Corporation will complete demolition of the site, and SEH Excavating Contractors, based in Carroll County, will perform the site work and infrastructure improvements, which will be completed by late 2023. The finished lots for the townhomes will be sold to Ryan Homes, with the final lots being sold in early 2025. 

The second phase, which is slated to begin construction no earlier than the second half of 2023, will include a grocery store, street-level retail, approximately 200 apartments and office space. In total, the project is expected to cost over $150 million. 

“This has been a long time coming,” said Mark Renbaum, principal of MLR partners, in the release. “This project reflects an incredible collaboration among the Community, Baltimore City & State of Maryland officials, private parties, and so many connected stakeholders.”