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Baltimore Business Journal: After $238M Makeover, Uplands Opens as 'Urban Village'

June 03, 2013

A once dilapidated housing community in Southwest Baltimore is getting new life with a $238 million overhaul that will include 763 apartments and homes.

The new Uplands community replaces the old Uplands Apartments, a community of 979 subsidized apartments on Route 40 near Edmonson Village. The project had been stalled for more than a decade thanks to the recession, challenges to the bid process and lawsuits by residents and property owners.

So a grand opening on Monday for the first phase of the project, complete with a visit from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, was considered a celebration of a project that finally got off the ground. Though the old complex had become an eyesore, the vacant property was also creating ire among local residents.

Phase I spans 63 acres and includes 101 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, including subsidized housing units, and for-sale residences consisting of townhomes and semi-detached houses. Twenty-three homes have been built and another 24 are under construction. There are seven phases planned for the site.

Uplands will also offer ground-level retail, a community clubhouse, computer lab, fitness center, meeting rooms, walking trails and community parks.

The developer behind the new community is Uplands Visionaries LLC, a public-private consortium managed by Pennrose Properties LLC. The other companies involved are Bozzuto Homes, Cryor Development LLC, Harrison Development LLC, KMJ Uplands LLC, Scientia Uplands LLC, and Southwest Baltimore Community Development Corp. Inc.

The new residences include some publicly subsidized housing, including a portion of units for families with incomes at or below 60 percent of the area median income. Also, the Housing Authority of Baltimore will provide Section 8 vouchers for 40 former Uplands residents.

Design architect David Dixon has characterized the new Uplands as “an urban village” that would resemble Roland Park, with trees, grass and winding lanes.

That’s a far cry from its previous state, in which poverty and blight characterized the community.

Plans to overhaul the Uplands came after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development bought the Uplands in foreclosure in 2003. It was then sold to the city for $10 in 2004.