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Balt Sun: Redevelopment of West Baltimore's Poppleton Begins to Take Shape

Between the Poe Homes public housing complex and the University of Maryland BioPark stand two new apartment buildings that will open soon and begin to make good on a huge and long-awaited revitalization plan for West Baltimore.

Officials with New York-based La Cite Development plan to cut the ribbon Nov. 2 on the 262 apartments, the first of about 30 buildings planned in Poppleton. The development is expected to include 3,000 apartments, retail shops, new roads and green spaces on 32 acres across Martin Luther King Boulevard from downtown.

“There’s a rooftop deck to watch the sunrise and another one to watch the sunset, depending on your mood,” said Dan Bythewood, president of La Cite, on a recent tour of the upscale apartments.

The Center\West development got underway in 2005 but stalled after the city purchased most of the hundreds of homes and businesses in its path. As the developers waited for the economy to improve, blight and crime persisted and remain an issue — in a shootout in the neighborhood last month a police officer was shot and the perpetrator killed.

The five- and six-story apartment buildings contrast sharply with much of the remaining housing stock, including the subsidized public housing and mostly vacant rowhouses. They are of new, modern construction. There are balconies with views of the city, a pool, stone countertops, a dog wash inside the parking garage and security. Outside there will be new lighted roads and streetscaping, parks and a soccer field is planned. If all goes according to plan, the next phase will include a grocery store and a movie theater.

Click here to read the rest of the story via The Baltimore Sun.