A few weeks ago, we finalized an agreement that will allow us to move forward to redevelop 90 homes in the northwest corner of our community. Our partnership with the faith group Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD) and The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) is making it possible to move forward on one of the most challenging pieces of our project.

The area surrounding the 1200 block of North Gay Street is abandoned and crumbling – yet the buildings are subject to historic protections and must be preserved. The nonprofit team of TRF and BUILD devised a financing solution and are moving forward – with construction beginning in 2014.

In this week’s video, Reverend Dr. Calvin E. Keene, Pastor of the Memorial Baptist Church in East Baltimore, talks about BUILD’s relationship with TRF – starting with their work together on the other side of Broadway in Oliver:

"BUILD is in partnership with TRF of Philadelphia. From that partnership we have created TRF Development Partners (TRFDP), which is allowing us to do redevelopment here in East Baltimore."

"We are now partnering with EBDI in moving across to the east side of Broadway – to properties owned by EBDI – so that we can create a product similar to the 25 new homes and 42 renovations that we have completed thus far."

Kim Nunnally, TRFDP’s Regional Manager, is excited to be extending their efforts to EBDI:

"EBDI has brought TRF on to revitalize the Broadway East community. We presently have several homeowners in the 1200 block of Broadway, and we are looking forward to having new homeowners as well as persons leasing in that community."

Walking on a street lined with renovated homes, Gary Crum, a local resident who works for TRF, sees new hope in East Baltimore as his company’s efforts spread:

"This whole neighborhood was basically a dead zone. It was all vacant houses – lots of violence and drugs being sold down here. The transformation is really good… The neighborhood is alive with new people moving in. It's picking up the spirit of the neighborhood."

Gary is right. New neighbors bring new life to a community. We hope you will take a few minutes to watch this week’s video and learn more about BUILD, TRF and EBDI working together to revitalize our community.

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