East Baltimore community groups have prepared a plan to make the former American Can Co. complex on Boston Street into a supermarket, apartments for the elderly and stores.
Members of the Waterfront Coalition, whose members represent Canton, Fells Point and Butchers Hill, admit they lack funds to purchase the 9.3-acre property at Boston and Hudson streets, but want a say in its fate.
"This is the first time a neighborhood group has come up with its own plan for a site. Now we're looking for developers who will be sympathetic to the communities around it," said Lily Adlin, a member of the Waterfront Coalition who has a business in Fells Point.
Drawings of the new proposal will be discussed at 7:30 tonight at St. Casimir's Church meeting room, O'Donnell Street and Lakewood Avenue. The group explained its concept to city officials yesterday.
The architectural plans in the new proposal were prepared by the Neighborhood Design Center. Other work was contributed by Southeast Development Inc.
The American Can property, which has been inactive as an industrial building since 1988, was once due to be leveled and made into a $50 million shopping complex by developer Michael Swerdlow. He has since dropped out of the project.
Community groups fought a decision to raze the complex of masonry buildings constructed between 1895 and 1924 which once employed hundreds of East Baltimore workers. The buildings are now vacant.
"They are more than welcome to buy the property themselves. We'd welcome that. We don't have a firm price yet but we're talking in the $8 to $9 million range," said John G. Skoglin, an official of W.C. Pinkard.
The new plan calls for either senior citizen or "affordable" housing to be constructed within one of the canning buildings, construction of a new supermarket and neighborhood shops, light industrial space and a discount sales center.