Hopkins' purchase of Eastern is cleared City board approves $2.6 million deal to redevelop school site

November 28, 1996|By Robert Guy Matthews | Robert Guy Matthews,SUN STAFF

In one of the biggest land deals in Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins University won approval yesterday to buy the old Eastern High School building and within the next 20 years redevelop the unoccupied 26-acre site to include businesses, a private school and university offices.

The action by the Board of Estimates was the last step in the $2.6 million land deal brokered by Baltimore Development Corp. officials. They have been in negotiations since July 1995, when the city selected the university to develop the site, which is across from Memorial Stadium.

The plan calls for the renovation of the high school, which has been vacant for 10 years.

The Kennedy Krieger Institute, a regional resource center for children with brain disorders, is slated to operate a new high school out of the building. Also, Hopkins will house offices and programs from its schools of engineering and continuing studies.

The remainder of the facility is expected to house a community school, possibly the Stadium School, and offices for start-up businesses operated by Dome Corp., a Hopkins affiliate.

Hopes are that within 20 years, Hopkins will build five or six more buildings, totaling about 400,000 square feet of office and academic space in a campus-like setting.

"At this time, what and who might be in those buildings, we don't know," said Bob Schuerholz, executive director for facilities and real estate for the university.

Approval for the plan is also subject to the agreement that university officials will provide more details about the inclusion of a community school.

Renovations could begin as early as this summer.

University officials said the building could be in operation by fall 1998.

The complicated deal is expected to create 1,500 jobs and provide stability to the surrounding neighborhoods, said M. J. Brodie, president of Baltimore Development Corp.

Hopkins will give the city a $100,000 advance payment. Additional payments will be made as construction proceeds. City officials expect the total to equal about $2.6 million if the site is fully built. In addition, Brodie estimated that the deal would bring the city about $306,000 annually in payroll taxes.

The high school, built in 1939, has been closed since 1986 and is in poor condition.

Pub Date: 11/28/96

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