Home for students, offices, shops Face-lift: The $17 million renovation of Homewood Apartments is the largest of five buildings the Johns Hopkins University has updated for student housing.

Urban Landscape

November 20, 1997|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,SUN STAFF

WHEN Amy Ming Chiu won a housing lottery at the Johns Hopkins University last spring, she had her choice of hundreds of university-owned apartments to live in starting this fall.

She ended up moving with three friends into a four-bedroom suite on the third floor of the Homewood Apartments at North Charles and 31st streets.

"It doesn't feel like a dorm," said the 19-year-old political science major.

"It's spacious. It has really big windows. It has a full-size kitchen, so we don't have to be on the meal plan. And I got my own room, which makes me very happy."

Chiu is one of the first 220 students to move into the Homewood Apartments since the building reopened this fall after a $17 million renovation.

Homewood is the largest of five apartment buildings that Hopkins has modernized in recent years to provide attractive housing for students near its Homewood campus.

Besides 124 apartments on floors three, four, five and six, all of which were occupied at the start of the fall semester, Hopkins created office space for two departments and street-level retail space.

Office tenants include Hopkins' Center for Social Organization of Schools, which conducts research on effective teaching, and the department of communications and public affairs, including the alumni magazine, the Gazette newspaper and the office of news and information. The first group moved in this month; the second will move in next week.

The final phase of the building will be the 22,000-square-foot retail space called The Shops at Homewood, which will be ready for occupancy by next spring. Manekin Corp. is in charge of development, leasing and management of that portion of the project.

Designed by Edward Glidden, the Homewood consists of three adjoining buildings that were begun in 1929. Hopkins bought the complex in the 1970s and had used it for student housing but hadn't updated it.

Frank Gant Architects was the firm in charge of the renovations, which involved creating connections between the different sections, upgrading mechanical systems and making other interior and exterior changes.

Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. was the contractor. Work began in May 1996.

The apartments are for graduate students and upper-level undergraduates. Choices range from efficiencies to four-bedroom apartments, furnished and unfurnished. The residential space also includes an exercise room and a conference area.

"The students seem to be very pleased with the space they have," said Carol Mohr, director of Hopkins' housing office. "That was certainly our priority."

'Book Block' faces demolition threat

A large part of Baltimore's "Book Block" would be razed to make way for an as-yet-unknown development if the city Housing Department grants a demolition permit sought by the property owners.

Trout, Segall & Doyle, a real estate firm representing the owners of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 W. 25th St., applied for a demolition permit this week. The three-story buildings are mostly vacant, although one contains the Tiber Bookstore. Preliminary plans call for the three-story buildings to be replaced with a one-story retail building and a parking lot north of it.

Residents of the South Charles Village area have consistently opposed plans to demolish the properties, including those at the northwest corner of Charles and 25th streets. The Rite Aid drug store chain has abandoned plans to build a store at that corner because of such opposition.

Representatives of the Charles Village Community Benefits District say they hope to find a way to avert the 25th Street demolitions.

Pub Date: 11/20/97

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