Murphy Homes public housing to be demolished, Henson says

Plan includes razing Emerson Julian Gardens

February 24, 1999|By Gerard Shields | Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF

Baltimore will demolish Murphy Homes public housing in West Baltimore on July 3, the third of the city's four public housing complexes to be knocked down.

City Housing Commissioner Daniel P. Henson III made the announcement yesterday during his monthly news conference. Henson also discussed city plans to acquire private property adjacent to the Flag House Courts complexes in East Baltimore, which the city hopes will attract business developers and create jobs.

Flag House Courts, which is scheduled to be demolished in July 2000, will be the last of the city's high-rise public housing to come down. The Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development recently received the last of $293 million in city, state and federal funding that made Baltimore the first city in the nation to tear down its high-rise public housing.

The $50 million Murphy plan includes demolishing the adjacent low-rise Emerson Julian Gardens. The 800 Murphy public housing units would be replaced with 362 homes, half of which will require purchasing the property.

Henson also announced:

The city is seeking proposals for 21 acres near South Baltimore's Fairfield Homes that is zoned for heavy industry. The proposals, due April 30, would be part of the Fairfield Ecological Business Park created through the city's Empowerment Zones.

A dual effort by the Housing Authority Police and Baltimore Police Department has resulted in the arrest of 168 people in the city's Rosemont area since September, Henson said. The city has hired Solidarity Security and Investigative Service Inc., which helped guard Murphy Homes, to continue to secure the West Baltimore neighborhood, Henson said. "It's one thing to be safe and reduce crime," Henson said. "But our seniors need to feel safe."

The city will offer $3,000 to the first 20 people who close on the purchase of a new home within 90 days of a Northwest Baltimore Trolley Tour to be held at 10 a.m. March 20. The tour will begin at Greenspring Middle School.

The housing department will seek an increase in permit fees that would raise $900,000 in city revenue. Baltimore fees are lower than the average cost in surrounding counties and comparable cities, Henson said.

Pub Date: 2/24/99

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