Residents, city celebrate new apartments for seniors

69 tenants move into Park Heights Place on site of Pimlico Hotel

April 29, 1999|By Amy Oakes | Amy Oakes,SUN STAFF

After renting a house in Walbrook Junction for 31 years, Doris Ware and her two elder siblings were getting too old to climb their crumbling steps, fix the damaged pipes and protect themselves from crime.

Finally, Ware, 70, told her sister, Eura Randall, 75, it was time to leave the 1500 block of Clifton Ave.

Last month, the sisters gave away most of their belongings and moved into a two-bedroom apartment in the newly opened Park Heights Place, which will have maintenance staff available.

Their brother, who had been living with them, found another residence.

But for Ware and Randall, Park Heights was the perfect place to call home.

"I love it here," Ware said. "I like the people, and it's nice and quiet. I intend to stay for a long time."

Ware was one of several residents and public officials to celebrate the opening Tuesday of Park Heights Place, a year after construction began.

Sixty-nine seniors, with an average age of 69 and a median income of about $11,000 annually, have moved into the 84-unit building in the 5400 block of Park Heights Ave.

The $5.9 million apartment complex, paid for by private, city and state loans, filled a vacant 1.25-acre lot that had been the site of the Pimlico Hotel, then a Holiday Inn.

Northwest Baltimore Corp., which sponsored the project, worked for years to convert the property into something positive for the area.

Rents are set for low-income residents.

The Enterprise Foundation, a nonprofit organization that joins communities to build low-income housing, manages the complex.

"This should be a symbol of Park Heights," Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke told those attending the opening.

A project of the Park Heights Urban Renewal District, the complex will provide support services to residents, including an adopt-a-grandparent program and workshops on health care and crime prevention.

Neighbor Polly Warren of the 3400 block of W. Rogers Ave. said Park Heights Place will give seniors a better place to live and strengthen the community.

"It will help Park Heights a great deal by bringing in residents who actually love living in the city," Warren said.

Pub Date: 4/29/99

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