Six northeast communities join forces

Greater Lauraville seeks to boost image, value

September 08, 2001|By Jamie Stiehm | Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF

Under the banner of Neighborhoods of Greater Lauraville Inc., six long-established Northeast Baltimore communities officially banded together yesterday to start a home ownership organization aimed at boosting the image and value of neighborhoods near the Harford Road commercial corridor.

The neighborhoods of Arcadia, Beverly Hills, Morgan Park, Lauraville, Moravia-Walther and Waltherson joined forces after two years of discussion. The group has enlisted the help of city officials and the nonprofit Enterprise Foundation to buttress its cause. The foundation has given a $40,000 grant to the group.

At the launch gathering, leaders heard Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano laud the coalition as a model for revitalizing the city's outskirts.

Leaders said they are frustrated that many people are unaware of the area's appeal as a place to live. "There are beautiful roads no one [outside] knows about," said Jeff Sattler, executive director of the new community development corporation.

There are about 4,500 single-family dwellings in the six districts, he said, with about 100 on the market. Most range in price from $60,000 to $140,000. A new Web site (www.greaterlauraville.com) describing neighborhood resources, including houses for sale, is in place.

What is novel, Graziano and others noted, is that six neighborhoods are working together with an eye to the future. As Sattler noted, "Six communities can make a louder roar than one."

The new organization - housed in the 4500 block of Harford Road in what used to be a school supply store - has money to lend, up to $20,000 in low-interest loans to new home buyers, Sattler said. Money will also be available to residents to rehabilitate their homes, he said.

Tracy Gosson of Live Baltimore Marketing Center, a group that promotes the city's residential neighborhoods, assured the gathering that it would not be long before the neighborhoods' serene character is more widely known. A city-sponsored trolley ride Sept. 15 for prospective home buyers will make Lauraville one of its stops, she said.

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