City is seeking proposals for Hollander Ridge site

Development corporation sees light industry as use

November 05, 2003|By Kimberly A.C. Wilson | Kimberly A.C. Wilson,SUN STAFF

The Baltimore Development Corp. is soliciting proposals to transform the property where the Hollander Ridge housing project once stood into a light industrial area -- and a nearby residents group is wary of the change.

The property, which includes a series of plateaus visible from the highway, was long the home of the city's easternmost public housing high-rise, which was torn down three years ago. City officials expect to invest about $4 million in infrastructure improvements -- including new sewage lines, earthmoving and utility work -- once a buyer comes forward with an appropriate redevelopment plan.

Developers have until year's end to submit proposals for the 51 acres bound by Odell Avenue on the north and east, Pulaski Highway on the south and 62nd Street, Moores Run and Interstate 95 on the west.

"We know there's interest out there," said BDC President M.J. "Jay" Brodie. "It's a rare piece of real estate."

The city hopes the M-1 zoning invites development proposals similar to the ones that brought Seton Business Park to Northwest Baltimore and Fort Holabird Industrial Park to Southeast Baltimore, Brodie said.

"It could have ... office space in it, it could be a combination of office and warehouse distribution," but, he said, "No smokestacks. No obnoxious uses."

Across the interstate in Baltimore County, Gary Adams doesn't want to see any industrial use of old Hollander Ridge.

"We've already been through enough," said Adams, president of one of Rosedale's community associations. "I mean, who can tell what kind of industrial use it would be. If what comes out of this is low-wage jobs, we really don't need that."

Rosedale is the middle-class community along Philadelphia Road and U.S. 40 that persuaded the city of Baltimore to surround the crime-troubled housing development with a $1.4 million wrought-iron fence a few years before Hollander Ridge was demolished.

"We'd like to see it stay a buffer of empty land between us and I-95," Adams said.

Adams said residents want to hang onto the city views they discovered after the 20-story high-rise came down.

Brodie said letting the property lie fallow isn't an option.

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