Eclectic and appealing

Insider's Guide to Woodberry

July 27, 2008|By Brad Schleicher | Brad Schleicher,Sun reporter

Originally a community that housed blue-collar mill workers in the early 1800s, the Woodberry neighborhood has developed into an eclectic area with diverse housing styles while still retaining most of its original charm.

"It's as if rural America was dropped right in the middle of the city," says Dr. Claudia Brown, a former school principal, 34-year Woodberry resident and member of the Park Hill/Edgegreen Community Association. "The residents used to be more blue-collar, but now it's a more cosmopolitan area with residents coming from remarkably different backgrounds."

One reason for the change, according to Tracey Brown, vice president of the Concerned Citizens of Woodberry, was the redevelopment of Clipper Mill, which initiated a rapid change in the neighborhood's housing prices.

"Woodberry was a very insular community," says Brown, "but the redevelopment of Clipper Mill has brought a lot of attention to the area, making home prices rise."

Housing Stock With five different enclaves in greater Woodberry, housing options and prices differ, depending on the location. Throughout the neighborhood, a variety of styles can be found, from rustic stone houses and wooded cottages to rowhouses and loft condominiums.

According to Christine Thomas of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Roland Park, it's possible to find a house in Woodberry that's priced anywhere from $200,000 to $500,000 or more.

Brick Hill, located on the southeast end of the neighborhood overlooking Meadow Mill and backing up against Druid Hill Park, is on the National Historic Register and has more than a dozen duplex homes that date to the late 19th century.

Park Hill/Edgegreen, in the southwest corner of the neighborhood, is largely composed of bungalow houses that were built in the 1930s and 1940s.

In the northwest corner of the neighborhood, the Greenspring Trails enclave comprises eight single-family homes. Built in the 1940s and 1950s, the houses are surrounded by plentiful woods and open space.

Clipper Mill, the most recently developed area of Woodberry, is made up of a variety of buildings that contain small business offices, condominiums and loft-style apartments. There is also an area containing attached, three-story, three-bedroom townhomes and a new development of detached "green" duplexes.

Rentals According to Richard Kaminski of Woodberry Properties LLC, rentals in the area are also diverse. Most two-story, two-bedroom single-family rowhouses will run between $850 and $1,200 a month. Although they are fewer, three- and four-bedroom detached townhomes can cost up to $2,000 a month.

Crime According to Community Relations Officer Jon Walter of the Baltimore Police Department's Northern District, crime in Woodberry is low compared with other areas of the district and the city. "Most of the crime is property-based and nonviolent," Walter says.

Kids and Schools Starting this fall, the Hampden School, formerly Hampden Elementary, will accommodate students from Robert Poole Middle. The area is also served by Medfield Heights Elementary and Roland Park Elementary/Middle schools.

High school students in the area are served by W.E.B. DuBois and Reginald F. Lewis high schools.

The magnet high schools in the area are Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, the all-girls Western High and the Academy for Career and College Exploration.

According to Maryland state data for 2007, all of the above mentioned schools passed state proficiency levels for reading and mathematics with the exception of W.E.B. DuBois and Reginald F. Lewis high schools, which failed to meet proficiency levels in reading or mathematics, and the Academy for Career and College Exploration, which failed to meet proficiency levels for reading.

Shopping Woodberry is a short drive from an eclectic mix of shops on the Avenue in Hampden and shops downtown.

Transportation According to Tracey Brown, most residents travel by car, but the light rail and the Hampden Shuttle bus are other options.

Nightlife Mobtown Theater is nearby in Meadow Mill shopping center. Otherwise, nightlife options in Woodberry are slim, but it's a short drive to area bars and downtown.

Dining In The two grocery stores are the Giant Food on 40th Street at the Rotunda and the Super Fresh on 41st Street in Hampden.

Dining Out The only restaurant in the neighborhood is the Woodberry Kitchen in Clipper Mill. However, restaurants in surrounding neighborhoods and downtown are a short drive away.

Recreation Rockrose Park is a small open space in the heart of TV Hill that is mostly used for dog walking. There's also easy access to Druid Hill Park, which offers picnicking, a disc golf course and walking trails.

brad.schleicher@baltsun.com

Woodberry by the Numbers

ZIP code: 21211

Houses on the market: 6

Average sale price: $210,950

Average days on the market: 108

Information based on sales during the past 12 months, compiled by Christine Thomas of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Roland Park at Wyndhurst Station

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