Teachers, Nonprofits Moving Into Old Baltimore Factory On Historic Register

July 04, 2009|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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The first tenants are moving into Miller's Court, a $20 million conversion of a North Baltimore factory building designed to house young teachers and non-profit organizations.

"There are so many things about this project that give us a smile each day," said Donald Manekin, who worked alongside his son, Thibault, and his Seawall Development Corp. to develop the project.

Manekin said that much of the building will house agencies such as Teach for America, Catholic Charities' foster care and adoption division, the Baltimore Urban Debate League, Wide Angle Youth Media, Building Educated Leaders for Life and the Experience Corps.

He said he is marketing the building's 40 apartments to young public school teachers, many of whom are moving to Baltimore to gain experience in city classrooms. Manekin said amenities include a "Kinko's-like" room with copying machines so teachers can prepare lesson plans.

Construction work was recently completed at the building, at the northeast corner of Howard and 26th streets in North Baltimore's Remington neighborhood.

Manekin said he negotiated with CSX Transportation Corp. officials to lease land facing Miller's Court in the 100 block of W. 26th St. for parking. Construction crews recently installed fencing and blacktopped what had been a weedy, unused surface lot atop the railroad's sunken right of way.

The building was formerly the H.F. Miller and Son Tin Box and Can Manufacturing Plant, built in stages between 1890 and 1910. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

The Miller's Court project was funded in part by New Markets Tax Credit, a federal aid program that has been used in redevelopments at Belvedere Square and the Hippodrome Theatre.

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