But Moyd said that the neighborhood, despite the vacant properties, is "very peaceful." Still, he said, his previous rental home a block away on Patterson Park Avenue was a "better" place to live because there were more neighbors.
Sherrie T. Howell, a Baltimore family law attorney, owns a double-wide house in the same block of Perlman Place, which was renovated by Jeffries' company before she bought it in 1999. She said her house qualified for historic tax credits but that the demolition of the block will hurt her.
"Quite frankly, I believe that the city has, for whatever reason, determined that they don't want Center Development or Mr. Jeffries to do the development," she said Thursday. "I don't know what their ax is to grind with Mr. Jeffries, but they have one. … If the city continues with their plan [to demolish the houses], I'm going to end up being instead of in a completely renovated community, I'm going to end up living next to more blight."
Others think the demolition is a good idea.
Angela S. Epps, a city employee who owns a home around the corner from the block on East North Avenue, said she first began to be concerned about the safety of the block in 2002, when she caught two of her sons playing in vacant houses.
"I don't think it takes any renovation or redevelopment plan eight years to complete a first phase," she said of Jeffries' plan. "The whole vision, I thought, was beautiful, but for it to remain stagnant for so long, it speaks for itself. We have to stabilize the community first."
Lottie Sneed, a senior organizer with BUILD Baltimore, a community group that supports the city's plan to level the block, said her organization had been working with the communities surrounding Perlman Place for three years trying to fight blight and clean up the streets.
"They've faced a lot of devastation. A lot of illegal dumping, safety concerns all around," she said. "We're trying to look at a way that we could try to help the neighborhood for the better, and sometimes you have to start all over again."