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NEWS
By Eric Siegel and Eric Siegel,Sun Staff Writer | August 13, 1995
In an initiative to reduce the number of vacant houses pockmarking Baltimore neighborhoods, city lawyers have asked for injunctions against two inner-city landlords, demanding that they either fix their properties or tear them down.Until now, most of the city's efforts to get landlords to raze or repair their substandard properties involved prosecuting them for violating the housing code -- a criminal misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $500 per offense but no jail time.By requesting civil injunctions, city officials hope to obtain court orders demanding that the landlords take action.
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FEATURES
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | September 3, 2014
Pastor Elbert Street noticed a small crack in the wall behind the pulpit at Grace Christian Baptist Church. It widened. Then a branch appeared. A cluster of leaves unfurled. That was when Street realized that something was growing between the walls of his East Baltimore church: an 8-foot-tall tree. The 79-year-old pastor and others took the wall apart, hacked down the tree and hauled away bags of branches and roots. The tree came back. They cut it down again. And then again.
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NEWS
By Kerry O'Rourke and Kerry O'Rourke,Sun Staff Writer | July 19, 1994
Two vacant buildings side by side on East Baltimore Street in Taneytown could become a hub of activity for area residents if a plan to renovate the space is approved.Representatives of city, county and state groups are working on a plan to convert the buildings to a community center, Jolene Sullivan, Carroll's director of citizen services, told the county commissioners yesterday.Some officials plan to tour the buildings, which are across the street from City Hall, at 9 a.m. Thursday, she said.
NEWS
By Thomas Neas, The Baltimore Sun | August 9, 2014
Vacant buildings are many things: signs of decay, eyesores and dangerous. They might also hold a strong relationship to crime. According to frequently updated data provided by Open Baltimore, there is a strong correlation between vacant buildings and certain crimes, such as shootings and homicides. Common assault, a physical attack, increases from neighborhood to neighborhood as the number of vacant houses increases — a trend shared with crime in general. And it does so at a much more pronounced rate than other crimes.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | May 1, 2013
The Board of Public Works gave the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene the green light Wednesday to move forward with the emergency demolition of 18 vacant buildings at the Henryton State Hospital Center in Carroll County. The center, which opened in 1922 to serve African-Americans with tuberculosis, has been closed since 1985, and there have been reports of vandalism and fires at the site. The state fire marshal had expressed concern that the vacant buildings pose a safety hazard — especially to firefighters.
NEWS
By Michael James and Michael James,Staff writer | March 31, 1991
The state Fire Marshal's office is investigating whether a string ofrecent barn and vacant building fires in the county is the work of an arsonist.A fire in Waterloo on Tuesday is the fourth suspiciousfire in three weeks involving vacant buildings, county fire records show.Tuesday's fire occurred at a vacant house on Old Waterloo Road near Port Capital Drive.The fire began at approximately 8 p.m., directly across from the site where someone set fire to a vacant barn onSunday.Firefighters say the barn was a total loss; a damage estimate onthe two-story home was not available.
NEWS
By Michael A. Fletcher and Michael A. Fletcher,Evening Sun Staff | October 8, 1990
Edward W. Lee Jr. is a landlord and developer who has been trying for four years to get the city to sell him five vacant, rat-infested buildings in the 800 block of N. Fulton Ave.But, despite an apparent lack of interest by anybody else in the properties and the Schmoke administration's stated goal of reducing the city's stock of 5,000 vacant houses, Lee's repeated inquiries have yet to yield much of anything except frustration.Lee says the city's Department of Housing and Community Development initially told him that the buildings belong to the Housing Authority, a separate agency that has strict guidelines for the disposal of property.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF | June 29, 1996
One month before the Lexington Terrace high-rises are to be blown up to usher in a new era of public housing, police experts yesterday set off their own bombs in the vacant buildings to practice solving cases.A series of three explosions rocked the area in the 700 block of W. Saratoga St., giving teams of local and federal authorities a chance to practice their skills at detecting explosives and finding minuscule fragments that can solve cases."This is really a unique opportunity," said Officer Joseph A. Costantini, an investigator with the Baltimore Police Bomb Squad.
NEWS
By Ryan Davis and Ryan Davis,SUN STAFF | April 22, 2003
After some small tinkering last night, the County Council appears poised to pass a bill intended to boost revitalization efforts in several blighted commercial areas. Councilwoman Pamela G. Beidle's proposal would allow vacant buildings to be transformed into self-storage facilities - as long as they meet guidelines, including clauses that would prohibit outside doors and restrict the expansion of storage space beyond existing buildings. Her proposal also would allow mixed commercial and residential development on properties within 15 designated revitalization areas, which are mostly in northern Anne Arundel County.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella | lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com | January 15, 2010
Workers began knocking down a row of vacant buildings Thursday in the heart of downtown Baltimore's old shopping district, marking the first large-scale demolition for urban renewal targeted at a swath of the west side. The city is razing much of the north side of the 200 block of W. Lexington St. before handing the property over to a developer who is planning new stores and a tower that could house offices, apartments or a hotel. The project is part of larger plans to revitalize a collection of blocks near Lexington Market known as the "superblock" - plans that have been stalled for nearly a decade.
NEWS
By M.E. Tobin | June 9, 2014
The city is paying for a series of temporary murals to be painted across vacant buildings throughout Baltimore - a momentary beautification effort that will last only until the former homes are town down. The "Love Letters to Baltimore" project by artist Stephen Powers (which so far consists of the words "Forever together" and "I am here because it's home" in giant letters along the fronts of row homes on East Eager Street and the side of a building on North Milton, respectively)
NEWS
May 30, 2014
In response to Michael Dresser 's May 28th article that describes Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown's campaign treasury as having over $4 million cash on hand ( "Brown raises $1.2 million in 6 weeks," May 28), it is worth pointing out that some of this money goes to the campaign signs that end up on vacant houses and blighted structures throughout the city. In my district, major culprits include the Brown/Ulman ticket, Doc Cheatham, and the ubiquitous Conaways. But no ticket appears on more vacant buildings than the signs encouraging the re-election of Joan Carter Conway, Maggie McIntosh, Curt Anderson and Mary Washington.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | April 13, 2014
Tourists never come to see the cherry blossoms in West Baltimore, in the heart of what local residents warmly refer to as "the hood. " But they could, as far as Marvin "Doc" Cheatham is concerned. "We could have people ride through, neighbors selling hot dogs and hamburgers, saying, 'You don't got to go to Washington for cherry blossoms!'" Cheatham said this weekend from his front steps in the 1600 block of Appleton St. The block has about 40 occupied homes, 11 boarded-up vacants, and about a dozen cherry trees - planted by the city in the 1970s, as Cheatham recalls.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman | March 12, 2014
The city Wednesday approved the $2.2 million sale of six long-vacant properties close to the Inner Harbor to a developer proposing to turn them into market-rate apartments.   PMC Property Group, Inc., which owns and operates about 700 apartments in Baltimore City, expects to spend roughly $30 million on the 188-unit project, said Steven Bloom, operating partner for PMC Property Group's Baltimore office. The company has been in negotiations with the city since 2012 about the properties, which lie just north of the Brookshire Suites and were once slated for a hotel redevelopment.
NEWS
By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | November 11, 2013
Baltimore firefighters knocked down a small fire in the basement of a vacant building in the 2900 block of East Monument Street on Monday night. The call came in just before 10 p.m., and it was put out without issue, fire department spokesman Ian Brennan said. The cause is under investigation. Brennan said fires are more common as the weather gets colder and the department is reminding citizens to make sure their homes have working smoke alarms. Electrical fires are the most common citywide, he said, so make sure to check household appliances routinely for any risks.
NEWS
By Matthew D. Gallagher | October 6, 2013
Baltimore is on the cusp of making once unimaginable progress in modernizing its obsolete public school facilities with more than $1 billion in investment over the next 10 years. Broad coalitions of supporters, feasible financing plans and the adoption of needed accountability systems, along with the alignment of civic and elected leadership sustained through the legislative process, helped achieve this potentially game-changing outcome. Such a hard-won victory illustrates what is possible and should galvanize our community to act on another of the city's biggest challenges: Baltimore's 16,000 vacant properties.
NEWS
By Knight-Ridder | May 9, 1991
PHILADELPHIA -- Everybody talks about how Philadelphia is collapsing. But Mike Fink has the pictures to prove it.A city inspector, Fink was standing in front of a vacant and leaning house in North Philadelphia one morning in March deciding how to get rid of the accident waiting to happen when suddenly gravity began doing its thing."
NEWS
By Edward Gunts and Edward Gunts,SUN STAFF | January 22, 1998
IS DOWNTOWN Baltimore becoming one big parking lot, or does it just seem that way?In practically every corner of the city, property owners are razing vacant buildings to enlarge parking lots or make way for new ones.The latest demolitions involve buildings in the 200 block of E. Baltimore St. and the northwest corner of Park Avenue and Franklin Street.Also slated to come down are the home of Tate Engineering Systems at West and Russell streets near Camden Yards (due to become a 437-space lot for the Maryland Stadium Authority)
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | July 20, 2013
Two years after the Obama administration relaunched an effort to get rid of surplus federal buildings, almost all of the excess property identified in Maryland remains in government hands, a review by The Baltimore Sun has found. Red tape, lack of congressional action and inadequate funding have left federal agencies stuck with at least 200 vacant or underutilized properties in the state, from closet-size storage sheds in Beltsville to an eight-story, historic office building a block from Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
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