From Harford County government:
County Executive Craig follows through on commitment to Edgewood
(Edgewood, MD) – – Work has begun on the residential demolition of the Washington Court property on Cedar Drive in Edgewood. The 26 acre tract of land purchased by the U. S. Government in 1941, located in the heart of Edgewood, has sat abandoned and in deteriorating condition for more than 15 years.
Once used for military housing and residential purposes, Washington Court until now has resembled a modern-day ghost town – abandoned, boarded up, overgrown with weeds and covered with graffiti.
In 2006, Harford County Executive David R. Craig announced plans for the complete restoration of the site; since then, the Administration and the Department of Community Services has worked diligently to obtain funding for the project and, working with stakeholders from the community, to determine what would most benefit the Edgewood community.
Once the demolition of the 26-acre tract has been completed, a new $50 million redevelopment initiative, including new mixed housing will be constructed on the site. Plans include affordable senior housing as well as a variety of new homes, providing housing options for Harford County residents, while breathing new life into the greater Edgewood community.
Shelter Development was selected as the developer. The proposal from Shelter Development meets Harford County’s objective for the redevelopment of Washington Court to improve economic conditions, quality of life and long-term sustainability of the community.
The demolition and redevelopment are being funded in part by several sources received by the Harford County Department of Community Services, including a $3.5 million HUD Section 108 loan; just over $1 million in Neighborhood Conservation Initiative (NCI) funds through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development; and $250,000 in Community Legacy funds also from DHCD.
The project is estimated to generate annual financial benefits of nearly $1 million to Harford County at full build out. Redevelopment of the site is anticipated to generate nearly $900,000 in one-time taxes related to recordation and transfer of the property.
“In 2006 I made a commitment to the people of Edgewood to remove the eyesore known as Washington Court and replace it with a project designed to improve quality of life and enrich Edgewood. We have kept our promise and with the demolition of this project is the beginning of a brighter future for the greater Edgewood community and Harford County,” County Executive Craig stated.
What do you think the odds are that one of Craig’s developer buddies will end up with those 26 acres? Just taking a poll of the readership, no personal opinion on the issue.
By “mixed housing” do they mean another influx of those Section Eight people who have so enriched the Edgewood community with their cultural diversity?
I would like someone from the development to explain just what exactly “mixed” housing means. Sounds like a play on semantics for more section 8.
By “mixed housing” they mean single families, townhomes and senior living facilities. The entire plan is available online or you can obtain it by contacting Dion Guthrie, the County Councilman for Edgewood.
Please go back and read the Dagger’s Edgewood’s Revival article, Aug. 21,09, and you’ll see what mixed develp. housing allegedly consists of at that site. I am glad to see it is happening, but the developer is receiving many millions of dollars of our tax money to “make Edgewood nice”. It is not a done deal yet, only the start of a new adventure. I am sure that the development’s start has nothing to do with this being an election year for Ms. Mikulski, I am also sure that spending so much money in rehab of an area will generate less than 1/10th of the expense of the taxpayers money spent on the project. Does that make sense to any business/citizen here that is paying taxes? I am not happy about the developer getting all of the money for his project from the county taxes or from the state. If it is to be such a great deal, why can’t they get the money from the banks, as do the rest of the area builders? This deal is not only from Exec. Craig, but it is a Gov. OMalley and Dem. led House and Senate funded initiative. It is a mistake to fund this now. The jobs generated, from where are those people being hired? Are they union and if so, are the local cos. being used to do any of the work involved with both the demolition, the clean-up, the ground prep, the foundations, the roads, the water and sewer, the basic start up of the development? Who are these folks and do any of them come from Harford county and do they live here or are they imported as on APG? I apologize for the length of this but I am curious if anyone has the answers. God bless!
vietnam vet says
You better be care full. it’s all in the wording. more up dated section 8 houseing to inlighten the edgewood area.
No section 8 housing. This from the developer master plan:
– For sale housing: 41 single family homes, 44 front-loaded 1-car garage townhomes, and 102 rear-loaded 2-car garage townhomes
– Senior housing: 101 rental units and exclusive amenity space available to residents of that community
– A community green inclusive of a clubhouse, walking paths, a gazebo and a water fountain
– 6.4 acres of open space: which is 22% of the total site and over 10% more than required by Harford County regulations
– A new baseball field located southeast of the property
“Section 8” housing consists of public housing or vouchers. While the plan may not include public housing (a good thing) there’s nothing that can stop those “for sale” homes from being bought by landlords rather than families and renting them to families with vouchers for rental assistance (unless the funding stipulates sales must be for primary residence only). The only thing that can prevent that is a market rental amount that exceeds the amount HUD is allowed to pay. If you don’t raise income levels or improve the community so that is is more desirable, there will always be “section 8” families because the rents are low. Section 8 or not is not the issue. Income and education are the issue.
low and moderate income housing does not mean section 8, but it does mean working families, disabled, elderly and specific groups such as veteran’s housing assistance. To keep the area as is would be a mistake. In-development within the county envelope that uses present infrastructure and services which do not need new sewer capacity and new roads is a good use of public funds.
This new community would offer economic activity to retail and businesses alike, or we can leave it as a drug infested and prostitution gathering place that is today.
Noble-HUD conducts reasonable rent surveys and pays market rates. I don’t believe anyone (private renters) would pay more than market rent. The only way to keep Section 8 private vouchers is for landlords to keep these tenants off their rental properties, and that is still legal.
Rent reasonables are researched and HUD does use established FMR’s, but there are many rental communities that are charging higher rents than the FMR, and plenty of people paying them. FMR represents moreso the average, rather than the entire range of market rents. This is why you won’t see a lot of voucher families renting in say, upscale condo communities in Hunt Valley. A 2br condo might run you 1400 a month, while the HUD FMR might be around 1100. It’s no different than neighborhoods anywhere though, we are all aligned by our income whether we have rental subsidy or not. So unless the Edgewood area is improved, higher incomes will not be drawn to it, and the rents in the area will continue to be low.
noble-There are exceptions to the FMR rules and the are used from time to time in what they are called “hard to rent” areas. I think you will find that the voucher program is used all over harford county. Don’t use Hunt Valley as an example, as it is not in our jusridiction.
What you see in Edgewood is a large number of placed based subsidized housing and you are confusing it with the housing choice voucher program which allows tenants to rent from willing private landlords.
I think improving Edgewood with this mixed used development beat the alternative of having valuable real estate sit empty and not contributing to the tax base.