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Support The Transformative Redevelopment Plan Of Northwood Plaza

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Tired of the current state of Northwood Plaza Shopping Center? Here’s your chance to change it. Read on:

For decades, the Northwood Plaza Shopping Center has been an anchor in our community, but in recent years, it has fallen short on serving our residents' needs. We have the power now to make it better. Yet today, a visionary redevelopment of the plaza is in peril without more widespread community support.

The proposed $50 million redevelopment, called “Northwood Commons”, is situated between Loch Raven Boulevard and Hillen Road, north of Argonne Drive, and will breathe new life into a rundown Northeast Baltimore commercial center. Northwood Commons will employ hundreds of people in construction and commerce, grow the city’s tax base, and offer goods, services and amenities on a scale enjoyed by other city and even county neighborhoods.

Northwood Commons is a joint venture between Baltimore-based developer MLR Partners and the existing owners of Northwood Plaza. The joint venture has plans to construct a “Main Street”-style environment that will attract local and national retailers, including a grocery store, a “Barnes and Noble”-like university bookstore, restaurants, a pharmacy, health services and more. (See detailed project renderings here.)

For the economics of such a development to be feasible, Northwood Commons would need to offer apartment housing for 350 upper-class Morgan State University students.

Morgan State’s participation in the project is critical: Its students would bring economic activity to the new businesses our neighborhoods hope to attract to the revamped plaza. And residents would benefit from an increased university security presence that would make the plaza safer as a center for commerce and leisure. Many of us have desperately asked for this type of environment for years. It is now within our reach.

But there is a problem.

This project is in peril because one neighborhood association does not want to allow Morgan State students to live on-site, and they have one state senator on their side. But many of us would welcome Morgan State and their students as equal partners in a bold new vision for a plaza that would be the envy of all in our region.

We need the combination of students and neighbors to create an environment with high foot-traffic and dedicated economic engagement at the new plaza to make it a reality. This type of mixed-use development is common elsewhere - just look at Charles Village.

We are seeking the support of State Sen. Joan Carter Conway, who presently supports this one community association's position. Conway represents Baltimore's 43rd District in the state legislature; her district includes many of our neighborhoods and Morgan State. We need Sen. Conway to back the commitment for Morgan State student housing at the project, in order for it to get off the ground.

And we all want to work more closely with Sen. Conway and our fellow neighbors to make sure this project is beneficial and transformative for all of us.

Let’s be clear: if we reject the student housing portion of this project, then we settle for no development or an uninspired strip mall with a dollar store or similar experience. We’re stuck with what we have for another generation.

The Original Northwood Association encourages you to support this plan that re-envisions the Northwood Plaza – the proposed plaza has support from Baltimore City, Councilman Robert Curran, the Mayor’s office, Original Northwood, New Northwood, and others. Now, it needs your support.

This is important. Please SIGN this petition and include your Baltimore neighborhood, and then SHARE the link on your Facebook page and with your neighbors on Nextdoor.com. Together, we will work to better our Baltimore community.

Original Northwood Association

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