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A Neighborhood Revival
Friends unite to celebrate Baltimore’s New Eastside

A model of redeveloped East Baltimore caught the eye of the curious. (Photo credit: Ken Royster)
Under a yellow and white tent on a sunny Saturday morning in early November, East Baltimore residents came together to find out what their neighborhood will look like in the years to come.

The surrounding streets were eerily quiet, for many had already moved into other neighborhoods to make way for the massive redevelopment project known as Baltimore’s New Eastside. But under the tent, as elected officials and project partners delivered their remarks, the mood was jubilant.

“This is a great day that the Lord has made,” declared Secretary Victor Hoskins, of Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development.

“We’re under a tent in the middle of Eager Street, celebrating a revival,” said Debra Ratner Salzburg, of project developers, Forest City. She described a true, mixed community with housing equally divided between low-income, workforce and market rate, with green spaces and new streetscapes, schools and businesses, including a life sciences and technology park.

Councilwoman Paula Johnson Branch promised that minorities and women would have a hand in developing the New Eastside. Delegate Hattie Harrison recalled the day in 1969 at a Dunbar charrette when the idea for the project was born.

“We’ve been in this community for over 100 years,” Health System President Ron Peterson said, “and we want to be here for another 100—but in a lively, urban environment.” Uprooted residents are the project’s “real heroes,” Peterson said, “and we want them to have first crack at the new housing.” Just wait until the new homes are built, he said. “Then you’ll see this neighborhood spring to life.”

Anne Bennett Swingle



Johns Hopkins Medicine

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