Developer prepares to rehab Baltimore homes for new teachers
Seawall Development Co. is working out the final details of an agreement with Baltimore to rehabilitate nine houses in the 2800 block of Remington Avenue.
The city awarded development rights to Seawall a few weeks ago after the company responded to a request for proposals. The city offered the houses for sale at $11,000 each.
The RFP response is part of a larger project in which Seawall plans to redevelop houses in the city’s Remington neighborhood and sell them to young professionals, particularly teachers.
The company is meeting with potential buyers and receiving feedback on what they would like to see in the houses, said Donald Manekin, a co-founder of Seawall.
“They are really thinking seriously about, if there’s a clean slate, what are the possibilities?” Manekin said.
Seawall in 2007 converted the 80,000-square-foot former H.F. Miller and Son Tin Box and Can manufacturing plant on North Howard Street into a mixed-use building that includes about 40 apartments.
Seawall has leased the apartments to teachers who are new to Baltimore. The housing redevelopment adds a home ownership component to the company’s effort to keep talented young people in the city, Manekin said.
“Those young professionals came to Baltimore without having been here,” Manekin said. “I think everybody’s vision was, if we roll out the red carpet and they get engaged with what they’re doing, they’ll want to make Baltimore their home.”
Judith Kunst, president of the Greater Remington Improvement Association, said Seawall’s work has excited the neighborhood.
“Remington has a real positive energy about it right now,” she said.
Seawall is awaiting a final deal with the city before it can start work on the houses included in the RFP, Manekin said.
In addition to the city-owned houses, Seawall has purchased six other houses for an average of about $41,000. Seawall’s plans to sell the houses for a below-market price of about $175,000 apiece.
The company does not yet know how many houses it will rehabilitate, Manekin said.
“We’re continuing to look within the neighborhood to get our arms around houses,” he said. “A lot of it is just making sure what we take on is something we can do and feel like we’ve done a really great job of.”