Visionary Baltimore redevelopment stimulates neighborhood revitalization

Miller’s Court in Baltimore, Maryland renovated a vacant, historic tin can manufacturing building into an affordable and supportive living and working environment for school teachers and education-focused nonprofits.

Located about 2.5 miles north of downtown Baltimore at the edge of Charles Village and Remington, a socially, economically, and culturally diverse neighborhood near Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus, it was completed in 2009.

Miller’s Court was conceived and developed by Seawall Development Company, a small, socially-minded, mission-oriented business. Aware of the challenges facing the Baltimore school system and professionals entering the field through programs like Teach for America, co-founders Donald and Thibault Manekin sought to build a safe, welcoming community for teachers and a home for allied nonprofits that would strengthen the neighborhood and local economy.

The $21.1 million Miller’s Court development was financed with historic and New Market Tax Credits, a federal program that promotes private investment in low-income communities, with funding from Enterprise Community Investment (which submitted the application) and SunTrust Bank. A $300-$600 discount on the monthly rental rate for apartments is offered to teaching professionals.

The award-winning project has generated additional investment in the community of Remington as well interest from other cities. At the urging of several building residents, Seawall purchased and renovated 30 vacant neighboring houses to create Miller’s Square. Baltimore City Public School teachers and police officers are eligible for $25,000 grants toward home purchases there, and several have been bought by former Miller’s Court residents.

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