The Perkins Somerset Oldtown CNI Transformation Plan is a Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI) implementation plan for reinvestment in three east Baltimore neighborhoods. The plan recommends a roadmap to transforms a distressed area of concentrated poverty into a walkable, mixed-use and mixed-income neighborhood. The Transformation Plan strategies address the interconnective nature of social networks, neighborhood infrastructure and housing needs to improve the quality of life of this community. Central to the plan is the complete redevelopment of Perkins Homes, an inadequate and aging public housing community. The redevelopment replaces 629 public housing units into an integrated mixed-income community with a diversity of housing choices. In total, the plan will deliver approximately 1,345 new residential units within walking distance to employment, transit services, parks, neighborhood services and retail.
A 1.8-acre urban park is the heart of the new Perkins Home neighborhood. The park provides a variety of recreational and social opportunities for a diverse, multi-generational community. Multifamily buildings frame the park and along Caroline Street, a north-south complete street corridor. City Springs Charter School will be relocated and built new as a model of 21st Century learning enabling the school to continue to serve as a civic cornerstone of the community. Pedestrian-oriented streets and interconnected blocks replace the existing inwardly facing superblocks to reknit the historic urban fabric. The streetscape design creates an inviting landscape experience while balancing the needs of people, bikes, cars, transit and vital ecological functions.
In 2018, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) and the City of Baltimore were awarded a $30 million CNI implementation grant. HCM was the lead housing architect and planner for this implementation planning document. HCM is the design architect for first two housing phases and landscape architect for initial housing phases and streetscape designs.