BALTIMORE (WJZ)– After years of being vacant and surviving a two-alarm fire, the plan to transform a sprawling warehouse in southeast Baltimore is closer than ever.
A vacant, graffiti-covered industrial site with bashed-windows on Eastern Avenue, is on track to go from rundown to renovated.
Chris Ryer, with the Southeast Community Development Corporation, was among the first to see the design plan for the former Pemco manufacturing plant. It includes the city’s first LA Fitness, retail space, apartment buildings, and two hotels.
“I think it’s important to the community because it’s been an eyesore now for four or five years,” Ryers said. “It’s also right across the street from one of its crowned jewels, the Bayview campus of Johns Hopkins medical institution.”
The flames did not cause the plan to go up in smoke.
On Thursday, the developer, MCB Real Estate, and the Maryland Department of the Environment will brief community groups in the area on the upcoming demolition and construction.
The site is 19 acres, and it’s one of the last of it’s size remaining in southeast Baltimore. Many believe its redevelopment will also transform this community.
“I think the neighborhood is going to benefit from the increased retail activity,” Ryers said.
Kathleen Plona has been working in the area for almost three decades.
“It’s gonna be a lot of mess getting in an out of the hospital, but I’m glad they’re doing something with it. I really am,” she added.
If all things go according to plan, demolition could start as early as spring.