BALTIMORE (WJZ)–One of the most historic sites in the Baltimore area, Fort Howard, now stands in ruin.

But as Mike Schuh reports, the spot where the British invaded in 1812, will soon be the home of a half billion dollar town center.

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The grounds became important in the American Revolution. The British invaded there before their defeat. Later it became Fort Howard.

The famous General George MacArthur lived there. Now, nearby chimneys host birds of prey, and the key to MacArthur’s front door is a screwdriver.

With World War II came the VA Hospital. It closed nine years ago.  Time has not been kind to Fort Howard.

“This beautiful building here was officers’ quarters,” said developer, Tim Munshell.

Now the developer has big plans–1,300 to 1,500 duplexes, condos, apartments, a hospital and shopping center will fill the 3/4 mile site.

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“It’s a city. It’s a community, but it’s a compressed community. Everything is here,” Munshell said.

While renovation and reuse is admirable, the VA is leasing the land to be re-developed because of who benefits from the transformation.

“This community is open to vets of all ages,” Munshell said.

The small town is to be built at the former veterans hospital. It will be opened initially to veterans old and young, high and low income. Veterans like Theo Bell.

“I’ll sum it up for you in one word: respect,” he said.

They served their country. Now they’ll live together in a place designed just for them. And if that’s not enough, the site is surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Chesapeake.

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“This is their creation; this is what they told us they wanted,” Munshell said.