By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new Baltimore apartment complex has a famous backer and all the fanfare that goes with it.

Actor Wendell Pierce is a partner in the new Nelson Kohl apartments — a 103-unit complex just north of Penn Station that held its grand opening Friday.

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After playing the role of Detective William “Bunk” Moreland in the Baltimore crime drama “The Wire,” the real-life ribbon cutting at the apartment complex that he helped build shows he has a real commitment to the city.

“Baltimore is like my second home. I grew up in New Orleans, but the years I spent here while I was filming, I fell in love with this city and I knew I wanted to be able to answer that question years from now, ‘What is your response to people’s outcry?'” Pierce said.

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While “The Wire” focused on drugs and death in the city, the outcry for Pierce that led to his partnership with SAA-EVI came from the unrest following the death of Freddie Gray.

“I’m so proud that we created 185 construction jobs here, that we’re going to have 45 permanent jobs, that we have a developers apprentice program where we’re teaching people how to do development on their own and going into west Baltimore, we’re about to do the second-phase of that 25 rowhomes,” Pierce said.

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The complex is located in Station North, a state-designated arts and entertainment district.

[Reporter: What does this say to you about the moving forward of the City of Baltimore?]

That there are a lot of people who believe in Baltimore. I’ve got another ribbon this afternoon. That development is taking place in the city and people are understanding how important it is to be inclusive in the development, so I’m very excited,” Pierce said.

Pierce says this is one of many projects for him.

The apartments are a $20 million dollar investment.

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