BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A historically black neighborhood in south Baltimore that a community leader said has been largely overlooked for community development and improvements is about to see a much-needed upgrade.

The Cherry Hill Town Center has seen better days. Catholic Charities bought it and renovated it in the mid-1990s, and in recent years, they’ve been working on a plan to renovate it again.

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Work is underway on a $5 million renovation of the Cherry Hill Town Center in south Baltimore.

“After several failed groceries for example, which is something we really tried for, it really came to the point where we had to rethink,” said Kevin McCarthy with Catholic Charities. “We looked at what was going on in Cherry Hill and really talked to the community about what (they) want now.”

On the residents’ wish list was a bank, a place to gather and fresh food.

Now, those items are becoming a reality. Catholic Charities is spending $5 million — a combination of grants and loans — to make the project happen.

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Eric Jackson is an urban farmer and will provide locally-grown vegetables.

Renderings show the facade improvements planned for the Cherry Hill Town Center.

“It’s just important that we have good food, it’s a way for us to connect with one another,” Jackson said. “It’s not just about the food — it’s part of the vibe, the energy, that people connect.”

Neighbors Mark Hanna and Gina Moore were excited to see what the project entails.

“I like it all, it just looks so nice, even the walkway,” Hanna said, “It looks really nice, it’s great. I can’t wait to see this marketplace.”

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Some interior work is already underway. Scaffolding will be going up soon and the entire project should be complete in a year or so.