BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Mission First Housing Group celebrated the Grand Opening of 1234 McElderry Apartments and the Groundbreaking of Somerset Apartments today.

These projects are part of the Perkins Somerset Oldtown (PSO) Transformation Plan.

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“Perkins Homes once epitomized decades of intentional local and federal policies to concentrate poverty and disinvest in our communities. Our PSO Transformation Plan is about reversing years of inequity by creating a mixed-income community that will first and foremost benefit the physical, environmental, social, and financial health of our public housing residents,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Today marks an important step in the realization of our mutual goal: providing quality affordable housing for our most vulnerable residents, all while advancing equity.”

The six-year PSO Transformation Plan will create 1,345 new apartments, doubling the amount available. This covers high-quality housing, including the replacement of 629 aging public housing apartments. These apartments will be minutes from Downtown Baltimore and the Fells Point waterfront.

The Plan covers 244 acres and is designed to create a diverse community that will enable residents to live in economically integrated, high-quality housing with exceptional amenities.

“We mark two milestones today with the completion of this beautiful building and the beginning of construction on the next one, Somerset II, right across the street,” said HABC President and CEO Janet Abrahams.

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Officially open today, 1234 McElderry Apartments located at 1234 McElderry St., is a 104 unit, mixed-income rental property, and the first completed community phase of the PSO Transformation Plan. The four-story apartment community features amenities for residents including a fitness center, club room, cyber lounge, two courtyards and 92 secured garage parking spots.

The community will serve individuals and families with a range of incomes.

The team also worked on Somerset II, a mixed-income apartment community located at 520 Somerset and 525 North Aisquith St. This project will bring 192 mixed-income apartments, including 100 apartments to replace former public housing residences. The community will serve individuals and families with a range of incomes.

Somerset Homes also includes Somerset III and Somerset IV, projects that are in pre-development, as well as a 1.3-acre park along Central Avenue and retail space, featuring a grocery store providing access to healthy foods. The completed redevelopment of Somerset Homes will ultimately replace 275 apartments beyond repair and add a total of 558 apartments across all four properties.

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“Mission First is grateful to the residents of Perkins and Somerset Homes who provided the vision for PSO and attended hundreds of meetings to share their vision and ensure that the PSO development occurs,” said Sarah Constant, Senior Vice President, Real Estate Development for Mission First Housing Group.

CBS Baltimore Staff