July 14, 2017
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http://dhcd.maryland.gov

Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford today hosted a community forum at Coppin State University in West Baltimore focused on Project C.O.R.E. - Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise - a multi-year, multi-hundred-million dollar initiative launched by Governor Larry Hogan in partnership with Baltimore City to demolish vacant and derelict buildings and replace them with green space or the foundation for redevelopment. The lieutenant governor was joined by Baltimore City Mayor Catherine E. Pugh, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt, and Maryland Stadium Authority Senior Vice President Gary A. McGuigan, as well as Baltimore City officials and community partners.

"Community engagement is a key element of Project C.O.R.E.," said Lt. Governor Rutherford. "I wanted to hold this forum with stakeholders and community members to highlight the progress our administration, along with our partners in the city, have made under Project C.O.R.E., and hear directly from people in the community about how we can continue to do even more to eliminate blight in Baltimore City. The feedback we have received tonight and throughout this process has been invaluable, and I look forward to holding another forum in East Baltimore later this year."

The Hogan-Rutherford administration launched Project C.O.R.E. in 2016 as a partnership between the State of Maryland and the City of Baltimore. The Maryland Stadium Authority is the project manager responsible for overseeing the vacant structures jointly identified for removal by Baltimore City and state authorities. Total estimated funding for the demolition portion of the project includes $75 million from the state and in-kind administrative services from the City of Baltimore, equivalent to $1 for every $4 allocated by the state. In addition, the elimination of blighted portions of the city are being supported by more than $600 million in financing opportunities through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

Since the launch of the initiative, 865 blighted units have been removed and 1,303 units are planned to be rehabbed or developed. As of January 1, 2017, over $18.6 million has been awarded projects, which will serve as a catalyst for an additional $285 million investment from public, private, and nonprofit development centers.

"Project C.O.R.E. has enhanced the blight elimination and revitalization efforts underway in Baltimore, helping to spur new investment throughout the City," said Mayor Pugh. "Baltimore's next renaissance will include historic corridors like Baltimore's West Side, and it is through coordinated efforts, such as this, that we can transform neighborhoods into thriving redeveloped communities that offer safe and healthy housing for Baltimore families."

In addition to remarks from the lieutenant governor and mayor, Secretary Holt provided an overview of several redevelopments taking advantage of Project C.O.R.E. funding, such as Walbrook Mill, which will create a new multifamily housing, retail, and office space where an abandoned lumberyard once stood, just across the street from the Coppin State campus. A panel featuring Lt. Governor Rutherford, Mayor Pugh, Secretary Holt, and Senior Vice President McGuigan answered questions related to the project. In addition, Lt. Governor Rutherford announced the awardees of the Keep Maryland Beautiful clean-up sponsorships. Keep Maryland Beautiful is a multi-agency state program that focuses on neighborhood beautification statewide through increasing urban greening, citizen stewardship, community education, and litter removal activities. In Baltimore City, the program complements Project C.O.R.E. activities by ensuring that lots cleared of blight remain clean and green.

"What we've accomplished with Project C.O.R.E. in such a short time is extremely encouraging," said Secretary Holt. "Under Governor Hogan and Lt. Governor Rutherford's leadership, we are creating new opportunities in areas that have seen significant disinvestment. This achieves creative and innovative redevelopment."

Through Project C.O.R.E, the state is investing $75 million supported by an $18.5 million investment from Baltimore City for demolition and stabilization of blighted properties. After the demolition phase, Project C.O.R.E. will be supported by more than $600 million in financing opportunities through existing DHCD programs that help revitalize and redevelop Maryland's cities and towns. Visit our website for more information about Project C.O.R.E.