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Mayor Rawlings-Blake Breaks New Ground in O’Donnell Heights

Redevelopment will create a new vibrant community in Southeast Baltimore

BALTIMORE, MD (April 9, 2013) – Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano, The Michaels Development Company, AHC-Greater Baltimore, Inc., elected officials and members of the community for a ceremonial groundbreaking for the first phase of redevelopment at O’Donnell Heights. Once complete, the 62-acre site will be a dynamic community with over 900 new affordable and market rate townhomes and apartment flats and over six acres of new parks and green space.

Amenities will include tot lots, a splash play area, and private front and rear yards for gardening. The first new residents are expected to move into the community this fall.

“The O’Donnell Heights redevelopment will create a new neighborhood that represents the diversity that exists within Baltimore,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. "Community redevelopment projects like this will support our vision of growing Baltimore by 10,000 families in the next 10 years by helping us retain current residents and attract new residents."

During Phase I of development, 76 residential units will be constructed, including 16 that will be reserved for persons with disabilities. In addition to the new residential units and green space, the O’Donnell Heights development area will include new roads and public infrastructure.

“We are proud to be a partner with this community in bringing much-needed housing to O’Donnell Heights and we are confident that the beautiful housing that we are starting here can be a catalyst for additional investment in the neighborhood,” said Ava Goldman, President of The Michaels Development Company.

"I know I speak for all of us at AHC-Greater Baltimore when I say that today is a significant milestone for our organization, all of us gathered here and most importantly for the O'Donnell Heights community and residents. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone's hard work and commitment that were key to brining us all here today," said Andrew Vincent, director, AHC-Greater Baltimore.

The funding for the $20 million O’Donnell Townhomes Phase 1 includes $13.4 million in equity raised from the sale of federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits awarded by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development; $1.5 million in HOME funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded by Baltimore City, and $900,000 from the state’s Rental Housing Funds. Additional financing came from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, which awarded this phase of O’Donnell Heights just shy of $1.4 million and a $3.6 million permanent loan from Bellwether/Enterprise. Bank of America invested in the tax credits, which were syndicated by Prestige Affordable Housing Equity Partners, an affiliate of The Michaels Development Company.

“The O’Donnell Heights redevelopment has moved from vision to reality thanks to strong partnerships with our state and federal partners, The Michaels Development Company, AHC-Greater Baltimore, the community and many others,” said Housing Commissioner Graziano. “This massive redevelopment project will strengthen and bring new vitality to the community.”

Located in the southeast corner of Baltimore City just outside of Dundalk, O’Donnell Heights was originally built in 1942 and was last modernized in 1983. A Steering Committee, made up of O’Donnell Heights residents, community organizations, and other stakeholders, was created to assist the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) and the development team to create a redevelopment plan that will give way to a new dynamic residential community.

About HABC: HABC was established in 1937 to provide federally funded public housing programs and related services for Baltimore's low-income residents. HABC is one of the largest public housing authorities in the country. The Agency currently serves over 25,000 low-income households. To learn more, visit www.baltimorehousing.org.

About the Michaels Organization: Headquartered in Marlton, NJ, the Michaels Development Company, is part of the Michaels Organization, a family of eight integrated real estate companies dedicated to excellence in affordable, mixed-income, military housing and student housing. The organization has four decades of experience in housing development, including the reconstruction, ownership and operation of over 50,000 units of mixed income and affordable housing in 34 states. The Michaels Organization’s comprehensive expertise includes: development, financing, tax credit syndication, construction management, property and asset management, and award-winning social service programs. In April of 2011, “Housing Finance Magazine” ranked the Michaels Organization as the number one private-sector developer and owner among its top firms.

About AHC-Greater Baltimore: AHC-Greater Baltimore has been in the Baltimore region since 2002 and has developed six properties with more than 1,000 affordable apartments. Projects include Barclay Greenmount, Greenspring Overlook, Kirkwood House, Lansdowne Apartments, MonteVerde and Union Rowe. Additionally, AHC-Greater Baltimore is on the development team for new construction in O'Donnell Heights. AHC- Greater Baltimore is part of AHC, Inc., headquartered in Arlington, Va., a private, not-for-profit developer of affordable housing in the Mid-Atlantic region providing quality homes for low- and moderate-income families. For more information, visit www.ahcgreaterbaltimore.org or www.gbahc.org.

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