Neighbors put up savings to snag key Patterson Park building
Have you ever seen a problem in your neighborhood and said, "Someone ought to do something"?
In Patterson Park, residents organized to do it themselves.
Here's the story about how four individuals and two couples pooled their money to buy a key commercial building in the Baltimore neighborhood, sitting vacant now but once a community gathering spot. They're on the hook for about $400,000, including closing costs and some other incidentals.
It's the former headquarters of the Patterson Park Community Development Corp., which reversed blight by rehabbing hundreds of homes but couldn't survive the housing bust. The restaurant Three..., which rented the ground floor, is also gone.
The CDC's demise isn't good neighborhood news. It puts many more homes on the market at an already tough time for sellers. It requires a change of ownership for the CDC's rental properties, which makes residents anxious. It removes a paid staff whose mission was neighborhood improvement.
But residents decided they weren't going to simply let events unfold as they may. Neighbors' decision to buy the CDC headquarters -- to keep the ownership hyper-local and have control over the building's use -- is the latest example. (Getting a contract on the building took several tries. Here's a piece about their first attempt.)
This isn't the only time that Baltimore residents have put up significant money in the name of neighborhood improvement or preservation. So tell me, good folks: What have you seen in your neighborhood (or other neighborhoods) that impresses you?