Baltimore – Secretary Skinner on Thursday joined Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake at the ribbon cutting for the Columbus School Apartments, the $13 million transformation of an abandoned 19th century school building in east Baltimore into modern, energy efficient affordable rental housing for 50 families.
“This building represents more than history and more than fine architecture,” Secretary Skinner said. “It is an important piece of the city’s revitalization strategy for the North Avenue corridor.”
“This project represents the power of transformation to push back blight,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake, adding that the goal of her administration is not just to bring new families into Baltimore, “but to give the families that are already here a reason to stay.”
Constructed in 1891, the historic Columbus School building formerly housed a public school for elementary students. Believed to be one of the highest performing schools in Baltimore City at the time, the school closed its doors in the early 1970s and students were reassigned to the then brand new Harford Heights Elementary School. The Columbus School building, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
Financing for the project was provided by DHCD, Bank of America, Capital One and Hudson Housing Capital, HSA and the Woda Group.
DHCD support included $1 million in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits for $9.7 million in equity and $1.4 million in Rental Housing Production Program funds.