Home National Weather Sonia Eaddy wins fight to save her Poppleton home – Baltimore Sun

Sonia Eaddy wins fight to save her Poppleton home – Baltimore Sun

by DrewLUD
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More than two decades after getting a demolition notice from the city of Baltimore, Sonia Eaddy has won the fight to save her home in Poppleton.

The city had wanted to demolish Eaddy’s home to make way for a long-delayed development west of downtown, but Mayor Brandon Scott announced Monday that .

The announcement comes after months of vague pledges from city officials to find a solution that would uphold Baltimore’s deal with the New York developer La Cité and also address the concerns of the Poppleton community.

The home of Sonia and Curtis Eaddy dates back to at least 1900, if not the 1870s, and stands near a row of colorful alley homes on Sarah Ann Street. Alley homes are a distinct style of small rowhomes that are becoming increasingly rare in Baltimore.

The city’s Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation voted in April to have its staff look into adding the Eaddys’ home to a proposed Poppleton historic district. CHAP staff said the commission received 168 letters and emails in support of including the Eaddys’ homein the proposed historic district.

Multiple community leaders, including the Eaddys, spoke at the CHAP meeting. Sonia Eaddy, president of the Poppleton Neighborhood Association, said she watched as her neighbors — renters and owners — were pushed out of perfectly good housing for the sake of La Cité’s development.

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After multiple delays, La Cité recently finished the first phase of its Center\West Development, a mixed-use project with 262 rental units in five- and six-story buildings. La Cité planned to spend about $800 million eventually to redevelop 33 acres, completely transforming Poppleton. The predominantly Black neighborhood, which is just west of Martin Luther King Boulevard, has long suffered from blight, and city leaders targeted it for redevelopment more than two decades ago.

The second phase of the development was supposed to displace the Eaddys, whose family has lived for decades in a three-story rowhome at the intersection of North Carrollton Avenue and Sarah Ann Street. Sonia Eaddy received notice in 2000 that her home was slated for demolition. She has fought her displacement ever since. Eaddy was collecting signatures for a “Save the Block” petition in 2005 after La Cité won a bid from the city to develop the project.

At that time, Eaddy’s home was one of more than 500 properties to be razed for the Center\West development, more than half of which already were city-owned or in the process of being acquired. About 114 properties were occupied, 34 of them by owners.

Activists have drawn parallels between the Center\West Development and the Franklin-Mulberry Expressway, which runs along the north side of Poppleton. The expressway, known as “The Highway to Nowhere,” is a 1.39-mile stretch of road that was originally intended as an extension of Interstate 70 to downtown Baltimore.

The project was halted in the 1970s but not before destroying Black neighborhoods and displacing hundreds of families.

The Center\West project is a private development, but it has had to work with the city to acquire and demolish properties. The project also has benefited from tax increment financing, which diverts increased property taxes from city coffers to instead pay down the debt on some infrastructure improvements. In 2017, the city issued $12 million of such TIF bonds to support the project.

This story will be updated.



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Source: Baltimore Sun