When Carl Verstandig, CEO of America’s Realty LLC, looks at the corner of Pennsylvania and North Avenue, he doesn’t see blight and riot damage. He sees opportunities for redevelopment.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Verstandig has a long history of buying shopping centers and other commercial buildings in blighted areas, then using them as an anchor for redevelopment. He told the Sun that he envisions spending $15 million to buy about a dozen properties along the North Avenue corridor, and that he already has tenants–including small grocers, urgent care centers, and independent pharmacies–interested in moving in. Verstandig is seeking tax breaks and other incentives from the city and state.
The area damaged by the Rodney King riots in LA has been developed into a flashy shopping center; let’s hope that any redevelopment that happens in the area benefits local communities more than that.