Some people won’t know anything about the proposed 4224 Baltimore Ave. apartment building until construction begins on the empty lot across from Clark Park. Others have been privy to this U3 Ventures development for months and have even had a hand in shaping what the building will be and who it will cater to. One such person is Erin Engelstad, president of the volunteer committee Friends of Clark Park.
Engelstad was involved in the community meetings that brought U3 Ventures together with area residents to discuss the future of the currently vacant corner.
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“The first meeting was where [U3 Ventures] presented what their idea was to the community,” says Engelstad. “They got feedback from everyone. Then we were broken up into work groups and each group had a different focus.”
According to Engelstad, the second meeting consisted of renderings of what U3 Ventures had in mind based on the feedback they received. “Parking and retail are hot topics,” says Engelstad. “People in the community wanted to see an underground garage, and retail space on the ground floor. Those things are very expensive, so the developers said that the building would need to go higher to cover the cost.”
As for the retail, Engelstad would to see small, community-oriented businesses.
She also wants condos included in 4224 Baltimore Ave., not just apartments. Owners tend to be more involved in the community — and its upkeep — than renters.
The idea is that with enough input from developers and neighbors, a building can go up that will better the block without changing the charm too much.