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A new development called 4224 Baltimore will be coming to 43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue in the coming months. The building will be mixed used — housing both 10,000 square feet of retail on the first floor and condominium options.

Credit: Courtesy of Cecil Baker Partners

There is still hope for the development of a 132-unit, mixed-used complex at 4224 Baltimore Avenue, designed with the community in mind.

This week, U3 Advisors, the project’s development firm, announced that it will follow zoning procedures to pursue its community-based plan for the plot across from Clark Park. This decision comes as a relief to the community since U3 could have dropped the plan after Councilwoman Janie Blackwell last week declined to help the firm sidestep the burdensome zoning process.

“The community will be very pleased that the developer and owner of the property have decided to not let this project disappear,” said Barry Grossbach, the executive director of the Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee.

The proposal — which would offer residential condos, commercial retail, underground parking and a public fitness center — is based on collaboration between U3 and community members.

“The project was built from the ground up since the community participated in meetings and helped shape the composition and nature of the unit,” Grossbach said.

But because the plan does not comply with the zoning code, U3 needs a permit to violate existing rules. Blackwell rejected the community’s request for her to introduce a bill that would allow U3 to build without going to the zoning board. She instead declared her support for the project and pushed U3 to follow normal procedures.

Though the zoning process is known to be lengthy, U3 continues to move the project forward since “it is willing to take a different avenue in hopes that the neighborhood will get the development they really want,” Grossbach said.

“The fact that the community has had such a footprint from the very beginning should make the board look at it in a way that makes their case more appealing,” he added.

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