About Park Heights Renaissance

About

Incorporated in November 2007, Park Heights Renaissance (PHR) is a non-profit 501 c-3 corporation representing residents, businesses, religious institutions, schools, agencies, and other stakeholders committed to shaping a better future for Park Heights.

PHR is the on-the-ground organization responsible for ensuring that objectives within Park Heights Master Plan are implemented. PHR opened their offices to commence the community revitalization of the Park Heights target area that is bounded by Northern Parkway to the North, Wabash Avenue to the West, Greenspring Road to the East, and Druid Hill to the South.

Mission & Vision

Mission

The mission of Park Heights Renaissance (PHR) is to implement the Baltimore City Park Heights Master Plan where land and economic development, alongside human development, are transformative influences in the revival of a thriving and sustainable community.

Vision

Park Heights is more than a geographically organized collection of streets — it is a community of people who, though highly diverse in terms of age, family type, economic status and other social characteristics, share a common aspiration to rebuild a community that offers enhanced quality of life and economic opportunity.

From the community-based planning process, a renewed vision for Park Heights emerged that embodies these facets:

  • A community of physical and social well-being — shared by healthy people who work together, with safe streets, houses, parks and a wide spectrum of neighborhood institutions and services.
  • A community of character — graced by signature main streets, notable gateways, attractive residential blocks and a new generation of beautiful civic and commercial buildings surrounded by public spaces.
  • A community of opportunity — one that attracts private investment, which in turn generates economic opportunity and advancement for all residents and businesses.
  • A healthy community, defined by:
    • A safe, nurturing environment for children and youth.
    • Strong, committed and principled leadership.
    • A vital, diverse local economy.
    • Residents who are gainfully employed and able to meet their family’s financial needs.
    • Residents who are empowered, informed, educated and actively involved.
  • Safe and affordable housing.
  • Cleanliness and orderliness.

History of Park Heights

A half-century ago, Park Heights was a bustling “streetcar suburb” in Northwest Baltimore with middle-class neighborhoods and thriving shops, restaurants, movie theaters and a branch library. Every May, 100,000 sports fans descended on Pimlico Race Course for the Preakness. Every summer, caravans of children and parents visited the Maryland Zoo in nearby Druid Hill Park.

Since the late 1960s, Park Heights has been in decline. Of its 30,000 plus inhabitants, children under 18 constitute the largest component – and nearly half of them are raised by single parents. The median household income is $7,000 lower than the rest of the city and $26,000 below the regional median. Less than a third of residents have a high school education. Vacant buildings dominate the landscape – 2,000 of them.

But now there is hope.

The Pimlico Community Development Authority (PCDA) and the Park Heights Renaissance (PHR) are leading the way, thanks to an ambitious Master Plan the city released in 2006, after seeking input from community residents. In 2008, the city adopted the Park Heights Urban Renewal Plan, giving the government site-specific acquisition powers and establishing new land-use patterns. This is the legislative tool needed to get to work on reinvigorating Park Heights.

The driving force in this effort is Park Heights Renaissance (PHR), a non-profit group representing residents, businesses, religious institutions, schools, agencies and other stakeholders. In January 2008, PHR opened offices at 4151 Park Heights Avenue. A full-time President/CEO, Julius “Julio” Colon, started work this past September.

Board of Directors

Larry E. Jennings, Jr.   |   Board Chair

Oscar Cobbs, Sr.   |   Vice Board Chair

James H. Redd, Jr.   |   Treasurer

Ellen Parker   |   Secretary

Greg Abel

Jeffrey D. Berger

Michael Braverman

Philip E. Croskey

Honorable Sharon Green-Middleton

Arthur Hill, III, Ed.D

Michelle Lipkowitz

Martha Nathanson

Colin Tarbert

Vacarro Watson

Elizabeth Wiseman

Deborah Woolford

Staff

Administration

Cheo Hurley, Executive Director, Email Cheo

Tony Bridges, Director, Human Services and Operations, Email Tony

Mary Blackwell, Office Manager, Email Mary

Community and Human Services

Shaquille Carbon, Community Outreach Coordinator, Email Shaquille

Safe Streets Park Heights

Rashad Singletary, Site Director, Email Rashad

Stanley Dennis, Outreach Worker, Email Stanley

Aaron “Sherm” Fennel, Outreach Supervisor, Email Aaron

Paul Frazier, Outreach Worker, Email Paul

Shawn “Shawn P” Pressley, Violence Interrupter, Email Shawn P

Real Estate and Economic Development

Karen Gary, Coordinator – Housing Services, Email Karen

Education

Community Schools

Jimmy Mitchell, Community School Coordinator, Email Jimmy, Arlington Elementary/Middle School

HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters)

Truesha Whyte, Program Coordinator, Email Truesha

Partners

Public

Community

Lending Institutions

Wells Fargo