Formerly segregated plaza now redeveloped with help of HBCU

ByDavid L. Juliano

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By Kara Thompson,
MDDC Intern

Northwood Plaza made use of to be a segregated procuring location positioned subsequent to Morgan State University, a traditionally Black college. Commencing in the early 1950s, hundreds of Morgan Condition college students participated in sit-ins and other peaceful protests in the name of equivalent rights, culminating with the arrest of a lot more than 415 students, most from Morgan Point out, for the duration of their protest to desegregate the plaza’s Northwood Theatre in 1963. 

In 1975, the Plaza was sold to its present entrepreneurs: Paul Diamond, David Diamond, Ben Schuster and Sam Gloger. The partners tried to redevelop the procuring centre, together with important renovations in 1992. But in 2018, it was decided that the purchasing middle would go through a $50 million redevelopment prepare, via a partnership with Morgan State College. 

“Morgan State University is happy to serve as an anchor institution in the city of Baltimore and is strongly dedicated to the surrounding group. The redevelopment of Northwood Plaza expands upon that dedication, producing a essential retail center that fulfills a quantity of needs for the college and the citizens of northeast Baltimore,” claimed Morgan Condition University President David Wilson upon the announcement of the redevelopment plan. “This venture is a excellent begin to revitalizing the spot and delivers breakthroughs that are widely praised. We are delighted with the prospect for the upcoming.”

The 2018 system for the new progress allotted 20,000 square ft of office room housing Morgan Condition University’s Place of work of Police & General public Safety, as very well as area for a Barnes & Noble school bookstore with a Starbucks across from it. 

This freshly formulated Northwood Commons is now 80 p.c occupied with organizations, the most not too long ago opened of which is Harbor Financial institution of Maryland, a Black-owned bank. President Wilson attended the party.

“On this working day, here is my definition of Juneteenth. It is possessing a Black-owned bank deliver $20 million in New Market Tax Credits to enable this challenge to take condition. More, it is having a Black developer as the guide business,” he mentioned in a Fb publish pursuing the party. “Next, it is possessing the whole development made by a Black building organization. And fourth, it is to be certain that there are several Black-owned corporations in the Commons owned by Morgan alumni. And previous, it is making all of this occur in the backyard of the nation’s top HBCU– the National Treasure, Morgan State College.”

One particular of the corporations coming to Northwood Commons is Tropical Smoothie Cafe, run by Alesha and David Magby. This site will be the franchisee owners’ fourth site, and is established to open sometime in August or September. Equally Magbys are graduates of Morgan Point out University. 

“We want to be examples to the young girls and gentlemen in the area,” reported Magby. “For our staff members, we strain the value of schooling staying critical and whether or not pursuing increased schooling or educating your self on an entrepreneurial strategy, self-doubt does not provide you closer to your desires and endurance brings wisdom and advantage.”

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