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October 2023 Community Meeting Notes

Board Members Present: Corey Jennings (President), Michele Baskin (Secretary), Wynn Engle-Pratt (Vice President), Sadie Baker, Chris Billack

Staff member – Jennifer McKenzie, Amanda Rothschild

Total Attendees

~ 36, ~ 1 DPW (Terrance Brown), ~ 2 Fishnet, ~ 7 Hopkins & partners

Start: 7:06

End: 8:48



  • Overview of GRIA Mission statement and activities
  • Hopkins presentation on plans for their new building: Data Science and Translation Institute (DSTI) 
    • Delayed the process a bit to continue to engage with community (need to open building Dec 2028, which would begin site work Jan 2025)
    • ZGF architecture firm selected to design
    • Site Analysis Recap of prior presentations
      • Study 1 – By Right: 65 foot height restriction stretches the building along all of 3100 block of Remington Avenue
      • Study 2 – Requires Zoning Variance: buildings situate on either side of Wyman Park Drive at Remington from 65 foot and then slope back at 45 degree angle up to 120 feet max height
      • Includes a side by side view: taller buildings shift further to the north in Study 2, no variance extension to the rest of the Wyman park parcel (clarifying from last meeting)
    • Architecture Overview of Initial Thoughts about the Site
      • Imagining not a solid monolith of building but more modular and playful, allows to blend in more with the actual site environment and vary heights and angles of the parts of each building 
      • Would like to avoid a wall/curtain of building right along the streets, corners at angles type of thing, allows for the spreading out of building mass and light
    • Q&A
      • Q – Morgan State is shifting towards closing their campus, how might that impact Hopkins design thoughts in terms of accessibility of the space to the surrounding community? A – We are not going to create a closed off space with building design and gates, either along Charles or in this project. Still want to create a more open connection to the community.
      • (Wynn) – Reviews process between Hopkins and GRIA up to this point. GRIA has been asked to provide a Letter Of Support (LOS) for the Zone Variance Stage 2 design. The November Land Use meeting is planning to hold a vote on the LOS on Wednesday Nov 1.
      • Q – Will there be an effort to maintain the trees along Remington Ave? Same question with preserving the rain gardens along Wyman Park Drive. A – There will be an attempt, but some trees are diseased or damaged. The rain gardens will most likely not remain but a site stormwater management plan will be developed for the entire site.
      • Q – Construction crew parking is a problem for the current construction of the Agora building, how can this be prevented with an even larger set of buildings? A – We know it’s a problem, very disappointing, looking for better enforcement mechanisms, we do provide free satellite parking a mile away that is underutilized, planning to engage in conversations w/ construction management firms during contract bid talks 
      • Q – How can we be sure that the new open space created in Study 2 will be held open and not just eventually turn into building a new building? A legally enforceable MOU or something? A – It is in the best interests of Hopkins and the community to leave the green open space. Might redo the Power Plant and old hospital to create a new quadrangle, but not fill in green space.
      • Q – Still need to address the 31st street landscaping, noise pollution and light pollution. A – Agree, we are planning on replacing the lighting to divert towards the ground and cleaning up the landscaping of the space
      • Q – In Study 2 the power plant remains? Because it makes this street feel like the back end of a campus, not inviting. And the proposed Study 2 new green space doesn’t feel like a space I would be invited into A – At this point in time with Study 2, yes. Noted.
      • Q – In both studies how close to the street will the buildings be? A – For new construction buildings, 20 feet back to meet code which is farther back than current buildings on the space. 
      • Q – A resident of Wyman Park Dr States there has been minimal outreach to the adjacent blocks by Hopkins, she personally did not receive notice of the initial meeting hosted by Hopkins and only got the flyer for this meeting yesterday evening. Asking for more direct outreach from Hopkins such as a town hall style meeting devoted specifically to this topic. A – We are ready to meet with Wyman Park South and are waiting to hear your timeline to sit down and go over things. 
      • Q – Could the new Hopkins police do RPP ticketing or parking enforcement? A – JHPD are going to be focused on public safety, but we will need to engage with the city as partners to get enforcement of parking in the corridor.
      • Q Wynn – recapping unaddressed questions from prior Land Use meeting
        • Any difference in light/noise in two designs? A – both 500k sqft buildings, so not really (also new sustainability plan which would eliminate power plant/chiller/etc which would reduce noise)
        • Where is the back of these buildings? HVAC/Services/Etc location? A – Agora and Charles street buildings have multiple entry points and we envision that here. Think they can incorporate standard services inside, eliminating the need for a service oriented “back”.
        • Residents of 31st Street have voiced concerns that the current construction is having an impact on the structural integrity of the hill around 31st/Remington, this hill is structurally important to the stability of that block of houses. Concerned about impact of further construction. Additionally that intersection in general is dangerous for pedestrians and could use work. A – Hopkins reps stated he does not think any erosion is due to the ongoing construction but that Hopkins is interested in working with the city to make improvements to the intersection and can look into doing that
        • What will be happening to the Marine hospital stairs? A – integral to the power plant building and stairs will remain as part of structure
      • Q – Where will the heavy load-in area be located for these buildings? A – planning to try and have a centralized loading facility for new buildings and Agora structure with a connection underground across Wyman if possible, recognize the need to minimize large truck vehicular traffic
      • Q – When are you going to commit to the beautification of Remington, 28th/29th with cleaning and landscaping? A – We made investments in San Martin, Saint Paul, and are interested in Remington and Wyman, University Parkway, Sisson at Stieff Silver
  • Plan Review for the Remington Green Corridor tree planting project along 28th and 29th Streets
    • Overview of plans that are now at a finalized point with respect to trees and concrete cuts
    • Concrete removal to expand existing identified tree wells and create new ones will occur before Thanksgiving
    • Tree and native plant installation will occur after Thanksgiving
    • Q – How will this project impact pedestrian safety? A – ADA accessibility along sidewalks is being maintained with pass through intervals between wells and prohibiting tree plantings in front of residential entrances. Trees should also act as a buffer between passing cars and pedestrians.
    • Q – The grant includes two years worth of what exactly? A – Maintenance of the tree pits and plants with watering and weeding at intervals to match the growing season
    • Q – Could there be a credit or incentive program from the city for taking care of the trees? A – There is currently a program from the city that includes things like installing rain barrels or creating rain garden but that specific idea is not part of the current regulation, but it’s a great idea, and we will bring it up with Tree Baltimore
    • Q – Is there any plan for South Remington? A – Absolutely! Planned for the next grant along with other side streets throughout the community!
  • 27th Street Beautification and safety
    • Background of continued safety issue, the prior crash that destroyed the skate ramp, several cars and damaged two houses, collection of the insurance settlement
    • Speed humps have been planned for over 7 years and have been included in city funding, but have yet to be installed. They are supposed to be installed sometime in 2024 though.
    • Outreach occurred to neighbors along the corridor via social media, email, and in person contacts. Recommendations include continuing to pressure city to install humps as a permanent solution, purchase of planters similar to the style in front of B. Willow, develop a plan for planting and maintaining plants.
    • Q – We need to set ourselves an action deadline from the city of March 2024 as this has been a problem and a promise for years and we are only having more children move into the neighborhood. No speed humps by then? We make a public action. A – You are not wrong, let’s do this still.
    • Will take this proposal to Land Use Committee Meeting on November 1
  • Hauntingdon Updates
    • This year’s event will be Saturday October 28th along the 2900 block of Huntington Ave, from 5 pm to 8 pm
    • Volunteers needed for setup and cleanup, people who can do an activity during the event (face painting, scavenger hunt, etc.)
    • Please email Jen McKenzie to volunteer – and fill out the form 
  • Community Cleanup this Saturday
    • 10 am, meet at Church of the Guardian Angel, coffee and treats provided by Charmington’s, funded by our sponsor this month Mend Acupuncture
    • Cleaning will be focusing on Huntingdon Avenue from 26th up to the Park so that the area is clean and ready to go for HAUNTingdon
  • Department of Public Works – Terrance Brown, Community Liaison, 410-396-8966
    • Leaf Collection – Bag leaf debris to be removed with a max of 6 to be collected at once (does not have to be brown paper bags), contact 311 for removal or put out with trash, can drop off more brown bags for community use if needed
    • Storm Drains – If you see storm drains in the street that are filled with compacted leaves, please contact DPW through 311 (send service request # to Terrance) or Terrance directly
    • Trash & Recycling – no updates 

Community Announcements

  • Fishnet opening – Keyia Yalcin announces the move from Mount Vernon to the Chicken Bones location which will be renovated over the coming weeks
  • Ghost Rivers Ribbon Cutting – Thursday Oct 19th 5 pm at B. Willow
  • Mount Royal Night Market Friday October 27th