UB Graduate Student Wins “Pitch for a Million” Real Estate Development Competition for Funding to Revitalize Baltimore’s Historic Harlem Park


iCrowdNewswire   Nov 19, 2020  1:06 PM ET

 Residents of Harlem Park, one of Baltimore’s historically Black neighborhoods, will soon see new construction on their city blocks. Matthew H. King, a resident of Harlem Park, current University of Baltimore graduate student and founder and executive director of the Harlem Park Community Development Corporation, won the opportunity to receive funding via a real estate development loan and grants up to $1,000,000.00 to revitalize properties in the West Baltimore neighborhood.

King participated in the 2020 REED (Real Estate Economic Development) Fellow Program for UB’s second annual “Pitch for a Million” real estate development competition during his second year in the UB College of Public Affairs’ Masters of Nonprofit Management and Social Entrepreneurship graduate program.

As a UB Real Estate Fellow, King developed a redevelopment proposal to bring new residential and commercial construction to Harlem Park.

King’s pitch, entitled the Progression Redevelopment Plan, is a multi-phase community reinvestment project. The project will reclaim empty or vacant lots in Harlem Park to convert them into commercial, single-family, or multi-family properties. King’s goal is to “cultivate a progressive community that residents of West Baltimore can be proud of, live in, and thrive in.”

As a Harlem Park resident with a background in real estate and financial services, King founded the Harlem Park CDC to address the systemic racism that has led to historic disinvestment in the community.

The nonprofit organization implements community-focused initiatives to reduce unemployment and housing displacement and improve the neighborhood’s lack of food resources. The organization’s programs give residents access to nutritional foods and secure housing options, implement security & safety procedures to decrease crime, and create programs to educate and mentor the community youth.

King, along with Harlem Park CDC chief compliance officer and director of development, Leland Mack Jr. Esq., and director of community relations, Aaris Johnson M. Div., have committed to giving residents the tools they need to grow and change the lives of their families.

King explains, “We plan to bring properties back on the tax roll, but also to increase the net worth of individuals and families through homeownership… The Progression Development Plan will result in increased property values and tax revenues, as well as decreased numbers of vacant buildings and poverty levels.”

The virtual “Pitch for a Million” competition was held on September 17, 2020, during which aspiring real estate development entrepreneurs proposed projects to address critical development needs for residential, commercial, and green space in the City of Baltimore. The annual competition is sponsored by M&T Bank, Howard Bank, and the UB Real Estate and Economic Development Program Advisory Board, in partnership with Baltimore Community Lending. The winning pitch receives financing with a Guidance Line of Credit up to $1 million to begin the project.

King will receive funding within the upcoming months to acquire targeted properties from the City of Baltimore Vacant to Value Program. The Progression Development Plan construction partners included Baltimore-based Seawall Development Company, Present Company architectural firm, Plano-Coudon contracting firm, and PEG engineering and environmental consulting in Fairfax, Virginia.

For more information, contact Matthew H. King, MBA at matthew@harlemparkcdc.org

About Harlem Park Community Development Corporation

A pillar in the Harlem Park Community, the mission of the Harlem Park CDC, is to develop and execute community-focused initiatives that will provide upward mobility and progressive lifestyles for all Baltimore residents with authority, empowerment, and energy. The Harlem Park CDC offers programs that grant residents access to nutritional foods, safe and secure housing options, security and safety procedures to decrease crime, and youth development programs to educate and mentor Baltimore’s youth properly.

Contact Information:

Matthew H. King, MBA at matthew@harlemparkcdc.org


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