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THE ERDMAN SHOPPING CENTER GETS A MULT-MILLION DOLLAR UPGRADE WRITTEN BY PETER GROSE AND KADIJA HART “The level of investment occurring at the Erdman Shopping Center is evidence that Belair-Edison is primed and ready for major commercial development,” said Chad Hayes, Belair-Edison Neighborhoods, Inc.’s Business & Programs Manager. “We have the customer base and the spending power, and now we just need great partners like The Erdland Company and Regional Management to open the doors to additional high quality businesses.” Hayes is not the only one who is excited about the renovated Erdman Shopping Center. The upgrades are showing positive results, with foot traffic increasing daily. And as The Erdland Company is putting the finishing touches on the multi-million dollar project, it doesn’t appear that the traffic will slow down anytime soon. The appearance of the center has been greatly improved with widespread changes ranging from upgrades to the new promenade in front of the center, façade improvements and an enhanced parking lot layout with new lighting and extensive landscaping. This was done all in an effort to create a pedestrian-friendly center that is attractive to both neighborhood residents and customers visiting from other communities. The center retained many national tenants including Save-a-Lot, Rite Aid, Advance Auto Parts, Foot Locker and Rainbow – and attracted

several new ones including Shoes & More and Little Caesar’s Pizza. Among other tenants Think Dollar, St. Casimir’s Savings Bank and Boost Mobile have done remodeling to their stores interiors, and nearly every tenant has installed new signage and/ or made some type of improvement to provide a more pleasant shopping experience for customers. The Erdland Company believes in community development and feel the changes they’ve made will have a direct and positive impact on BelairEdison and surrounding areas in Northeast Baltimore. “The strength of the Belair-Edison neighborhood and the prime location of the Center at three major thoroughfares certainly justify the owner’s significant investment in the improvements,” said Peter Grose, VP of Regional Management, the property manager for The Erdland Company. “The Erdland Company should be commended for putting their money where their mouth is. When they say they are willing to support the Belair-Edison community, they truly mean it,” said Hayes. “Because of their leadership, we will see many new businesses sprouting up throughout the community offering the goods and services that aren’t currently being offered.” In an effort to celebrate the newly renovated Erdman Shopping Center, and to thank those in

Above: The new and improved Erdman Shopping Center the community who’ve supported the center over the years, Regional Management is partnering with Belair-Edison Neighborhoods, Inc., Enoch Pratt Free Library-Herring Run Branch and The Belair-Edison Family Health Center to host a Grand Re-Opening Ceremony on Saturday, June 14th, 2014 from 11am-3pm. There will be music, giveaways, activities, a special appearance from Mayor Rawlings-Blake and more! For more information on the Grand Re-Opening Ceremony, contact Amber Bevans at 410-5392370.

BECA HONORS THOSE WHO HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE IN THE COMMUNITY WRITTEN BY JAMES JOHNSON On April 25, the Belair-Edison Community Association (BECA) held a “community appreciation dinner” to honor members for their dedication to the community and continued support of the organization. The event was held at the Humanim building located on Gay Street from 6pm-8pm. Dani Medley, BECA President, greeted guests as they arrived. The Chip Miller Group played a variety of jazz tunes while the association members dined on a lavish buffet catered by Agape Caters. “It is important to be a part of a good and healthy community,” said Medley who encouraged the audience to continue to do their part in making the community of Belair-Edison stronger and safer. She also urged them to get their fellow neighbors on board “as it truly takes a village.” Medley and BECA Board Members

Deborah Evans, James Johnson, and Leah Hinson presented honorees with awards and took pictures to capture the moment. Honorees of the night included Anditria Daily, Valerie Ferguson, Sadie Gooch, Renee Johnson, Angela Medley, Dian Phillips, Lois Ramsey, Dorothy Stanly, and Susan Wheeler. Delegate Cheryl Glenn was also in attendance. The night ended with more great music, lots of laughter and a few tears of joy. For more information on how you can become a member of the Belair-Edison Community Association, call 410-485-5083. Membership dues are only $5, per year, and the Association meets every first Tuesday of the month in the auditorium of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, located at 3801 Erdman Avenue, from 7pm-8pm. Right: Honoree Valerie Ferguson and BECA Board Member James Johnson belair-edison is a healthy neighborhoods and baltimore main streets community

housing counseling corner IT’S TIME FOR BELAIR-EDISON RESIDENTS TO GET FINANCIALLY FIT WRITTEN BY KADIJA HART Belair-Edison Neighborhoods, Inc. (BENI) is pleased to announce the roll out of their Financial Literacy Program, designed to keep residents on track with achieving their financial goals and to further help educate them on the importance of money management. “For so long our counselors have had to respond to the foreclosure crisis and help our neighbors save their homes,” said BENI Executive Director, Johnette Richardson. “Now, we are in a place where we are helping them set their long-term financial goals.” The program kicked off Monday, March 10th and was facilitated by Roy Miller, BENI’s Senior Homeownership Specialist. Miller went in depth with 10 students about the importance of budgeting, energy assistance programs and home maintenance tips. “Personal financial literacy is the first step to gaining control over your financial future,” said Miller. He feels strongly that BENI’s monthly workshops will help attendees learn how to make more informed financial decisions and to take control of their personal, family and educational finances.

The first co-hort participated in a total of four monthly workshops, each designed to provide them with the tools needed to incorporate good financial practices into their daily life. Students completed a variety of personal finance activities including but not limited to creating a comprehensive budget, identifying future financial goals and completing applications for tax credits. Each workshop is facilitated by professionals, in their areas of expertise, and students who attend all four are eligible for BENI’S Savings & Match Program of up to $100. Additional topics include Mortgage Servicing/Refinancing Your Home, Real Estate Services, Banking & Financial Products, and Insurances, Taxes & Tax Credits.

Above: Mr. Miller talks with Financial Literacy students about budgeting.

Registration is currently open for monthly classes beginning July 2nd, 2014 and ending on September 8th, 2014. If you are interested in learning more about BENI’S Financial Literacy workshops or participating in future workshops, call 410-4858422 TODAY!

BENI PARTNER REAL ESTATE AGENTS It’s hard to know where to start when choosing a real estate agent. BENI wants to help take the guess work out of the process. We’ve developed relaƟonships with real estate professionals so we can make your life easier. Call one of our Partner Realtors below, to help you on your homeownership journey today! Any other quesƟons about the home buying or selling process, call BENI at 410-485-8422 June Piper-Brandon® Associate Broker Century 21 New Millennium 6300 Woodside Ct., Suite A Columbia, MD 21046 Direct: 410.292.0100 Office: 410.730.8888 Email: Website: Lisa M. Carter, MBA® Maizon Real Estate, LLC 8 Greenspring Valley Road, Suite 206 Owings Mills, MD 21117 Direct: 410.499.2588 Email: Website: www.bal

Millie Lloyd® Associate Broker Execuhome Realty 9512 Harford Road Parkville, MD 21234 Office: 443.632.3000 Cell: 443.865.3089 Fax: 443.628.9185 Email: Website:

Dee Cain® Maizon Real Estate 8 Greenspring Valley Road, Suite 206 Owings Mills, MD 21117 Direct: 410.262.2205 Email: Website:

Lachele Kellam® Keller Williams Select Realtors 1997 Annapolis Exchange Blvd #500, Annapolis, MD 21401 Office: 443.261.1100 Mobile: 410.908.5434 Fax: 443.261.1111 Email: Website:www.bal Irene Mabry Moses® ABR Broker/Owner Faith Realty, LLC 7127 Harford Road Bal more, MD 21234 Office: 410-426-3456 Cell: 410-925-3960 Email: Website:

community engagement TURNING THE DREAM OF HOMEOWNERSHIP INTO A REALITY WRITTEN BY KADIJA HART Roslyn Jefferson wants everyone to know that there is a myth when it comes to being able to purchase a home. “People make it seem you have to have all of this money or be well-off to afford a home,” said Jefferson. “If I knew what I know now, I would have done this a long time ago but I was discouraged about the income. I’m a little disappointed in myself that I waited this long,” she said. It has only been five months since Jefferson has been in her newly remodeled St. Ambrose home on the 4100 block of Raymonn Avenue but she feels like she’s been there much longer than that. She’d been living in the community for 11 years and was forced to find a new home after the one she was renting went into foreclosure. “I was really upset because I loved my house,” said Jefferson. After talking with a supervisor at her job about her current situation, she encouraged Jefferson give homeownership a try and recommended she attend a First Time Homebuyers Workshop. The Baltimore City employee signed up and before she knew it she was talking with Senior Housing Counselor Roy Miller about how she could achieve the dream of homeownership. “We went step by step,” she said. “Mr. Miller was so kind and encouraged me, especially during

the times when I may have gotten discouraged, by providing me with information and resources about the homebuying process.” Jefferson thought that she wasn’t going to find a home in the community that she loved, until she was encouraged to check out a St. Ambrose home that was for sale off of Sinclair Lane. “Kadija (Hart) called me up and told me to take a look at that home as soon as possible,” she said. When her Re/Max Preferred Realtor, Timothy Lyles, took her on a tour of the home she knew it was the one for her. “It was just like my old house except everything was brand new,” said Jefferson. “Some people don’t like the kitchen being in the basement but I love it. It is so spacious.”

For more information how you can attend one of BENI’s First Time Homebuyer’s Workshops or about St. Ambrose homes available in the community, call 410-485-8422 or log onto www. TODAY!

Jefferson received a total of $31,000 in grants toward her closing cost from Vacants 2 Value, St. Ambrose, CDBG and the Live Near Your Work program. She would have received assistance from Live Baltimore also but went to closing before that money could be distributed towards her home purchase. Once the ball started rolling it took Jefferson, her son, and their seven year old Rottweiler, only three months to move in. “My mom doesn’t officially stay here but she might as well too,” she said. In addition to loving her new home, she also likes the fact that her neighbors are friendly and her block is very clean and quiet.

Above: Roslyn Jefferson in her newly renovated kitchen!


Rosella Eddington has lived in the community of Belair-Edison for over 25 years. In 2003 she retired as an Assistant Chef in the Nutrition Department at Johns Hopkins Medical Center. Retirement meant she had more time to do the things she loved which included going on trips, visiting with family and friends, and simply relaxing. But after four years of doing all the things she thought she loved, she became bored. “I wanted to get out and be active, serve my community, and give back,” she said. Eddington began volunteering at her church and soon found out about volunteering opportunities at Brehms Lane Elementary, the school her granddaughter attended. Since 2007, she has been at several different schools and centers throughout Baltimore and has had many tasks, including assisting staff and faculty with administrative duties, working in the cafeteria, and tutoring students in a variety of subjects. Her love for Belair-Edison led Eddington back to Brehms Lane Elementary School, where she currently works as an AARP Experience Corp volunteer, tutoring Pre-K students in reading and mathematics. She especially loves helping

them learn their basic phonics, the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes and how to write their names. “I enjoy being able to bond with the children,” she said. “Watching their growth over time because of their determination and my help brings me so much joy.” The AARP Experience Corps at Brehms Lane Elementary School has close to 21 volunteers ranging in age from 55-80 plus. The group has been led by Ms. Valerie Blackwell since 2002 and aims to tap into the experience and passion of older Americans to ensure that every child has a chance to succeed in school and in life by providing academic tutoring and mentoring for students in grades K-3. Many of the AARP Experience Corps volunteers live in Belair-Edison and have worked with Blackwell for several years. “The children love seeing our volunteers,” she said. “They often think of them like a surrogate grandparent, aunt or uncle.” During the 2012-2013 academic school year, the program served 6,876 students throughout Baltimore and had 296 volunteer members in 25 schools and centers. Eddington, who is also a member of the Belair-Edison Silver Angels Mature Adult

Above: Rosella Eddington and her Brehms Lane Elementary Pre-K Mentee, Samiya.

Group has had a few health issues that have made it necessary for her to slow down a bit, but she tries to volunteer at least two to three times a week. She encourages others to volunteer because she believes that both teachers and children could benefit from an extra set of helping hands. To learn more about The AARP Experience Corps at Brehms Lane Elementary School, contact Valarie Blackwell at 410-396-9150.

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Summer 2014 newspaper