At approximately 11:00 pm on Tuesday, April 27, 2015, The Mary Harvin Senior Center was destroyed by a massive fire. The structure was approximately 45% complete, having reached the point of putting the building under roof. Tragically, the framing, elevator shafts, and even the foundation were completely lost. Despite that blow, we gathered one year later on April 27 to celebrate the project’s official opening – having completed the rebuild 69 days ahead of schedule! The celebration highlighted this accomplishment, and recognized the unified determination of our entire team to overcome tragedy with triumph.
A $15 million development project, the Mary Harvin Senior Center is the Woda Group’s fifth project in Baltimore. It has replaced a blighted block with 61 units of the highest quality affordable senior housing, along with counseling and job training space. At 10am the day after the tragic fire, Woda met with its professional team of Marks Thomas Architects, Gower Thompson engineers, and Harkins Builders, Inc. to begin the process of rebuilding.
With immediate and strong support from the State Department of Housing and Community Development, Baltimore Housing, and the project’s financial partners Hudson Housing Capital and Capital One Bank, Woda moved with determination to reconstruct the project. Our celebration underscored the determination of a development team and a neighborhood to work together to overcome tragedy with triumph. It moves one step closer to our shared goal of neighborhood renewal and community transformation.
As a founding member of Southern Baptist Church, Mary Harvin’s leadership was vital to her church and to the community it serves. The exceptional housing offered by The Mary Harvin Senior Center honors the value she placed on the quality of life.
The grand opening brought a triumphant conclusion to the collaboration that started five years ago between the Woda Group and Southern Baptist Church. The project is a perfect example of government and private resources coming together for the betterment of Baltimore’s communities.
The Woda Group, Inc. is a fully integrated multifamily developer, general contractor, and property management firm committed to providing quality affordable rental housing. Woda has developed over 9,000 units in thirteen states since 1990. It has over 300 employees and maintains a Maryland office in Annapolis, and offices in Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio.