Photograph of the entrance to a four-story multifamily building, accented by a pergola extending across 12 bays of the façade.
Photograph of a large room with several sets of tables and chairs, a pool table, and a kitchenette.
Photograph of a patio with a pergola shading several tables and chairs beside a multistory apartment building.
Photograph of a large room with a stationary bike, stair stepper, and treadmill.
Photograph of two façades of a four-story multifamily building.

 

Home >Case Studies >Bon Secours Builds Gibbons Apartments to Provide Safe and Healthy Housing in Southwest Baltimore

 

Bon Secours Builds Gibbons Apartments to Provide Safe and Healthy Housing in Southwest Baltimore

 

Bon Secours Baltimore Health System, which has been building and rehabilitating affordable housing in Baltimore for 30 years, opened Gibbons Apartments in June 2016. The 80-unit affordable development provides housing and recreation in Southwest Baltimore, a community that, according to the Baltimore City Health Department, scores in the bottom third of nearly 25 measures of neighborhood conditions that shape residents’ health, including the built environment, education, safety, housing, and access to nutritious food. Bon Secours took on the development of Gibbons Apartments as the first stage of the redevelopment of the 32-acre site of the former Cardinal Gibbons High School. In 2012, St. Agnes Healthcare purchased the site to build Gibbons Commons, which will eventually include recreational, retail, and other nonresidential space in addition to Gibbons Apartments. Along with its many planned uses, Gibbons Commons’ location near Interstate 95 and beside St. Agnes Hospital, a major employer, helped convince Bon Secours to build Gibbons Apartments.

Affordable and Healthy Housing

The 4-story building, which opened in 2016, consists of 24 one-bedroom, 48 two-bedroom, and 8 three-bedroom units. All the apartments are available to residents, including families and seniors, who earn between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income. The Housing Authority of Baltimore City supplies vouchers for 19 of the apartments, which are set aside for nonelderly persons with mental or physical disabilities. Six common areas include a fitness room and a community room with a large-screen television, pool table, and kitchenette. Each floor also includes a lounge that can be used for study, board games, video games, and ping-pong. Outside of the building are a play area and 110 surface and underground parking spaces.

Gibbons Apartments earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification in the Multifamily Midrise category, in 2017, by including numerous measures that conserve energy and water and promote residents’ health. For example, the development has an efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system and double-pane windows. The building is furnished with Green Label Plus carpets, which emit low levels of volatile organic compounds, promoting healthy indoor air quality. But perhaps most important, says George Kleb, executive director of housing and community development for Bon Secours Baltimore Health System, is that Gibbons Apartments’ safe and affordable housing provides stability that can improve residents’ health.

In addition, Bon Secours’s community health education team conducts health screening and educational events, such as blood pressure checks and presentations on healthy eating and good nutrition. Gibbons Apartments also has a service coordinator on staff who offers residents individualized support. The coordinator shares information about medical benefits and assists tenants who may fall behind on their rent by connecting them with employment training, placement services, and other support. The coordinator can also arrange for GED® courses or other educational assistance for residents.

Financing for Gibbons Apartments

The apartments cost nearly $19.5 million to build and were supported primarily with 9 percent low-income housing tax credits. Enterprise Community Investment functioned as the intermediary for the tax credits, which Capital One purchased; the bank also issued a permanent loan. Bon Secours provided critical predevelopment funding for architecture and environmental assessments, which needed to be completed before submitting the tax credit application. Other permanent financing included Baltimore’s HOME Investment Partnerships program and a $500,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta’s Affordable Housing Program.

Table 1: Financing for Gibbons Apartments

Low-income housing tax credits

$15,000,000

Private permanent loan

2,480,000

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Rental Housing Program funds

500,000

HOME Investment Partnerships funds

750,000

Other sources

730,000

Total

$19,460,000

More than Housing

Residents in Gibbons Apartments will benefit from the mixed uses proposed at Gibbons Commons. For example, Babe Ruth Field, which opened in November 2016, can be used by residents of the development and the surrounding community for baseball, football, lacrosse, soccer, and other sports; the field is located where Babe Ruth learned to play baseball at what was, in the early 1900s, St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys. The site plan also calls for offices, retail space, and a YMCA or other recreational center. Adjacent to Gibbons Commons, Saint Agnes Hospital runs a workforce development program, the Caroline Center, which runs 15-week, tuition-free classes for Baltimore women to become certified nursing assistants and certified pharmacy technicians.

Meeting Community Needs and the Bon Secours Institutional Mission

In 2014, Bon Secours signed a compact with then-mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to participate as one of several anchor institutions in a community and economic development strategy. The plan is a vehicle for Bon Secours to carry out its faith-based mission to help people heal and reach their full potential. In addition to building and rehabilitating affordable rental housing, Bon Secours is offering workforce development and early childhood education programs, and the hospital is facilitating relationships among neighborhood leaders, city agencies, and faith-based institutions. Bon Secours will soon supplement Gibbons Apartments with two new housing developments in Southwest Baltimore developed using low-income housing tax credits. New Shiloh Village Apartments, under construction on the campus of New Shiloh Baptist Church, will be a 73-unit building for mixed-income families. Nineteen units will be set aside for households with vouchers, 11 for persons with disabilities, and 8 for people who are formerly homeless; another 8 units will not be income restricted. Bon Secours is also planning to redevelop rowhouses in the neighborhood to create between 50 and 60 rental units. If approved, this project will be the fifth phase of Bon Secours’s renovation of rowhouses into rental apartments in the neighborhood.


 

Source:

Enterprise Community Investment. 2016. “Bon Secours Gibbons Apartments Opens in Southwest Baltimore,” press release, 13 September. Accessed 4 May 2018; Baltimore City Health Department. 2017. “Baltimore City 2017 Neighborhood Health Profile: Southwest Baltimore.” Accessed 15 May 2018; St. Agnes Healthcare. n.d. “Gibbons Commons.” Accessed 4 May 2018; St. Agnes Healthcare. “Royal Farms, Y of Central Maryland Join Saint Agnes’ Gibbons Commons project.” Accessed 4 May 2018; Correspondence from George Kleb, executive director of housing and community development for Bon Secours Baltimore Health System, 29 May 2018.

×

Source:

Enterprise Community Investment. 2016. “Bon Secours Gibbons Apartments Opens in Southwest Baltimore,” press release, 13 September. Accessed 4 May 2018; Interview with George Kleb, executive director of housing and community development for Bon Secours Baltimore Health System, 14 May 2018.

×

Source:

U.S. Green Building Institute. n.d. “Bon Secours Gibbons Apartments.” Accessed 29 May 2018; Housing Authority of Baltimore City. 2016. “Baltimore Housing Celebrates Bon Secours Gibbons Apartments Grand Opening.” Accessed 30 May 2018; The Carpet and Rug Institute. n.d. “Green Label Plus Fact Sheet.” Accessed 15 May 2018; Interview with George Kleb, 14 May 2018; Correspondence from George Kleb, 29 May 2018.

×

Source:

Interview with George Kleb, 14 May 2018; Correspondence from George Kleb, 29 May 2018.

×

Source:

Interview with George Kleb, 14 May 2018; Correspondence from George Kleb, 29 May 2018; Document provided by George Kleb.

×

Source:

St. Agnes Healthcare. 2016. “Introducing Babe Ruth Field,” Your Best Health, 23 November. Accessed 5 May 2018; Correspondence from George Kleb, 29 May 2018; St. Agnes Healthcare. 2016. “Caroline Center Opens Tuition-Free Career Training Program to Women in West Baltimore,” press release, 26 January. Accessed 5 May 2018; Caroline Center. 2018. “Ready for a professional career in healthcare?” Accessed 30 May 2018; St. Agnes Healthcare. 2015. “Saint Agnes Hospital Unveils Plans & Partners at Gibbons Commons Groundbreaking,” press release, 5 May. Accessed 30 May 2018.

×

Source:

City of Baltimore. 2014. “The Baltimore City Anchor Plan: A Community and Economic Development Strategy.” Accessed 30 May 2018; Interview with George Kleb, 14 May 2018; Correspondence from George Kleb, 29 May 2018.

×