A $23.5 million economic development project to transform 3.5 acres of dilapidated buildings and overgrown lots into a vibrant urban culinary center is underway with pro bono assistance from Ballard Spahr real estate attorneys.

Attorneys from the firm's Baltimore office helped the nonprofit developer—American Communities Trust (ACT)—secure the land for the Baltimore Food Hub and negotiate leases and other agreements to enable the effort to move forward. The project—to include teaching and commercial production kitchens, food manufacturing, job training, urban farming, and a market—broke ground last week at 1801 E. Oliver St. in East Baltimore. The site was formerly a Baltimore City Water.

Works pumping and repair station but has been in disuse and decaying for many years. It is considered a gateway site because of its visibility to passengers on Amtrak trains that pass through the city.

Ballard Spahr has a long history of pro bono work and civic activity to improve Baltimore for residents, workers, businesses, and visitors. The Baltimore Food Hub will provide economic development, create jobs, and increase access to healthy food for low-income residents.

ACT CEO China Boak Terrell said Thomas A. Hauser and Devin T. Kitchelt—Baltimore-based attorneys in Ballard Spahr's nationally recognized Real Estate Department—played a crucial role in preparing the project for groundbreaking.

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