The developer whose teardown of two historic millworkers’ houses in Woodberry sparked efforts to designate the community a local historic district has expanded her holdings in Woodberry.
Katherine Jennings has acquired a metal-clad industrial building next to the now-empty lots where the two 1840s-era stone houses were demolished to make way for her proposed apartment building, Woodberry Station.
The demolition alarmed Woodberry residents because a representative for Jennings’ team, Chris Mfume, had promised the community the houses at 3511 and 3523 Clipper Road would be saved and incorporated into the proposed building.
Following the surprise demolition, Mfume left the development team, and community leaders started the process to designate Woodberry a historic district.
The latest plans for Woodberry Station call for it to rise five stories, contain about 51 units, and have some of the stone from the razed houses on the exterior.
No Specifics Yet
If Jennings gets a permit to demolish the building she recently purchased, it potentially would give her land to build more apartments along Clipper Road, part of the area that the Planning Commission yesterday approved for designation as a local historic district.
Jennings could not be reached. Local residents were alerted to the purchase in a message by the Woodberry Community Association.
“It has been confirmed that Kathy Jennings purchased 3535 Clipper Road and settled in January,” Sheri Higgins, the association president, said in the message. The property is north of the vacant lots, at the intersection of Druid Park Drive and Clipper Road.
Higgins said Jennings told the association that the purchase will allow her development team “to control what happens next to their investments,” but she has no immediate plans for 3535 Clipper Road.
“Of tentative consideration,” Higgins said in her message, “would be amenities not only for their tenants but also for community use.”
High Purchase Price
Formerly occupied by the Charles E. Bristor Company, maker of stapling, tacking and nailing devices, the two-story building is now locked up and marred by graffiti.
State assessment records show the property was purchased from the Bristor family for $326,000 – far above the lot’s assessed value of $73,000.
Residents have voiced concerns that the apartment building Jennings wants to build next door is out of scale with other residences in the area and will add to traffic and parking problems along narrow Clipper Road.
This is one of two projects Jennings has underway in Woodberry.
Two buildings she acquired at 2080 Rockrose Avenue were demolished to make way for Rockrose View, a four-level, 12-unit apartment complex being built by Commercial Construction, an affiliate of Kevin Johnson’s controversial (here and here) Commercial Group LLC.