The governor of Maryland wants to clean up one of Baltimore's most dilapidated neighborhoods by knocking down thousands of vacant buildings and replacing them with parks and green space. Gov. Larry Hogan recently unveiled a plan to offer incentives to developers who want to bring new projects there.

The joint effort by the state and city governments focuses Sandtown-Winchester, the childhood home of Freddie Gray, whose death after suffering a severe spinal injury in police custody sparked riots last spring.

“Fixing what’s broken in Baltimore requires that we address the sea of abandoned, dilapidated buildings that are infecting entire neighborhoods,” said Hogan, who was joined by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D) and other top officials. “They aren’t just unsightly, they are also unsafe, unhealthy and a hotbed for crime.”

But those who live in the neighborhood voiced skepticism about the promise of recreational spaces and future development projects. They welcomed the razing of long-abandoned buildings but said there is an urgent need for affordable homes to replace them.

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