July 18, 2014
Contact:  Ashley Simmons, Office of the Mayor
(704) 336-3438
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore, MD recently explored two diverse housing developments to learn more about how they are transforming communities in the Queen City. Rawlings-Blake and Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter first met during a conference. Clodfelter extended the invitation to her to visit the developments Tuesday.
“I’ve heard great things about Mayor Rawlings-Blake and her neighborhood initiatives in the City of Baltimore,” said Clodfelter. “I wanted her to see a few of our great developments and their impact in reshaping key communities in Charlotte.”
Rawlings-Blake toured the Brightwalk community, by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, located along the Statesville Avenue Corridor, just outside of Center City. She also visited The Renaissance, the redevelopment of the former Boulevard Homes, located along the West Boulevard Blvd Corridor, just east of Billy Graham Parkway. When complete, both developments will represent signature examples of diverse, mixed-income communities.
Mayor Rawlings Blake spent the majority of her time at the Renaissance.  The residential components and community center at The Renaissance are being developed by Laurel Street Residential (LSR) as a partner with the Charlotte Housing Authority in this 40-acre HOPE VI revitalization.
The Retreat at Renaissance consists of 110 units for seniors and disabled residents. The senior-living community offers residents fully equipped kitchens, open floor plans, spacious closets and laundry facilities on each floor. Community amenities include a large veranda with rocking chairs, private screened in porches, garden plots and a fitness center.
“The Renaissance helps meet the quality affordable housing needs of elderly residents and working families in our area,” said Dionne Nelson, chief executive officer of LSR. “Our model of mixed-income housing affords our seniors and families with safe, economical and environmentally sensitive living with practical amenities to provide a healthy, connected lifestyle.”
Phases II and III of the community, The Residences at Renaissance, are designated for working families of all income levels, affordable and market rate.  Phase II includes 74 units and is fully occupied.  Leasing for the 150 phase III units will begin in Spring 2015. 
The Renaissance community will offer its residents a “cradle-to-career” educational continuum that includes a five-star child development center and a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools PreK – 8th grade school, connection to the greenway, health and wellness services, community garden, exercise facility, library/computer center, pool and playground.
To learn more about The Renaissance, visit For more information about Laurel Street Residential, visit