Posted on: June 27, 2024

MCB Real Estate, an institutional commercial real estate investment management firm with nationwide holdings, is proud to announce the completion of vertical construction and the official naming of “The Enolia”, a 151-unit, 473-bed, off-campus housing project located at 4529 Harford Road in Baltimore, MD, less than one mile from Morgan State University’s main campus. The 3.3-acre project is set to open in 2025. This milestone marks significant progress in the partnership with Morgan State University.

“The Enolia”, a 151-unit, 473-bed, off-campus housing project located at 4529 Harford Road in Baltimore, MD

 

The Enolia combines affordability with first-class amenities including study rooms, student collaboration spaces, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a game room, secure bike and package storage, and a spacious outdoor courtyard. Each unit is designed for convenience and comfort, and will offer full-size washers and dryers, granite countertops, and ensuite bathrooms with a one-bathroom-to-one-bedroom ratio throughout. The Enolia is the first new privately built off-campus housing project to serve Morgan students in more than 20 years.

This transformative community development is being named after one of Baltimore’s most significant civil rights leaders: Enolia Pettigen McMillan, who made invaluable contributions to the desegregation of Maryland schools and the advancement of African Americans. Her dedication to these causes led her to serve as the first, and to date, only, female chair of the Morgan State University Board of Regents. After serving in this role, McMillan went on to become president of the Maryland State Colored Teachers Association and the first female president of the national NAACP.

Enolia Pettigen McMillan 1904-2006

“Enolia McMillan’s name carries an enormous amount of respect not just in Baltimore, but as one of America’s most revered civil rights trailblazers,” says MCB Managing Partner and Co-Founder P. David Bramble. “Given her tremendous work in advocating and progressing Morgan’s status as a premier learning institution, it’s only fitting that her name be associated with a project that will help alleviate the housing shortage that has become a significant barrier to the university’s growth.”

For those who were closest to McMillan, who passed away in 2006, at the age of 102, naming the project after her is a testament to the legacy of a leader with an unwavering dedication to advancing equality and opportunity in education. “She committed her life to helping young people find a clear path to knowledge and fighting injustice wherever she saw it happening,” says Dr. Tiffany Mfume, McMillan’s granddaughter and associate vice provost for student success and retention initiatives at Johns Hopkins University, and a Morgan graduate who served in a variety of leadership roles at the school for nearly 25 years.

 

Dr. Mfume continued, “My grandmother originally wanted to become a physician, but realizing the significant obstacles in her path, she focused her energy on becoming a teacher in Baltimore. After that, she just broke down barrier after barrier: first black teacher at an all white high school, first black principal at an all white high school, first woman to be Maryland State Colored Teacher’s Association president, and would even go on to work with Thurgood Marshall on court cases leading up to the historic Brown vs. Board of Education case. She also served on the Morgan State University Board of Regents at a time when the university was in transition and in need of bold leadership and sage governance.”

Building on the solid foundation created by McMillan, Morgan State’s current President, Dr. David Wilson, has set new records for enrollment and is moving the University toward achieving R1 status, a very high research university classification, by 2030. With nearly 10,000 students currently enrolled and more than 50% of new students coming from out-of-state, Morgan has been renting additional housing and hotel rooms off-campus, to meet growing demand. While the University is renovating and adding new housing on campus, The Enolia will be a welcome and convenient addition, offering modern off-campus housing to Morgan students.

Dr. David Wilson, President, Morgan State University

“As Morgan continues to grow, it is imperative that the community we are a part of also flourishes. We are excited about the expansion of housing options for our ever-burgeoning student population and the ability to offer them a modern, comfortable living environment while also paying tribute to a remarkable leader whose legacy of advocacy for education continues to inspire us all,” said David K. Wilson, president of Morgan State University. “Having this new off-campus student housing complex named in honor of the esteemed civil rights pioneer Enolia McMillan, who made history in so many remarkable ways, is a fitting honor and we look forward to this development’s positive impact on our students and the broader community.”

As part of the Morgan Community Mile anchor-institution initiative, the project also removes the largest blighted property on Harford Road, Baltimore City’s longest designated Main Street and replaces it with new housing that will bring new residents to support area businesses. As part of the project, MCB partnered with the non-profit Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street (HLMS) who secured a SEED Anchor Institution grant from Morgan and the State of Maryland to demolish the vacant buildings on the site.

For MCB, The Enolia will build on MCB’s commitment to the University and Northeast Baltimore. In 2022, MCB played a critical role as part of the development team that led the redevelopment of the troubled Northwood Plaza Shopping Center into Northwood Commons, a fully leased retail center anchored by a LIDL grocery store, Barnes and Noble bookstore and Morgan’s new Public Safety Building.

“The Enolia perfectly showcases MCB’s dedication to positive community impact,” adds Bramble. “Our projects are much more than just a sound real estate venture, but an investment in the future of Baltimore.”

MCB and Morgan are not alone in the passion behind this project. One of the key finance partners is WesBanco, which entered the Baltimore market in 2019 and has proven to be a proud Charm City champion ever since.

P. David Bramble and members from WesBanco Team

 

“WesBanco is pleased to support financing for The Enolia, a project that truly aligns with our vision to make every community we serve a better place for people and businesses to thrive,” said John Fetsko, Executive Vice President, Commercial Banking. “This development supports Morgan State University’s future by providing much-needed student housing and it revitalizes the surrounding neighborhood, fostering growth and opportunity. We are proud to be part of a project that honors Enolia McMillan’s civil rights legacy, enhances educational accessibility and strengthens the fabric of the Baltimore community.”

The Wells Fargo Foundation was also fundamental in making The Enolia a reality, having awarded an $800,000 grant to the Morgan State University Foundation, which then invested in the project.

“The Enolia represents a transformative addition to both Morgan State University and the broader Baltimore community,” said Stacy Spann, head of Housing Access & Affordability Philanthropy at the Wells Fargo Foundation. “We are committed to supporting efforts that recognize the importance of housing as a foundation for success and community revitalization.”

About MCB Real Estate

Founded in 2007, MCB Real Estate is a community-centric, privately held investment management firm based in Baltimore, Maryland. MCB has $3 billion in assets under management and a portfolio of approximately 15 million square-feet of industrial, office, retail, mixed-use, multi-family and life sciences properties, with nearly four million square-feet in development. The firm provides integrated commercial real estate services, including development, construction, property management, asset management, acquisitions, and legal support. www.mcbrealestate.com

 

About Morgan State University

Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering more than 150 academic degree and certificate programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.