Few TV or film productions are as intrinsically tied to their locales as The Wire is to Baltimore: The HBO series filmed in the city for over five years, during which time the cast and crew seemed to have developed a relationship with the city and its citizens. And the extent of that connection has just been revealed with the news that several cast members are teaming up to invest in a multi-million dollar apartment building in Baltimore’s arts district.
Wendell Pierce, who starred as Detective William “Bunk” Moreland, is one of the actors investing in the $20 million complex, which the actor tells Fusion is a pilot program and “the beginning of a jobs program he intends to expand to other parts of the city.” Some of the building’s apartments will be leased to Baltimore artists at a discounted rate, and any artist living in the building will have a chance to show their work at one of the galleries within. Most importantly, Pierce says that Baltimore residents will be hired to do construction on the project: “They’re not going to be the entire workforce, but we wanted to put together a jobs program for people from the community.”
Pierce is not alone in his admiration or efforts—his former cast mates Sonja Sohn, Felicia Pearson, and Jamie Hector are also investing in the building, which is breaking ground this July for completion in late 2017. In other Wire-related philanthropic news, Sohn and Hector have launched non-profits for inner-city youth, while Pierce has helped rebuild his New Orleans neighborhood.
[Note: Fusion, like The A.V. Club, is owned by Univision Communications.]