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Case #216

Regenerating Baltimore?s Downtown Distrtict


In Baltimore a plan to raze 150 buildings containing more than 100 small businesses in the city?s onetime thriving retail center has languished in the wake of organized resistance. Opponents argued against the use of the city?s condemnation powers and the need for excessive state funding. In Baltimore?s downtown district, modest regeneration has been taking hold. Several catalytic projects now under way create new residential, office theater and hotel space.


Author?s Comment:

?The regeneration process, reflecting trends occurring across the country, combines renovation of existing buildings, often using rehabilitation tax credits, with construction of new buildings. Typically, one or two such projects jump-start revitalization. This rebirth strategy does noe depend on budget-busting subsidies and huge outside developers.

?In recent years the regeneration of historic downtown areas has led the way to broader revitalization. Even big-box retailers and national chains have discovered the advantages of renovating existing buildings in downtown markets. Downtown is where the retailers want to be. They can be made to come on urban, not suburban terms.
The common link in the resistance to these proposals is the presence of strong coalitions of historic preservationists and local business associations.?

See also ch85 Pittsburgh, and New Haven

Contacts: Roberta Brandes Gratz is the author of Cities Back From the Edge: New Life for Downtown (Wiley) and a senior fellow at the Urban Husbandry Communications Project in New York City.
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Extent of Action: Local
Year(s): 2000
Outcome successful
Source: Nation, April 23, 2001


Prepared By: rja
Rating: 1
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