The time is right for a community-driven SRP in Market Center because:
- Grassroots, inclusive, incremental revitalization is the most sustainable, equitable approach to economic development, and Baltimore City needs this, particularly in a neighborhood with such transformative potential;
- Market Center’s historically low residential population is growing;
- Key grassroots organizations, including MCMA, Market Center Community Development Corporation, City Center Residents Association (CCRA), and Bromo Arts and Entertainment District, are coalescing around a set of revitalization principles which must be solidified, expanded upon with broader input, and articulated in an official document;
- The Baltimore Development Corporation is selling many city-owned properties in Market Center, meaning that a lot of properties are “in play”;
- The Baltimore Public Markets Corporation (BPMC) is planning to redevelop or rehabilitate Lexington Market, and BPMC; while its investors need confidence that Market Center will support the investment Market Center can also greatly benefit from a revived market;
- The reinvigorated UniverCity Partnership needs a better context for action; and
- Funds from the Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative (BRNI), a key state revitalization funding program, are only available to communities with approved SRPs.
- Market Center has ongoing challenges of a significant stock of vacant, underused, and derelict buildings, long-term disinvestment, and associated social ills despite excellent transit accessibility, walkability, and a vast stock of attractive but underused buildings. The recent night market shows, that with proper planning large amounts of people are willing to come here.
- Done correctly, Market Center has the unique capacity to absorb significant residential, business, and job growth in a location readily accessible to all Baltimoreans, without displacement.