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Baltimore Turns 300 In 2029; Let’s Build Together!

*These thoughts are those of Chris Stoner, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of those interviewed.

On July 30th, 2029 Baltimore turns 300! This site exists to both celebrate the best of our home, and to think out loud about the changes we want to see when we hit that milestone.

Below I share some of the ideas I have for improving Baltimore. Some are grandiose, some are minimal in the scheme of things.
You might agree conceptually with some, or you might agree with none. If you agree with none, I respect that. If you have better ideas – I’m all for that!

I’m posting these simply as talking points, with the belief that it’s going to take a collective effort to help bring about needed change.

If you look at Median Income and Education rates, the Baltimore Metro is one of the most affluent areas in the Country. We’ve had tremendous gains in Cyber Security, Ed Tech, Bio Tech, Financial Services. As a community, we don’t do a good enough job of promoting the positives that do exist… and every positive gets drowned out by the negatives.

We believe that if you grew up and/or live in the Baltimore Metro – Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll, Harford, Howard – you are from Baltimore. If we as a whole want to rid the City of the social ills which damage all of us – whether you live in Canton, or Catonsville, or Ellicott City, or Bel Air, or Glen Burnie, or Westminster – it is going to take a group effort.

It should be clear to the Metro as a whole – we can no longer turn a blind eye towards the ills which have ravaged Baltimore City for too long.

Some Of My Ideas:

1) Partner each Public City HS with a Manufacturing, Construction, or Cyber Security company. In each HS, build training centers for either skilled labor or coding.

1a) The participating companies gain the potential of developing future talent, but also should be provided with additional incentives for participation.

1b) The commercial construction companies would be asked to do some renovation to each HS. Future City & State contracts awarded to companies who provide the school renovations.

1c) All students on track to graduate can participate at the respective HS Training Centers. Participating students ‘graduate’ with what would be labeled as Phase 1 Certifications.

1d) The participating companies partner to build a Phase 2 Tech Training Center within the City, with Port Covington be a preferred location. With Phase 2 Certification, those graduates become priority hires.

2) There are 16,500 abandoned houses in Baltimore.

2a) Tear down ½. (8,250)

2b) Renovate ½ (8,250). Housing tear down and reconstruction completed by Baltimore Metro residential construction companies. Cost of that reconstruction fronted by Bank of America, Care First, COPT, Constellation, John Hopkins Hospital, KELLY, Lupin, McCormick, M&T Bank, Pandora, SC&H Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Stanley Black & Decker, T.Rowe Price, and Under Armour.

2c) One-half (4,125) of the renovated properties are sold, with the sponsoring companies being reimbursed via those sales.

2d) One-half (4,125) of the renovated properties are awarded to a percentage of the Phase 2 graduates. Other renovated houses are provided to Police, Fire, and Teachers. All awarded houses come with contingency that the Owner must utilize as their primary residence for X amount of years.

3) Bank of America, Care First, COPT, Constellation, John Hopkins Hospital, KELLY, Lupin, McCormick, M&T Bank, Pandora, SC&H Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Stanley Black & Decker, T.Rowe Price, Under Armour donate funding necessary for construction renovation of Baltimore’s 10 Police and 38 Fire Stations.

3a) Police and Fire Station renovations are completed by Baltimore Metro commercial construction companies.

4) Bank of America, Care First, COPT, Constellation, John Hopkins Hospital, KELLY, Lupin, McCormick, M&T Bank, Pandora, SC&H Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Stanley Black & Decker, T.Rowe Price, Under Armour, lead a dollar-to-dollar match with the Small Business Community and General Public for combating Blight, Bay Restoration / Waterfront Improvement, and Green City initiatives.

4a) Goal Totals are $200M towards Blight, $300M towards Bay Restoration / Waterfront Improvement, and $200M towards Green City initiatives.

5) Make immediate cosmetic improvements on the entrances into the City via I95, I83, Edmondson Avenue, US 40, etc. Utilize local Architects (and Landscape Architects) and Landscaping companies for this work. In the overall scheme of things, this is a lower priority; but these entries are the ‘front of the house’, and your first impressions. Give incentives for participation. Award future City & State contracts to the companies which participate.

6) Finalize plans for Convention Center expansion. It seems clear this is going to require a combination of Private, City and State financing. Baltimore is now 80th (or higher) nationally in convention space, Baltimore is now missing out on numerous conventions, with similar sized markets taking more of their share, and without the ability to compete for the larger events.

7) With the Baltimore Arena renovation now happening; attempt to lure:

  • Conference Tournaments: Big Ten, ACC, A10, CAA, MEAC…
  • NCAA Regionals… hasn’t happened in over 20 years.
  • NBA / NHL Regular season games. Ted Leonsis claims Baltimore. Some regular season Wizards, Capitals games should be plausible.
  • College, High-School, AAU Showcases.
  • Obviously all current events, with a consistently higher level of acts.

Need to use the Arena renovation as a catalyst towards West Baltimore development.

7a) Build a Soccer Specific Stadium. Pattern it after San Antonio’s Toyota Field. Something that can be utilized immediately for USL Championship Level play, and also usable for the Premier Lacrosse League. The benefit of the San Antonio / Toyota Field is that it was built in a way to be easily expanded should need / opportunity (MLS) arise.

8) There must be Mass Transportation improvement. Not just within the City or Baltimore Metro; but with connection to the DC Metro. The Greater Washington Partnership argued for more local control. Discussion on the bus redesign can be found here. The Northeast Maglev is an interesting concept. Montgomery County has a developer proposing a monorail for I270. Is that a realistic option for Baltimore?

9) Re-imagine Harborplace. The development should be high-end, more in-line with National Harbor. A combination of innovative companies, and a ‘Restaurant Row.’ Go target emerging startups and creatives (particularly restaurateurs) in the most expensive cities in the US to live, and give them financial incentives (including space, capital, and tax cuts) to bring their operations to Baltimore. Some of their spaces could be in this ‘new’ Harborplace. Also carve out space for Baltimore’s creatives.

A Daily Record article with 9 viewpoints on how to revive Harborplace.

A Baltimore Sun article on Developer David Bramble acquiring and reimaging Harborplace.

10) On a Monthly basis, there should be a meeting where the following parties attend:

  • The Mayor of Baltimore, along with the County Executives of Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Harford County, Howard County, and one of the Carroll County Commissioners.
  • The heads of the Greater Baltimore Committee, Baltimore Development Corporation, TEDCO, Maryland Tech Council, Visit Baltimore, ETC, WTCI.
  • Care First, Constellation, Johns Hopkins Hospital, McCormick, T.Rowe Price, and Under Armour.
  • The goal being to bring these respective leaders together regularly to discuss advancement for the Baltimore Metro.

Let’s both acknowledge the issues we face, while also doing a better job of touting our strengths!

The conversations we do have, have to be focused on addressing what we can address. Correcting what we can correct. Transformation can come to this City if we collectively agree to build together.

Let’s build the City we want to have!

Christopher Stoner

Christopher Stoner

Owner of Baltimore Sports and Life, Founder of Pacesetters, Founder of Baltimore 2029.

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Our issues are real, but so are our strengths. There are opportunities here for you to help create solutions to our problems and opportunities here for you to benefit from our existing positives. How will you be part of a better tomorrow in Baltimore?