What’s happening?

While 2021 housing and employment numbers are up in downtown Baltimore, retail and hospitality businesses are still recuperating from pandemic losses, reports Lorraine Mirabella for the Baltimore Sun, based on an annual report published Monday by the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.

How do the findings characterize the future of downtown Baltimore? 

The study, which details metrics within a mile of Pratt Street,  Light Street, and the central business district, signals a future “renaissance” for downtown Baltimore. Employment rose from about 117,000 workers in 2020 to around 125,000 in 2021. In 2020, residents occupied 93% of housing units, which increased to 95.2% in 2021. Office spaces in the area have also begun to recover at a faster pace than other markets regionally and nationally. 

Despite these gains, the report also noted that “without a full complement of retail and dining options, open spaces and infrastructure investments, these residents could depart, exacerbating Baltimore’s population decline.” 

Anything else I should know? 

At the Downtown Partnership’s May 9 meeting on the findings, Mayor Brandon Scott  highlighted the challenge that rising incidents of violent crime pose to the downtown area’s continued success.

You can read more here.