Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott gives his State of the City address on Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Image via Charm TV/Facebook.

The redevelopment of Harborplace, the guaranteed income pilot program applications, and the addition of Cherry Hill to the Charm City Circulator’s service areas were among Mayor Brandon Scott’s announcements in his State of the City address Tuesday.

Developer P. David Bramble of MCB Real Estate has reached an agreement to bring Harborplace’s mostly vacant shopping pavilions out of receivership as part of an effort to revitalize that part of the Inner Harbor waterfront.

“Today, we start a new chapter for Harborplace – bringing Baltimore vision, Baltimore community investment, and Baltimore style to transform Harborplace into a landmark destination where residents can go to enjoy the best that we have to offer – thriving small businesses, green spaces, and cultural venues,” Scott said.

Scott noted other projects in the works, including the redevelopment of Lexington Market, where minority owned businesses will account for more than 50% of vendors; and Whiting-Turner president Tim Regan’s recent acquisition of the shuttered Target store in Mondawmin to turn the property into a hub for neighborhood revitalization.

But the mayor added that “we can’t have equitable neighborhood development without equitable workforce development.”

For that reason, the city is partnering with more than 20 community-based nonprofits to provide free job training to 1,000 Baltimoreans in the fields of health care, construction, manufacturing, information technology, and hospitality. They will also provide other support services, such as legal assistance, behavioral health care, and literacy and financial empowerment services.

In an effort to improve economic equity, Baltimore plans to launch a guaranteed income pilot program in partnership with CASH Campaign of Maryland. Applications for that program will open May 2.

Baltimore City is investing $3 million to ensure ramps, sidewalks and traffic signals comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Scott also announced last fall with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg that the city will create an east-west bus transit corridor with additional dedicated bus lanes; benches, shelters, real-time signage, and other enhancements at more than 100 bus stop locations; and ADA upgrades along the 10-mile route served by Baltimore’s blue and orange bus lines.

The east-west corridor will connect residents with more than 180,000 jobs at places such as the Social Security Administration, the centers for Medicaid and Medicare downtown, and Bayview Medical Center.

The city is also reviewing the Charm City Circulator and over the next few weeks will release a draft of its transit development plan for public comment. The Circulator will also be coming to Cherry Hill, Scott announced.

Scott acknowledged the 1,728 Baltimoreans who have died from COVID-19, including 328 this year.

But those numbers would have been higher, Scott said, without the work of the Baltimore City Health Department and other health professionals.

In particular, Scott recognized the work of home health care professionals whom he said “haven’t been acknowledged on the same scale as other essential workers.”

Baltimore City is partnering with 1199 SEIU, the nation’s largest healthcare union, to fund $2 million in compensation for home health care workers.

The city also continues to be “plagued by gun violence,” Scott said. Last year, 338 residents were killed by violent crime.

But Scott said the Baltimore Police Department has made 363 gun-related arrests this year. They have also recovered 573 illegal guns, including 142 guns used in violent crimes and 113 “ghost guns.”

Scott added that BPD’s Warrant Apprehension Task Force has served 810 warrants for violent crimes, including murder, attempted murder, rape, car jackings and armed robbery.

The city is also working to ensure BPD is policing “more effectively and constitutionally” by redrawing police districts to better match the needs of communities, and focusing officers’ on emergency calls. They will unveil a new “smart policing” program in the coming weeks, Scott said.

“By implementing a smart policing strategy, we can free up valuable time spent by officers on these non-emergency calls, so they can be more proactive and have more visibility, patrolling our communities and making them safe,” he said.

The city also invested $50 million to support violence prevention organizations like Safe Streets, whose violence interrupters have already mediated more than 455 conflicts this year, Scott said.

The mayor added that he plans to outline his vision for a “community violence intervention ecosystem” in the coming weeks, which will include the expansion of Safe Streets’ capacity as well as investing in services such as life coaching, hospital-based violence intervention, school-based response, and wraparound support.

“The responsibility to prevent violence falls on all of us,” he said. “Not one person, not one agency.”

The city is preparing to launch a program for citizens returning from incarceration, which would pay them $15 per hour to clean Baltimore before and after their release.

Another initiative would invest $100 million to increase equitable housing in Park Heights, Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello, Uplands, O’Donnell Heights, and Perkins.

Through Live Baltimore, officials plan to commit $500,000 in the city’s upcoming budget to incentivize more Black and Brown families to move to Baltimore, Scott said.

The city would use $39 million to reduce vacant buildings, and a proposed $90 million to make homelessness “brief, rare and non recurring,” Scott said.

A proposed $16 million would continue the Housing Upgrades to Benefit Seniors program, to modify and repair homes for seniors and provide wraparound services for older adults.

Baltimore is also removing owner-occupied properties from its tax sale list.

The mayor said he proposes a reduction water rate increases to an average of 3.2% per year for the next three years.

Scott wants the city to invest more in Baltimore’s youth, including education and Rec and Parks.

“We will put more effort into their promise than their struggle, more in their support than their shackles, and more in their dreams than their downfalls,” he said.

Scott announced that his upcoming budget proposal will invest over $65 million more into the city school system.

The national nonprofit KABOOM! has also named Baltimore as their first official partner in a $250 million plan over the next five years to improve playspace equity.

Baltimore City last fall allocated $8 million to YouthWorks, serving 4,000 youth over two summers and providing year round employment opportunities for 100 youth as part of the Youthworks Academy.

Scott said that Baltimore had 40 recreation centers a few years ago. Now, there are 52 rec centers across Baltimore, and the city plans to open its 53rd with a new Middle Branch Rec Center in Cherry Hill.

He added that the city will also add a new Furley Rec Center as part of the new Furley Elementary School, a new Parkview Rec Center in West Baltimore, and the Druid Hill Park pool will reopen this summer.

“I want all of us – our young people, our seniors and families – to have access to the rec centers, parks, public pools and athletic courts they deserve,” he said.

Scott highlighted the recent CIAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments that Baltimore hosted, which drew 66,000 fans who attended the tournament as a whole, and more than 13,000 spectators for the championship games – surpassing the championship game in Charlotte, North Carolina by nearly 4,000 people.

The CIAA tournaments also brought in an estimated $3.2 million in hotel revenue, the highest for the last weekend in February since 2015 and the highest daily average since 2007, Scott said.

“CIAA is an example of what we can achieve when we dream big and collaborate with our partners who understand our passion for uplifting our city’s strength instead of magnifying our weaknesses.”

After the tournament’s completion, crews got to work on renovating Royal Farms Arena to be ready for next year’s CIAA tournament.

The project will create more than 500 construction jobs over the next 12 months and the new arena will “re-energize our downtown, complement planned westside investments, and help attract even more events and visitors,” Scott said.

Scott said there is much work ahead for Baltimore City, and solving persistent issues will require innovative ideas.

“When I came into office, city government was broken and rotten to the core from years of dysfunction, turmoil and misplaced focus,” he said. “We had to start from scratch and build new systems from the foundation up, no longer putting new windows on a house with no roof. But together, we are paving a new path forward for our city and the proof of that is evident.”

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Marcus Dieterle

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at

One reply on “Mayor Scott announces Harborplace redevelopment, KABOOM! partnership and more in State of the City address”

  1. James Rouse’s vision of Harborplace was great. The Pratt St. building had boutiques, while the Light St. building was food. I would like to see you bring Harborplace back to its original state. Of course, that’s not going to happen… Whenever there was a convention, you saw the convention people eating at Phillips, and walking along the promenade in the evening. The Inner Harbor today has a totally different atmosphere. It’s unsafe, (although it doesn’t seem that way on the surface) And there should be no vehicular traffic (bicycles, scooters, even skateboards, etc.) And the entertainment is just a free-for-all. What couple would come down to the harbor on a Saturday evening for dinner? All this nonsense has to go. Let’s hope you don’t create a low-class type Harborplace.hamsky

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