Tag: gentrification

Study: Baltimore has seen one of the highest rates of gentrification in the U.S.

An interactive map of Baltimore’s gentrification. The light blue areas indicate Census tracts eligible to be gentrified. Dark blue shows areas that gentrified. Pink shows areas that gentrified and displaced blacks. Yellow shows areas that gentrified and displaced whites. Image via the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

From 2000 to 2013, Baltimore experienced the fifth highest rate of gentrification in the United States, ranking behind bustling cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, according to a new study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), a nonprofit that tries to steer investment into underserved communities.

Baltimore joins those four cities and San Diego and Chicago in accounting for half the gentrification to occur nationwide in that time frame.

Op-Ed: Project C.O.R.E. Has Already Excluded Madison Park North Residents


By Elizabeth Kane, a student at The Park School of Baltimore.

Walking past the site of the now-demolished Madison Park North apartments on Easter weekend, I stopped to notice a sign with a drawing of the new buildings going up in the neighborhood. It reads, “Working Together to Realize a New Vision for Madison Park North,” but, with a marker, someone had altered the sign to say, “Working Together to Realize a New Vision for White People.”

In Formstone Portraits, MICA Grad Student Captures Faces of Gentrification in East Baltimore

Portraits from “Facing Change,” by MICA graduate student Ben Hamburger.

For longtime dwellers of the neighborhoods around Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Dunbar-Broadway, the differences between their streets today and a decade ago are night-and-day. Amid razing of building and rapid redevelopment by Hopkins in East Baltimore, the structures they once occupied have been torn down and replaced, leaving behind piles of formstone debris.

Where Gentrification Is Happening in Baltimore



Photo courtesy Greenmount Avenue
Photo courtesy Greenmount Avenue

“Gentrification” is a word that gets thrown around a lot. Sometimes it’s a “loaded term”, sometimes it’s a warning, and sometimes it’s a call for development. But just where (and how) is such gentrification happening? Governing Magazine decided to examine the issue on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis, looking at census tracts where certain signifiers of gentrification– home prices, median incomes, and educational rates– showed significant increases over a short period of time. 

Gawker Says Hampden Is the Williamsburg of Baltimore



Hampden's Baby New Year Bob Hosler flanked by Margaret Baird (left) and Kathy Flann (right)
Hampden’s Baby New Year Bob Hosler flanked by Margaret Baird (left) and Kathy Flann (right)

Maybe this just goes to show that trying to determine the most Williamsburg-ish neighborhood in every major city in the United States is a meaningless exercise, or maybe it goes to show that I am way off on what I think of as “Williamsburg-ish.”

Because why not, Gawker conducted a readers poll to decide which neighborhood in a given city is its “Williamsburg” and which its “Bushwick.” Apparently, our Williamsburg (Brooklyn’s soon-to-be-former hip artist enclave) is Hampden, and our Bushwick (Brooklyn’s current hip artist enclave) is Station North.

Gentrification, Recycling, or Something Else? An Interview with Antero Pietila



courtesy Greenmount AvenueAntero Pietila worked his way across the Atlantic on a freighter from Finland in 1964. He joined The Baltimore Sun in 1969. He is the author of the Baltimore City Paper’s 2010 Best Book about Baltimore Not in My Neighborhood: The Story of How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City.

Greenmount Avenue: The area that comprises Station North was once an industrial area due to easy access to the Baltimore Belt Line. The building that is now known as the Copy Cat (1501 Guilford) was part of the Crown Cork and Seal Company, right? I know that the building that is now known as Area 405 (405 E. Oliver) manufactured air-dryers and foam rubber at different times in its history. Did these manufacturers have any role in the construction of the homes in Barclay below North Ave? Were these homes available for African-Americans and/or Jewish-Americans?

Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks in Baltimore


baltimore rent overall

We live in an economically-segregated world, so much so that it’s sometimes difficult to get a wider view and see things as they really are. That’s why I’m a fan of websites like Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks, where a savvy data journalist has combined U.S. census data with Google Maps technology to create a stark visual representation of who lives where — and how much it costs.

Woodberry Kitchen Team Just Signed a Lease on a Remington Location

Woodberry Kitchen
Woodberry Kitchen

The controversial development of Remington continues as Amy and Spike Gjerde, the duo behind the unintentionally Al Borland-themed farm-to-table restaurant Woodberry Kitchen, have signed a lease at what used to be a tire shop across from Charmington’s

“In-the-middle” Baltimore Neighborhoods Key to Mayor’s Ambitious Population Goal, Says Study

The Station North Arts and Entertainment District, one of the “middle” neighborhoods cited in the study.

According to a recent study by the Goldseker Foundation, “Great Neighborhoods, Great City: Strategies for the 2010s”, the secret to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s goal of attracting 10,000 new families (which would equal 22,500 new people) to Baltimore by 2022 hinges on neighborhoods. Specifically, those neighborhoods the study calls “in the middle”: neither totally stable, nor totally free of “distressed block groups.” Focusing improvement efforts on these neighborhoods, so the logic goes, will give us the most bang for buck, as they are the neighborhoods that combine room for growth with likelihood for growth.

This is a strategy that the Goldseker Foundation began advocating more than a decade before Rawlings-Blake declared her ambitious goal in December. So far, results have been mixed. Over the past ten years some of these neighborhoods “in the middle” have declined to the point that all of their blocks are either “distressed or middle market stressed block groups.” These neighborhoods are Better Waverly, Charles North, Coldstream/Homestead/Montebello, Coppin Heights/Ash-Co-East, Brooklyn/Curtis Bay/Hawkins Point, Cylburn, Garwyn Oaks, and Mondawmin.

On the other hand, some middle neighborhoods have recovered to the point of having no distressed block groups, including Bayview, Ednor Gardens-Lakeside, Glen, Greektown, Lauraville, Levindale, Mid-Town Belvedere, Moravia-Walther, Morgan Park, Mt. Vernon, Old Goucher, Seton Hill, and Watherson.

SoBo Grocery Sort


I’ll admit it.  The new Harris Teeter in South Baltimore’s Locust Point is food nirvana.  Dry-aged tenderloin beef.  Stone crab claws.  Prosciutto by the slice. But I think there’s something lost with the opening of a gourmet supermarket in SoBo.  It’s the mix of race and class I’ve seen in the grocery aisle.

Before Harris Teeter, the only full-size supermarket south of the Inner Harbor was the Shoppers Food Warehouse at the Southside Shopping Center.  A colleague of mine once joked that Shoppers offers the best people-watching in the city: yuppies in business suits complaining about the bad produce, frat boys from Riverside buying stacks of frozen dinners, grandmas holding coupons like hot hands in poker, cashiers with big butts and bigger hairdos, white moms loading toilet paper and pork chops into folding shopping carts they push home and black moms loading groceries into taxis that carry them home to the food deserts of southwest Baltimore. It’s a mosaic of shapes, sizes and colors all packed into the same, usually long, checkout line. People bound together by lack of choice.

But with Harris Teeter comes choice.  I fear the mosaic will break into its component parts.  It’s what author and journalist Bill Bishop calls the Big Sort: When given the choice, people will organize themselves into like-minded clusters.   In this case, white-collar folks will go to Harris Teeter.  Working-class folks will stay with Shoppers, especially when the 25-percent-off Teeter coupons expire. 

In some ways, this stratification in the grocery aisle is just human nature, or to borrow the cliché from the avian world, “Birds of a feather flock together.”  We feel safer and more comfortable around people who look like us.  Plus, we’re only talking about groceries, right?

Maybe not.  The new Harris Teeter is a reflection of the gentrification of South Baltimore.  The recession has tamped down home prices for now. But most locals expect the gourmet grocer to attract more young professionals to the neighborhood, and maybe even suburban families ready to give the city a try.  Rents for the new apartments next to Harris Teeter range from $1,400 to $2,500 a month.

What this means for me is that I’ll be sharing my neighborhood with more people who look like me: a 40-something white Baltimore transplant with a desk job and liberal arts degree. Yuck.  I can look in the mirror to see that.  What I want to see is a kaleidoscope of people; old-timers and newcomers, people who worked at the Proctor & Gamble soap factory and people who work at Under Armour, people who walk everywhere and people who drive, people who like purple Christmas trees and people who like real ones, people who wear Gore-Tex jackets and people who wear clear vinyl rain hats.  It’s the crazy quilt of SoBo that I’ve come to love.  It’s not always pretty.  But it keeps me warm.  And with that, my compassion for the differences I see grows. 

Even so, you will see me at Harris Teeter.  And the new Asian bistro that will be opening soon, along with the new dry cleaner and doggie boutique.   Shoppers will still draw me in, especially for the 59-cent “Colossal” glazed donut, the best in Baltimore.  And the smoked turkey tails.  Harris Teeter only has wings and legs.  But really, I’ll keep going to Shoppers to be around people who are different from me.