NOTE: SCNA would like to thank the Seton Hill Association for temporarily housing the SCNA website, as we work to stand up www.scnabaltimore.org.
Governor Hogan kills State Center Redevelopment
On 21 December, the Governor killed the State Center Redevelopment plan. He, along with Comptroller Peter Franchot and the State Treasurer Nancy Kopp voted to rescind prior approval for this plan. This is devastating for West Baltimore, and the revitalization that has long been planned. There has been a lot of press about this cancellation. You can read about it here.
The plans for this project started more than 10 years ago, in 2005 under then Governor Bob Erlich. The state complex comprised of dilapidated buildings that were no longer meeting the needs of the State. The infrastructure was old, and the technology outdated. The area became a ghost town after business hours, and this hulking complex cut right through 12 communities. The plan for State Center Redevelopment was born. It was going to be a 28-acre complex that would unite these 12 communities which are comprised of nine neighborhoods, that would create a vibrant community where people could work and live. There were plans for a grocery store, and shopping. It was a transit-orientated development that had bike trails and sidewalks and connected you to the City’s public transportation options. This was a once-in-a-generation opportunity, and the 12 communities formed the State Center Neighborhood Alliance to ensure that the voices of the affected communities were heard.
After many years of planning, which were interrupted by an unfounded lawsuit, the community met on 21 March 2016 to sign the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), the first of it’s kind in the city. The developers and the community members, along with their representatives, sat down to talk about the development. It laid out what the redevelopment would look like. Crucially, it included a revenue for the community. Not only did SCNA get to have a say in the development, but some of the money from this development would go right back into the community. Read all about it here, and here.
2015 was also a big year for the project, as the State Center Neighborhood Alliance sponsored two huge events to get the word out about this development. On 15 May 2015, the SCNA had an incredible event with The Gathering! Close to 1,000 people came from all over Baltimore and Maryland to listen to music, enjoy the food trucks and to support redevelopment!
Development in West Baltimore is essential if we expect to see any changes. In an area that is disconnected from its surrounding communities, State Center Redevelopment will change that. It will unite the area, not only bringing the 12 communities together, but also by creating access to downtown, where there are jobs. The area, widely known as a food desert, will finally receive a much needed grocery store, as well as additional shopping and affordable housing. This kind of development and vision do not come along often, and it’s absolutely been absent in West Baltimore. It’s time to #growbaltimore, #growmaryland
The other event that SCNA hosted was on 26 March 2015. Not only did literally hundreds of people from all over Baltimore and Maryland turn out to support the efforts of the State Center Neighborhood Alliance, but we were honored to have so many local leaders in attendance, to include Council President Jack Young, Councilman Eric Costello, Councilman Carl Stokes, as well as members from the Mayor’s office and the Baltimore Development Corporation. We were also able to capture the attention of former mayor Sheila Dixon and former delegate Shawn Tarrant, both of whom attended the event to express their support of a new State Center!
Every month, the SCNA meets to discuss the redevelopment of the State Center. For those of you unfamiliar with this project, the innovative redevelopment of State Center will provide jobs, homes, retail, an increased tax base, and community improvements to a long neglected area of the City just north of our neighborhood. Your representatives in the Seton Hill Association have been involved in the planning of this project for over 8 years. If you are interested in supporting this effort, please contact scneighborhoodalliance@gmail.
State Center has been in the news a lot recently and we’re working hard with our neighbors to ensure that this project is not derailed. One of the neighborhoods, Seton Hill, was recently in the news regarding State Center, eliciting support from our local elected officials.
This page is intended to provide you with updates, both regarding the work of the alliance, as well as what the city and state officials are planning.
There are a number of ways you can help further this initiative! The most important thing you can do is let our elected officials of the State and the City to know how important this development is to you, the City and the State. The SCNA sponsored a petition, where in more than 600 people signed to state that State Center Redevelopment Matters!
Want more information about the project itself? Check out the developer’s website: www.statecenter.org.