On Thursday, the Baltimore City Planning Department held a presentation on the master plan for Port Covington, which lays out a transformative vision for the development. As one of the largest urban renewal efforts in the country, Port Covington will have positive, far-reaching effects on our neighborhoods and our City. Throughout this exciting process, there have already been and will be many more opportunities for input and discussion.
Thursday was no exception.
The hearing offered everyone in the community the opportunity to learn more about the plan and to share their views on the future of Port Covington. It was great to hear from so many local residents, who came to speak about their support for the redevelopment.
People like Mike Middleton, chairman of the Cherry Hill Coalition, kicked off the public testimonials with this powerful statement in favor of the redevelopment:
“For a long time the Cherry Hill community was, in fact, the site of the Baltimore City Dump. For several years, maybe decades in fact, this is the area or section of Baltimore which has long suffered and has lacked the opportunity to have sustainable types of community. We, in fact, applaud the opportunity for Port Covington to come into the South Baltimore area and believe, in fact, that this could be a development that will be transformational for the entire region…I am pleased to tell you that we believe that the nature of the master plan that is being presented in its draft form is something that we in the surrounding communities agree with and applaud at this particular stage.”
Davon Barbour, Vice President of Economic Development at Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, also testified on behalf of the redevelopment, and he shared this:
“The advancement of Port Covington sends a powerful message to the national market that Baltimore City is a viable place for investment. The private sector investment ultimately will create jobs, improve quality of life, and strengthens the City’s tax base.”
John G. Paré Jr., Riverside resident, outlined five reasons why he supports the transformation of Port Covington:
- It will revitalize an area desperately needing revitalization.
- It is pedestrian-friendly… If you ever have tried to walk from the Riverside neighborhood over to the Port Covington area, which I have done, you’re taking your life into your hands. To walk under the I-95 bridge, there is really nothing quite like walking in the street. And this plan will correct that and I applaud that.
- The park area that this is proposing will be a real addition to the city.
- Throughout the project and permanently (it will) create a lot more jobs for the city.
- The tremendously increased tax base and economic development for the city.
And Wayne Frazier, President of the Maryland-Washington Minority Contractors’ Association, said, “Never before have we seen anything like this in Baltimore. And I go over to DC too. Nothing like this. As you can see, I fully support it. And I think the whole Sagamore team that designed this…is well thought out. Bravo. Thank you.”