Bevins and Crandell express optimism over developments in their districts
Eggs and issues were on the menu during the Chesapeake Gateway Chamber of Commerce’s monthly morning meeting on Thursday, February 23 in White Marsh. Councilwoman Cathy Bevins (D-6), Councilman Todd Crandell (R-7) and Councilman David Marks (R-5) attended the meeting to update the chamber on the issues impacting Baltimore County during the new legislative session.
Referencing the opening of Urban Air, a new indoor trampoline park in Middle River, Bevins stated her excitement about the growth and progress along Route 43.
“We don’t have anything like this on the east side. We have been missing that in the Middle River area, you have to go north for that kind of stuff and we deserve to have it.”
She said this, along with the adjacent ground-breaking of the $8 million headquarters and manufacturing plant for MarySue Candies, are all good signs for the area.
Bevins then spoke about the progress of construction of the new Victory Villa Elementary School in Middle River.
The new school will be much larger than the original building that was demolished summer of last year.
“When they build new schools now, they build them to house 700 seats instead of 250 or 300.” The bigger size might alter the redistricting of other nearby schools like Orems Elementary, but Bevins said that the school system will work with the community and the schools’ PTA to ensure a “smooth transition.”
“The big picture is a big new school with technology and air-conditioning and 700 seats, and that will be taking away the overcrowdedness in these other nearby schools.”
Bevins also highlighted the progress being made at Franklin Square Hospital. A new resource center is being built at the site of the former center building and another building is being constructed to partially act as a homeless shelter that will be able to house three times as many people as the former facility. Crandell then spoke, out
lining his optimistic views of the future of District 7.
“We’re right on the cusp of turning this all around,” he said.
Crandell mentioned how organizations across the County have been working together to solve quality of life issues that have arisen for 20-30 years of an economic down spiral due to the closures of local job-creating industries like Bethlehem steel and Western Electric “We have facilitated groups working together. We have at least 50 different community associations in the district. They were all desperate, they weren’t working together,” said Crandell.
That’s changed, he said, and organizations like the Back River Restoration Committee and the crew at Cliff’s Hi-Tech Auto Body Shop have partnered up with Dundalk organizations to clean up trash, board up va- cant homes, and work with and support local businesses and their owners.
“The businesses’ success is the community success”
While District 7 has been feeling negative repercussions from decades of job loss, he said it is also the home of the largest redevelopment on East Coast with the rebuilding of the Tradepoint Atlantic site.
“It has a regional impact. This is going to affect not only the eastern half of Baltimore County, this is going to have a regional impact for the whole state of Maryland.”
Calling the 3100 acres of industrial-zoned property “5 square miles of opportunity,” Crandell highlighted new tenants like the 1.3 million square foot Under Armour warehouse and distribution center that is set to create approximately 1,700 new jobs.
“They are bringing manufacturing jobs, not logistic jobs to the site. Our district is on the rise,” said Crandell. “The Tradepoint project has been the spark for a lot of other activity going on in the district.”
Councilwoman Cathy Bevins (D-6), Councilman Todd Crandell (R-7) and Councilman David Marks (R-5) with William Bafitis of Bafitis & Associates in Essex.