Bevins and Cran­dell ex­press op­ti­mism over de­vel­op­ments in their dis­tricts

The Avenue News - - NEWS - By: GIANNA DECARLO gde­carlo@ches­pub.com

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.

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