Down­town Part­ner­ship un­rec­og­niz­able in re­cent op-ed

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD -

I read the re­cent op-ed by Bill King about the Down­town Part­ner­ship, but didn’t rec­og­nize the or­ga­ni­za­tion he was talk­ing about at all (“Bal­ti­more’s Down­town Part­ner­ship needs a new leader who will make down­town a pri­or­ity again | COM­MEN­TARY,” Feb. 7).

As one of the largest stake­holder groups in my district, I work with the Down­town Part­ner­ship team nearly ev­ery day on is­sues that range from ma­jor cap­i­tal projects, to pub­lic safety, to help­ing find hous­ing and other as­sis­tance pro­grams for people liv­ing on the streets.

In terms of the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s con­tri­bu­tions to the city, few can match its record of success.

Un­der the im­pres­sive lead­er­ship of Kirby Fowler, the Down­town Part­ner­ship helped to write and ad­vo­cate for a hous­ing tax credit that not only helped the en­tire city, but turned the area around Charles and Bal­ti­more streets into the city’s fastest-grow­ing res­i­den­tial neigh­bor­hood.

Sim­ply put, the ex­plo­sive growth of res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment in down­town would not have hap­pened with­out them. They have pro­vided in­valu­able as­sis­tance to nearly ev­ery prop­erty ren­o­vated in the down­town area over the last 15 years.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion was a leading ad­vo­cate be­hind the creation of the Charm City Cir­cu­la­tor.

They have at­tracted more than $24 mil­lion of in­vest­ment to ren­o­vate and trans­form such pub­lic spa­ces as Cen­ter Plaza, Hop­kins Plaza, Pre­ston Gar­dens, and McKeldin Plaza.

Fol­low­ing on suc­cess­ful plans to re­vi­tal­ize the Charles, Calvert and Pratt Street cor­ri­dors, the or­ga­ni­za­tion has been work­ing with the Bal­ti­more De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion to de­velop oncene­glected prop­er­ties on Howard Street.

And just next week, thanks in sig­nif­i­cant part to Mr. Kirby’s lead­er­ship and guid­ance, the city is fi­nally break­ing ground on a new Lex­ing­ton Mar­ket.

I hope Mr. King will spend more time get­ting to un­der­stand the or­ga­ni­za­tion and its in­cred­i­ble im­pact on Down­town Bal­ti­more be­fore com­mit­ting his thoughts to paper in the fu­ture.

Eric T. Costello

The writer is a Bal­ti­more City Coun­cil­man, rep­re­sent­ing the 11th District.

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