Q&A With Pigtown Main Street Executive Director Ben Hyman

| December 21, 2012 | 4 Comments

SouthBMore.com caught up with Ben Hyman, new executive director of Pigtown Main Street, to see his goals and visions for the South Baltimore Business District near Pigtown, Barre Circle and Ridgely’s Delight.

-What is your background and what attracted you to this position?

I had worked in City Hall for City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young for nearly three years before accepting this position.  I am a life-long Baltimore resident (grew up in Mt. Washington), and I am excited to be back in the community, making a difference every day.

-What excites you about Pigtown Main Street and its future?
Pigtown is an unbelievable community with great tradition and opportunity.  No other neighborhood can boast of its proximity to downtown, access to Carroll Park and convenience to major highways and public transit to Washington.  I believe that Pigtown is on the verge of a revival.

-What are your goals while executive director of Pigtown Main Street?

The mission of Pigtown Main Street is to enhance the defined commercial corridor by:

o Improving the visual appeal of Pigtown

o Promoting Pigtown Main Street branded events

o Connecting community institutions, and

o Protecting the integrity of the Pigtown brand

 -I’m a business owner looking for a retail location, sell me on Pigtown!

Pigtown presents a great opportunity for business.  We are conveniently located two blocks from Camden Yards, M&T Bank Stadium and the Hilton Baltimore hotel.  Pigtown is a great value for a business that wants access to customers who frequent these landmarks.

-Are there any other Main Streets in Baltimore that can be used as an example for Pigtown?

Though not an official Baltimore Main Street, I think Pigtown can be compared to Hampden.  We both have unique charm (Hairspray-style in Hampden, pigs in Pigtown), and a great mix of neighborhood businesses and residents.  Hampden is a destination neighborhood and Pigtown can be the same.

-Will Pigtown Main Street work with the owners of vacant store fronts to influence renovations and attract tenants?

Pigtown Main Street is committed to attracting new tenants to vacant storefronts along Washington Boulevard.  It is also our mission to improve the visual appeal of Pigtown.  We will work with various stakeholders, including property owners, to achieve those goals.

-How important is it to attract more bars and restaurants to the area?

I believe that it is very important that we attract commercial tenants that benefit the neighborhood, are patronized by neighbors and take advantage of our proximity to nearby amenities, such as downtown.  I am open-minded about any business that meet those criteria.

-Can a healthier Main Street lead to a healthier Pigtown and Barre Circle?

Absolutely!  We want to develop a commercial corridor that Pigtown, Barre Circle and other surrounding communities can be proud of.  We are looking for new businesses that neighbors will patronize.

-Where do you see Pigtown Main Street in five years?

I believe that Pigtown is on the verge of something great.  No other neighborhood can boast of the amenities that Pigtown offers.  I am excited to see what the coming years hold for Pigtown.

About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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