State of Downtown Report for 2012

| March 21, 2013 | 0 Comments

Downtown Partnership of Baltimore Release: 

Downtown had strong employment & residential base, retail additions in 2012

Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, Inc. today released the 2012 State of Downtown Baltimore Report at a breakfast event attended by approximately 400 regional business, community, and political leaders. The report is an economic benchmark for Downtown Baltimore, the region’s largest economic engine, and is available for download at:

Without a doubt, 2012 was the year that my phone began ringing again, as developers emerged from the recession to move stalled plans forward,” said Kirby Fowler, President of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.

Report data showed an employment gain of approximately 10,000 jobs as Downtown Baltimore held its rank as the 15th most dense employment center in the U.S. The number of jobs rose from 102,700 in 2011 to 113,000 in 2012, a 10% increase. Despite the gain in jobs, the office market vacancy rate held steady at almost 18% as local businesses followed national trends by concentrating more workers in smaller spaces with open floor plans.

Downtown Baltimore’s residential base held relatively steady with 40,246 residents, which ranked 8th in the U.S. for residential density. That number is artificially capped because, with a 97% apartment occupancy rate, demand for Downtown living space outstrips supply.

In a move that addresses both the excess of office space and strong demand for residential space, several projects were begun, or announced, that will transform old Downtown office buildings into apartments. There were 2,100 office-to-residential conversions underway by the end of 2012 that will be delivered to the marketplace over the next five years. An earlier housing study by Downtown Partnership, released in the summer of 2012, showed that the market can absorb as many as 5,800 new Downtown Baltimore apartment units over the next five years.

The rapid growth in the number of Downtown residents over the past several years has caught the attention of retailers and restaurateurs. There were a significant number of shop and restaurant openings in 2012 and reported sales increases of approximately $10 million. Openings included Anthropologie, Brio Tuscan Grille, MAC Cosmetics, and Royal Razor Barbershop. Announced openings for 2013 include the national department store, Marshalls, and multiple small and independent shops.

In 2012, the density of arts and cultural attractions led to the creation of the Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District in the central and western portions of Downtown Baltimore. This formal designation from the State of Maryland provides financial ant tax incentives to grow what is already a vital creative center. As an economic driver and important element of Downtown’s quality of life, the arts will be integral to Downtown’s future.

There were no significant hotel openings in 2012, but 322 rooms are currently under construction and approximately 1,325 are planned for delivery through 2020. In terms of performance, Downtown hotels had stronger occupancy levels, average daily room rates, and revenue per room than the year prior, outperforming hotels within the region and the nation.

The State of Downtown Baltimore Report is produced by the non-profit Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, Inc. Data in the report covers a one-mile radius of Downtown Baltimore with the epicenter at Pratt and Light Streets.


Downtown Baltimore is home to the Raven’s at M&T Bank Stadium as well as Oriole Park at Camden Yards and the world famous Inner Harbor. It is also the region’s leading business center and home to Baltimore’s fastest-growing residential neighborhoods. Downtown Partnership of Baltimore is the advocate for this area representing the stakeholders, residents and businesses, and producing signature events such as Baltimore Restaurant Week. For more information visit:

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News releases from various sources around South Baltimore.