South Baltimore Business Roundup

| May 31, 2017 | 0 Comments

GBC Calls Cutbacks of Baltimore Police Funding “Troubling”

The Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC), which describes itself as “the region’s premier organization of business and civic leaders” that “has been a leading voice for the business community on issues relating to economic growth, job creation, workforce development, transportation and quality of life,” has written a letter to the Baltimore City Council calling the proposed $5.5 million decrease in the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) “troubling.” From the letter:

The public consensus, shared by the Greater Baltimore Committee, is that the city should be investing more in our city’s children than in law enforcement – an investment that will serve to provide opportunities for educational advancement and career options that will form a foundation to refrain from criminal activities.

But for a city experiencing historic levels of violence, reducing the city’s commitment to crime fighting is troubling.

Over the past several years, the police department has seen a significant decline in the number of sworn officers. Despite an accelerated hiring strategy, attrition continues to outpace hiring, frequently forcing officers to endure overtime shifts to ensure daily patrol needs are met. Detective case loads are nearly triple industry standards. Homicides are 41 percent higher than at this time last year while violent crime and street robbery are each up 20 percent. A simple comparison of the number of sworn officers to the number of homicides over the past several fiscal years tells a stark tale of decreasing police presence and increasing violence. This trend cannot continue.

A reduction of even $5.5 million from the police department’s budget is likely to severely hamper law enforcement strategies and services at a time when we need renewed efforts to ensure not only more effective policing but also have the need to expend additional resources to comply with the important commitments made in the Consent Decree.

Large Middle Branch Property on the Market

Gold and Company, LLC recently listed a 4.9-acre industrial property, which is occupied by approximately 10,000 sq. ft. of buildings, on the market for $2.2 million. The property is located at 2924 Waterview Ave. and also includes the addresses of 1706 and 1710 Cherry Hill Ave.

The property is across the street from Middle Branch Park and is adjacent to a recently-sold, 3.1-acre site at 2940 Waterview Ave. James Chivers of Gold and Company told that the adjacent property is undergoing “major” improvements and is available for a tenant.

Photo courtesy of Gold and Company

Charm City Carousel Closes

Charm City Carousel closed and removed its carousel from Rash Field at the Inner Harbor.

A redevelopment of Rash Field is expected to begin in early 2018.

Gervonta Davis Signs with Under Armour

Former Digital Harbor student and IBF Junior Lightweight Champion boxer Gervonta Davis has signed with Under Armour. Davis can be seen on Under Armour billboards that rise above I-95 in Baltimore. From The Baltimore Sun:

“Baltimore’s Own,” reads the sign in oversized block lettering alongside his name, “World Champion Boxer” and the logo of Under Armour, which announced Wednesday that it has signed the undefeated fighter to an endorsement deal.

Davis smiled broadly when he saw it. The International Boxing Federation champion is 18-0 with 17 knockouts and has now taken out Michael Phelps — not in the ring, but on a pair of local billboards that long featured pictures of the Olympic swimming champion.

Also from the article:

“Our I-95 billboards are our hometown heroes,” said Adrienne Lofton, the Baltimore-based apparel and footwear company’s senior vice president for global brand management. “We look for the next best talent all over the world. So being a young athlete from Baltimore, we knew about him.”

Natty Boh Tabs for Crabs

A new National Bohemian (Natty Boh) initiative, which involves new red can tabs with crabs on them, launched to help support Chesapeake blue crab research and restoration. From National Bohmeian:

Since 1885, there’s been no greater Chesapeake tradition than enjoying hot steamed crabs & cold refreshing National Bohemian Beer. To honor Maryland’s state crustaceans, Natty Boh will donate 10 cents for every 1 red Crab Tab that our consumers collect and send in (up to $10,000 total) to The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s local blue crab research & habitat restoration efforts. Our goal is to collect 100,000 Tabs for Crabs in 2017, and with your help we can make it happen!

Tabs can be mailed to:

Natty Boh Tabs for Crabs
3600 O’Donnell St.
Baltimore, MD 21224

Photo courtesy of National Bohemian

Diamondback Launches Ping Pong League with Mindgrub

Diamondback Brewing Company launched a ping pong league that utilizes an app created by fellow McHenry Row business Mindgrub. The app launches tomorrow.

From a press release:

Users will be able to download and sign up for a position in the league with matches to be held on Thursdays and Sundays at Diamondback Brewing Company. The mobile app, powered by Mindgrub, will monitor each user’s standings in a ladder based system that tracks wins and losses throughout the league.

Port of Baltimore Sets Record, Plans To Expand

The Port of Baltimore continues to grow. From Baltimore Business Journal:

Cargo intake at the Port of Baltimore increased 4.8 percent in the first quarter on the way to setting a new record.

The port brought in 2.56 million tons of general cargo first quarter, up from 2.4 million tons in the same period last year. General cargo includes cars, containers, farm and construction machinery, forest products and breakbulk.

A 6 percent increase in cars and an 8 percent increase in containers drove the overall growth in cargo.

The Port is also moving forward on an expansion. From The Baltimore Sun:

For the first time in 30 years, the Maryland Port Administration has acquired land to accommodate growing business.

The port administration announced Tuesday that it has completed the purchase of Point Breeze Business Center near Seagirt Marine Terminal in Southeast Baltimore in a $55 million deal that will expand Seagirt’s footprint to 356 acres.

The acquisition is symbolic of a reversal of fortunes for the port of Baltimore, which in recent decades has struggled to remain competitive with larger East Coast ports in New York and Norfolk, Va.

The port now needs extra land to help handle the growing volume of containerized cargo it’s been seeing since the expansion of the Panama Canal. The widened canal gave the super-sized container ships carrying Asian-manufactured goods a more direct route to U.S. East Coast ports beginning last summer.

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About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of, 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 and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.