State of Maryland Moves Forward with Plan to Bring 3,300 Employees to Downtown Baltimore

| April 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

On Monday, Governor Larry Hogan announced the initial steps to move 3,300 State employees from 12 different agencies from the aging State Center complex to Downtown Baltimore. He said this move will “help revitalize the city’s Central Business District.”

To put this plan in motion, the State is publishing a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking commercial office space to relocate the headquarters of the Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) and its 720 employees to the Downtown area. The department will need approximately 105,000 sq. ft. of office space.

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) will be the second state agency to move to a new location, bringing an additional 1,199 State employees to Downtown.

Earlier this year, the Hogan administration worked with legislative leaders to commit $50 million in supplemental budget to support the relocation of state agencies to downtown Baltimore.

Governor Hogan made the announcement from McKeldin Plaza near the Inner Harbor. He was joined by Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, Senate President Bill Ferguson, Department of General Services Secretary Ellington Churchill, and President of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore Shelonda Stokes.

“A strong Maryland depends on a strong Baltimore, which is why the entire state government has been working to improve the city,” said Governor Hogan in a press release. “These two agencies will bring the first nearly 2,000 workers of what will be 3,300 workers total to the downtown area, which will be a big boost for the revitalization and transformation of downtown Baltimore.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to rethink and reimagine state government operations and workforce needs in ways that fit the demands and conditions of our current reality and our future,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford in a press release. “It is my hope that as we move forward, we can provide modern and vibrant workspaces for our hardworking state employees, and that this investment will spur additional economic and civic revitalization and transformation of downtown Baltimore.”

“The Governor’s decision to relocate a large number of state employees to Baltimore’s central business district will have a significant economic impact on the many businesses downtown that rely on office workers to stay profitable,” said Greater Baltimore Committee President and CEO Donald Fry in a stament. “It also underscores that the downtown area remains highly attractive as a location to base major office operations and may help attract other tenants. The relocation of state offices to the downtown business district will also help to restore a vibrant and active downtown neighborhood.”

On Facebook, Senator Ferguson, who represents this section of Baltimore, said, “I was thrilled to join Governor Hogan, Lt. Governor Rutherford, Secretary Churchill, and Shelonda Stokes, President of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, to announce a $50 million investment by the State to relocate Maryland employees at State Center in the Downtown Baltimore community. At a time when vacancy rates are skyrocketing across urban cores across the country due to COVID-19, Maryland is leading the way in public investments to reinvigorate our downtowns.”

“This is amazing day for our City, for the CBD, for us all. Governor Hogan, I can not thank you enough,” said Stokes, who noted there is almost 2 million sq. ft. of vacant space in the Central Business District. She also noted the 3,300 State employees moving offices to Downtown will lead to an additional 500 ancillary jobs for the area.

The Maryland Stadium Authority is currently underway on a study of the future redevelopment of the State Center properties. The study will appraise State Center to determine the current and potential market value of the site, and compose and issue a Request of Interest (RFI) to gauge the market interest of potential development options for the site.

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