“We all love Baltimore!” With that one simple declaration, University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) President Jay A. Perman, MD, provided the unifying theme for the 2015 annual meeting of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore (DPOB). Perman has served as chair of the group’s board of directors since 2013, providing leadership to DPOB efforts to revitalize and improve the quality of life in the city’s downtown neighborhood.
“We will remind the world of the good things that happen every day in our city,” Perman exhorted several hundred representatives of the group’s 650 member companies who attended the meeting Sept. 24. “We will remind them of the extraordinary people who make Baltimore shine. And we’re working harder than ever to spread this good news — to attract and retain employers, residents, and visitors who contribute to our strength.”
“Through it all,” Perman offered, “we’ve learned that if we come together as one community — one Baltimore — we can make a real and lasting difference. (Full remarks in video below)
DPOB President Kirby Fowler reminded the gathering that the downtown area is still the city’s fastest growing neighborhood, giving credit to a productive relationship with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “She’s already embarked upon and succeeded on pension reform, population growth, school construction, the restoration of public markets, the creation and support of the Bromo Tower Arts District, the adoption of the apartment tax credit, and of course expanding and retaining the circulator program, just to name a few things.”
The mayor thanked Perman for his partnership, adding, “I understand how valuable the university is to the future of our city and to West Baltimore, so I want to thank you for your leadership, Dr. Perman, and your partnership.”
Rawlings-Blake told the gathering that her administration’s building tax credit sparked a wave of residential conversions and office buildings. “Projects like 26 South Calvert Street, which was offered for redevelopment by the BDC [Baltimore Development Corp.] in 2012, is now actively leasing and has helped to continue the positive momentum,” she said. The mayor also expressed her excitement for high-profile projects, such as 10 Light Street, which will include a 42,000-square-foot Under Armour Performance Center.