Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More jobs and new residents. Has the economy finally picked up for downtown Baltimore? A new report released this week shows small signs of improvement.
Gigi Barnett reports some of the action comes from the city’s strong sports teams.
2012 was a strong year for downtown Baltimore. The number of jobs rose by 10 percent across the board. In addition, more people decided to move in and call the city home.
Those are the findings of a new report released this week by the Downtown Partnership. It’s a promising sign that Baltimore’s downtown economy may be turning around.
“There’s a lot of right things happening,” said Kirby Fowler.
Fowler heads up the Downtown Partnership, a nonprofit group that promotes business in Baltimore. He says more stores are setting up shop downtown and younger workers are flocking to them.
“The young in particular are really globbing on to this urban lifestyle and downtown can offer it. Plus, the employers want to be where the great talent is,” Fowler said.
Another big draw that adds a silver lining to the city’s bottom line: the sports are bringing in fans. With the power-packed combination of the Super Bowl-winning Ravens and the upward-bound Orioles and hotels like the new Four Seasons are sitting pretty.
“We couldn’t ask for a better thing,” said one official. “I think we’re being spoiled between the Orioles and the Ravens and we are all going to want to see that again.”
Something else the city wants to see again: more hotel construction. While there were no significant hotel openings last year, about 1,300 rooms are planned in several hotels to open through 2020.
Several restaurants opened up last year as well. Restaurants and stores saw a $10 million boost in sales.