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Initiative To Get More Businesses Near Inner Harbor Continues

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Pratt Street Initiative
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Improvements one construction project at a time. In a push to generate more businesses to move back to Pratt Street near the Inner Harbor, a huge initiative was launched years ago.

Marcus Washington has more on the project’s progress.

For the past six years, we’ve seen changes along Pratt Street to bring new businesses to the area. Now we’re starting to see the vision come to light.

From the exposed ceiling—hanging wires and construction crews working hard from every angle—it’s clear a construction project is underway. But this work at Ellin and Tucker accounting firm is just a small part of a bigger project outside the building: the Pratt Street Initiative.

“We’re hoping that the vision of the Pratt Street Initiative brings more of the locals back in the community and interact with the tourists,” said Edwin Brake, CEO of Ellin and Tucker.

Nearly seven years ago, the plan went into place to bring more businesses back to this area. In that time, nearly $4 million has gone into making Pratt Street the key boulevard of the city.

“If we think the suburbs, our county systems are going to thrive without a thriving center city, it’s just not going to happen. It will die eventually; it’s just a matter of how long it will take,” Brake said.

One of the goals of the Pratt Street Initiative is to bring businesses closer to the street, making them more a part of the Inner Harbor.

“We have 90 foot sidewalks and not many cities have that, so we have ample opportunity to create a space like this,” said Kirby Fowler, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.

Fowler says in a partnership with the city and private sectors, improvements were made with landscaping and removing obsolete skywalks, making the area more welcoming for everyone from tourists to locals.

“For people to be able to walk up and down it and have an enjoyable pedestrian experience the entire stretch of the way,” Fowler said.

This project is scheduled to be complete by late September, with another project in the works a few blocks up.

More businesses are scheduled to move into the area by early 2015.

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