By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Where many see blight, others see opportunity.

Alex DeMetrick reports the Baltimore neighborhood rocked by a riot last spring sees a future of innovation.

Baltimore’s Penn-North section may have been the center of rioting last April.

“But now is the time and our opportunity to build a unified community here in Baltimore,” said Andre Robinson, Mount Royal Community Development Corp.

And it starts with location–and a plan to turn the community into an innovation village.

“We have all these great assets that entrepreneurs need. We have universities; we have access to transportation. Right here at Penn-North, we have subway stations, light rail stations,” said Richard May, Mount Royal Community Development Corp.

The footprint for the innovation village runs the length of North Avenue, from MICA to Coppin State University.

“There is dire need,” said Dr. Steva Komeh.

Komeh lives in the area. She’s like others who braved the cold to hear organizers lay out their goal to attract start-up companies and jobs.

“I think it’s wonderful. I think this is the right time for it. I think this is something that’s been sorely needed for a long time,” Komeh said.

It’s going to take the city’s help.

“To see what tax incentives can be shaped to make sure entrepreneurs can come in and set up shop,” May said.

Within the innovation zone, the state is already demolishing long vacant structures and offering a tax break for manufacturers to build.

In recent business and trade publications, Baltimore is listed as one of the hottest start-up cities on the East Coast.

Alex DeMetrick


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