Making Baltimore Great for over 35 years...
The Downtown Partnership of Baltimore is your connection to everything that’s happening in Maryland’s largest business center, cultural district, and fastest-growing neighborhoods. Our members get special access to Downtown news and information, networking events, and marketing promotions, and our innovative programs stimulate economic development and transform public spaces. And, our web and social media tools help everyone find dining, shopping, events… even a place to live or start a business.
Together with Visit Baltimore, we produce Baltimore Restaurant Week. Without Downtown Partnership there would be no First Thursday’s Concerts, Charm City Circulator, or annual Monument Lighting in Mt. Vernon. We are also big proponents of the arts, supporting public art installations throughout the downtown, managing the Bromo Arts & Entertainment District, and working with property owners and local organizations to find new homes for arts and entertainment venues in Downtown Baltimore.
If you are on the streets and need assistance, stop into the Downtown Information Center at 10 E. Lombard Street. There you will find maps, entertainment brochures, and a helpful Downtown Baltimore Guide who can help you navigate your stay. It's also home to our Hey Baltimore Podcast Studio and retail store, so allow yourself time to browse.
OPERATIONS & OUTREACH
One of Downtown Partnership’s main priorities is the oversight and organization of the Downtown Management Authority (DMA) district. Spanning 106 city blocks, the DMA is Baltimore’s oldest and largest business improvement district, and home to the largest number of residents and office workers in the city. Services in this area are funded by an annual assessment on commercial properties and support our Downtown Baltimore Guides, Clean Street Ambassadors, and Outreach team.
Clean Street Ambassadors
Our CSAs are hard at work seven days working to empty trash from more than 400 cans in the DMA, sweep streets, remove graffiti, clean alleys, and report code violations. We are firm believers in the “broken window” theory that if litter and graffiti are not addressed daily, investment in the area decreases. This program also provides entry-level jobs and training to many people who have overcome a past of addiction and incarceration.
Downtown Baltimore Guides
Our hospitality-trained Downtown Baltimore Guides (DBGs) are the welcoming face of the DMA. They provide a visible, positive safety presence and serve as hospitality guides for those navigating the Downtown. If you are working late and need assistance getting to your car, bus
stop, or nearby destination within the DMA district, you can call our
Downtown Baltimore Guides. Click here for more info.
We worked with public and private organizations to improve the services provided to people living on the streets through a team of outreach workers, who have been able to help hundreds of people find shelter, food, benefits, mental health care, medical care, and even permanent housing… whatever they need, we will try to help.
Supplemental Safety Initiatives
We are also behind several other innovative programs that include: the Downtown Safety Coalition, a cohort of police and private security providers in the area, at all levels of government; close coordination with the Baltimore Police Department on deployments, crime reporting, and monitoring safety cameras; hiring private security to supplement police patrols; and, supporting Youth Ambassadors and other programs that engage teenagers when they’re in Downtown.
For more than twenty years, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore has provided vision and leadership on issues that affect the success and vitality of Downtown, including large-scale capital projects that have dramatically improved key public spaces, and roadway corridors. Our efforts bring public and private sectors together, increase property values and investment levels, and attract new residents, retailers, and office tenants.
Pratt Street Redesign
A project ten years and 16 blocks in the making, the Pratt Street Redesign was led by DPOB in conjunction with the City of Baltimore. It has reimagined the corridor into to a greener, people-minded urban boulevard. We removed berms to make way for improved landscaping and street-level retail expansion. The tree canopy was increased and two bio-retention basins were installed to filter and contain rainwater, and pedestrian bridges were removed to create better sightlines.
McKeldin Plaza sits squarely in the middle of Downtown Baltimore. Our multi-phase $4 million renovation created a more welcoming gateway from the south featuring terraced seating, a water feature, and new lighting elements. These upgrades made the space more accommodating for festivals, events, and civic engagement.
In 2019, DPOB culminated in a $6.75 million rehabilitation of the gardens retaining wall, lawns, irrigation, lighting, and upper level. Most notably the project restoring the 100-year-old stone and brick retaining wall, realigned traffic lanes on upper Saint Paul and created an expanded park space. We transformed the dark, foreboding tunnel beneath the Orleans Street Viaduct in the park with a colorful, energy-efficient LED light display.
Center Plaza is a 1.7-acre park that was part of the historic Charles Center development. What was once a desolate haven for pigeons, is now a popular lunchtime gathering spot where we host monthly happy hours, playdates, outdoor movies, and weekly fitness classes. To keep the space well-programmed and maintained, we established the Center Plaza Foundation – an oversight organization comprised of surrounding property owners who contributed to the Plaza’s reconstruction and ongoing maintenance.
DPOB has undertaken several projects to create a welcoming and visually interesting environment for the many stakeholders who enjoy this plaza including a large-scale sculpture by Wendy Ross, entitled Flora; decorative fountain lighting providing visual interest year-round; and in 2019 we installed a bocce court and dog walk for nearby residents.
DPOB restored the fountain to working condition and added a light feature that adds visual interest to the foundation at night and during the winter months. An old analog clock was meticulously restored to working condition and improvements were made to the trees and tree pits in the plaza, which is now a popular, shaded lunchtime destination.
Downtown Partnership provides research-driven initiatives that foster development and track Downtown’s economic progress. Our Economic Development team serves as a resource for businesses looking to move, grow or expand in Downtown.
Business Attraction and Retention
We keep on top of the latest tax incentives and historical preservation updates to help businesses navigate growth in Downtown neighborhoods. Our services also include helping developers navigate permitting and municipal
processes. We also help to recruit cultural activation that enliven the area including Charm City Night Market and Charm City Fringe Festival.
Our research team compiles and publishes data on important sectors of Downtown’s economy, including key movements in retail, tourism, and both commercial and residential real estate. We track hotel occupancy rates, conduct construction project analysis, and provide members with tools to monitor progress and seize new opportunities.
Real Estate Development and Planning
Collaboration with both City agencies and private and public partners to maintain an inventory database and a pipeline of future projects helps us ensure smart growth in the areas of residential, commercial development and transportation projects and access. In partnership with the State of Maryland, we manage Project C.O.R.E. and Community Legacy grants to support development in targeted undeserved areas. In 2018 we helped secure nearly $450 million to support the Current Gallery and Le Mondo.
We also know it’s critical to help the Downtown business community connect, and host annual networking educational events to review the latest trends and developments. We work closely with the City’s Commission for Historic and Architectural Preservation to landmark buildings; lobby for historic tax credit improvements; create Planned Unit Developments and offer assistance throughout the process. And, we oversee a Facade Improvement Program that helps restore existing storefronts. Since 2003, Downtown Partnership has administered over $2.3 million in grants and leveraged millions in private investment to benefit 262 properties.
Downtown neighborhoods, and Charles Center in particular, have the fastest-growing residential population in Baltimore. To help inform and activate city residents and property managers, we host a series of events to encourage active two-way communication.
Bromo Arts District Management
We were one of the entities behind the creation of the Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District, and have long supported the work of artists and cultural organizations Downtown. Bromo is a 117-acre stretch along the Howard Street corridor where artists and arts organizations can receive tax benefits and a variety of other supportive programs. We’re happy to operate the Bromo organization out of our offices and do whatever we can to ensure a sustainable environment where artists and arts organizations can thrive.
PARKS & PROGRAMMING
Downtown Partnership’s Parks and Programming department improves, maintains, and programs numerous public spaces helping to provide a clean, inviting, and engaging Downtown experience.
Landscaping and Maintenance / Park Enhancements
On average, we plant and maintain 50 new street trees, 6,500 in-ground plants, and 329 flowerpots annually. The hard work is done by our Park Stewards who are out in Downtown parks five days a week. They’re the ones cleaning, mowing, watering, pruning, and maintaining everything from street furniture to overhead lighting. We plant and maintain hundreds of tree beds, and bio-retention basins on the North side of Pratt Street between Hanover and Gay streets, at Pratt and Eutaw and at Commerce and Lombard.
• Preston Gardens
• Hopkins Plaza
• Courthouse Plaza
• Battle Monument
• Center Plaza
• Liberty Street Dog Park
Like the best public spaces around, we activate our public spaces with a variety of events, both free and ticketed, all year long. Click here to learn more.