Johns Hopkins, MICA receive city support for Station North community development

Johns Hopkins University is among five recipients of grant funding to support community development projects in Baltimore, the mayor's office announced today.

Johns Hopkins and MICA have been awarded $40,000 for a project that aims to extend the resurgence of activity in Station North farther up Charles Street, helping to bring new businesses and residents to the area between 21st and 25th streets. Working with Central Baltimore Partnership, JHU and MICA want to attract and support entrepreneurs who can fill storefront vacancies with clusters of similar businesses, building a reputation for the area as a hot spot for, say, galleries, boutiques, salons, or restaurants.

Simultaneously, the institutions will support community and business groups in initiatives to create a unique "sense of place" for the area with streetscaping, signage, neighborhood events, pop-up venues, and sidewalk sales.

The idea is that simultaneous retail and residential initiatives can feed on each other—and on new activity in other nearby areas like Remington and Charles Village—so that businesses attract new families to the area and a stronger customer base attracts more retail.

The effort is already underway; CBP and others have organized business networking events and promoted open storefronts to potential lessees. A pop-up shop is in the works, and the partners are promoting the neighborhood on Facebook.

The grant is among four totaling $109,000 approved today by the city's Board of Estimates and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as part of the Baltimore City Anchor Plan Community Development Grants program. Other awards approved today support projects near the campuses of Bon Secours Baltimore Health System, Coppin State University, and the University of Baltimore.