A dream derailed

The nation’s largest urban redevelopment, a projected $1.8 billion effort to transform 88 acres of East Baltimore into a world-class biotech park and idyllic urban community, lies derailed amid vacant lots, boarded houses and unfulfilled dreams a decade after it began. The effort to give new life to a decaying community behind Johns Hopkins Hospital began with unbridled optimism. Then-Mayor Martin O’Malley and civic leaders promised that it would ... Full Story »

Posted by Jon Mitchell - via Maryland Daily Record
Tags Help
Topics: Baltimore
Member Tags: biotech park, boarded houses, east baltimore, east baltimore development inc., Johns Hopkins, johns hopkins hospital, the new east baltimore, the new east baltimore project, vacant lots, ebdi, urban
Editorial Help
Jay Gillen
4.0
by Jay Gillen - Jan. 31, 2011

This is great journalism, definitely. Really fascinating detail and great contrast of official claims to actual results. Unbelievable legwork! Maybe subsequent articles will say more about the years of community opposition. Also, this story is a kind of shadow story to the huge figure blocking out the light--namely, Johns Hopkins' effect on East Baltimore generally. One of the greatest hospitals and public health institutions in the world sits in a neighborhood with life expectancy 15- 20 years(!) below the national norm. The promise of health care, and the reality in East Baltimore are utterly different. Why? Simmons and Jacobson paint more of the picture of this tragedy and crime; an explanation of the tragedy still needs ... More »

See Full Review » (10 answers)
Stacy Spaulding
4.0
by Stacy Spaulding - Jan. 31, 2011

Kudos to the Daily Record for following up on an important public story--one that's sat in silence too long. This story does an excellent job launching a five-part series and contains many solid facts that are concerning: The public is committed to a share of over $200 million in this project which has done little so far except displace over 600 residents, many who had trouble securing comparable housing at an affordable rate, it seems. Others sit in their homes, surrounded by blight while the project stalls around them (plans for four out of five planned new buildings have been set aside). And, most concerning, the project is run by a non-profit agency exempt from the public scrutiny government offices are subject to. This is ... More »

Meanwhile, an African-American community known as Middle East has been virtually eliminated and its more than 600 residents relocated to make room for the development known ... More »

See Full Review » (10 answers)
Gin Ferrara
4.5
by Gin Ferrara - Feb. 7, 2011

A well-researched article spanning the last decade of development of a controversial project. Many facts which have been difficult to find are compiled here, with quotes from many different constiuents.

Years ago I worked with the Save Middle East Action Committee to make a community video about the eviction, relocation, destruction, and redevelopment of this neighborhood.

In the early years EBDI received federal money on the premise that the biotech park would create 1,750 jobs. As recently as 2009, More »

Disclosure: Gin is involved in this story (review not included in overall rating). Help
See Full Review » (12 answers)
Howard Libit
4.0
by Howard Libit - Jan. 30, 2011

A thorough review of the redevelopment project and planned biotech park. Documents, interviews, and a lot of digging. It appears to be a strong launch to a multi-part series.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
Fred Gatlin
3.9
by Fred Gatlin - Feb. 1, 2011

This is another example of failed urban redevelopment. Who is in charge?

See Full Review » (19 answers)
Bob Herrschaft
4.0
by Bob Herrschaft - Feb. 7, 2011

...a detailed, but discouraging report on a redevelopment project in Baltimore that was designed to bring jobs by creating a huge biotech park, but instead, has resulted mainly in clearing out residents from the neighborhood. The article infers that the quasi-secretive non-profit created to manage the project has squandered the funding and excluded community activists from decision making.

EBDI has operated much like a private corporation with little public oversight. Its board of directors, which reads like a Who’s Who in ... More »

See Full Review » (12 answers)
Khalilah Harris
3.8
by Khalilah Harris - Jan. 31, 2011

Compelling tickler to what I hope is also a compelling series documenting the history of what may be a true urban success story, or, a true example of systemic disenfranchisement and disengagement of a large swath of the poor or minority residents of a city for the benefit of others.

See Full Review » (10 answers)
Fabrice Florin
4.0
by Fabrice Florin - Jan. 31, 2011

Good investigative report about setbacks in an ambitious urban development plan to revitalize the area behind Johns Hopkins Hospital. This informative article presents a well-researched overview of events that led to these setbacks. I look forward to reading the rest of the reports in this in-depth, five-day series, based on a five-month investigation by the Daily Record.

See Full Review » (6 answers)
Edward Ericson Jr.
3.3
by Edward Ericson Jr. - Feb. 1, 2011

The main point--that the biotech part of the project has been "abandoned"--is unsupported in the story. There's a lot of detail about financing but not so much about why the biotech dream is gone. The financing detail is underwhelming. Two master plans? Well, yeah, one for each phase. An expensive plan that wasn't used--but the building was "stripped by vandals," and there's no explanation of that...even though in Baltimore city employees have been caught stripping copper out of buildings. EBDI has long seemed to be a place for politicians to stash political/management types. And it's obviously a money sink. This kickoff piece throws some dots out but doesn't connect them. I hope the rest of the series does.

See Full Review » (4 answers)
Gordon Steen
4.0
by Gordon Steen - Jan. 31, 2011

Good journalism reports these events as they are happening and not after the fact. This is not the fault of the reporters. There are other real estate projects in Baltimore that may suffer the same fate and it is time to start digging into their progress as well before millions are wasted.

See Full Review » (3 answers)
Stephen Kaiser
4.0
by Stephen Kaiser - Feb. 1, 2011

Joan and Melody have finally shed light on a project that has floundered and stayed stealthily under the radar for years. The only issue that needed more coverage in their article was why MDBioPark succeeded when EBDI failed.

See Full Review » (4 answers)
Barbara Shapiro
4.0
by Barbara Shapiro - Jan. 31, 2011

A very informative article. These are the things that the community should know! Hats off to Melody and Joan!

See Full Review » (4 answers)

Comments on this story Help (BETA)

NT Rating | My Rating

Ratings

3.9

Good
from 19 reviews (38% confidence)
Quality
4.0
Facts
4.1
Fairness
3.9
Information
4.0
Insight
4.0
Sourcing
3.9
Style
3.9
Accuracy
4.0
Balance
3.0
Context
4.1
Depth
3.9
Enterprise
4.3
Expertise
3.0
Originality
4.0
Relevance
4.3
Transparency
4.0
Responsibility
4.0
Popularity
3.8
Recommendation
4.0
Credibility
3.7
# Reviews
5.0
# Views
5.0
# Likes
2.0
# Emails
1.0
More
How our ratings work »
(See these related stories.)

Links Help

  • An uncertain future

    The New East Baltimore project stands at a crossroads as it enters its second decade. After $564 million of investment, plans for a world-class biotech park have been shelved. ...
    Posted by Howard Libit