With the ascent of the 30-story Commerce Place building, Baltimore's once-thriving adult entertainment zone, The Block, is making way for redevelopment that could earn desperately needed additional tax dollars for city coffers.
Since adult entertainment businesses are not directly addressed by city zoning laws, Councilman Jody Landers recently introduced a zoning bill that would effectively wipe out The Block. By outlawing adult entertainment, the bill would encourage a transformation of the area to service establishments that cater to office workers.
Although several sites near City Hall are ripe for renewal, would-be developers feel their ability to obtain bank financing and tenants for projects on the drawing board have been impeded by The Block's negative image. When asked for their views, city employees in the Charles L. Benton Jr. Building -- across from The Block -- deemed the area unsafe and inconvenient for workers.