A charmed city

John Wiley: While many dwell on Baltimore's liabilities, others see its considerable worth.

August 20, 1999

TO WELCOME publisher John Wiley & Sons would be premature, but news that the company might relocate its headquarters from New York indicates conventional wisdom about Baltimore may be wrong.

John Wiley is considering other cities as well as its options in the Big Apple, but it should not be a surprise that Baltimore is in the running.

With a precipitous population decline, a horrifying rate of crime and beleaguered school system, most Marylanders have consigned Baltimore to the economic development dustbin. Obviously, outsiders have a different -- and more positive -- perspective.

Baltimore is well-located, close to Washington and a short train ride to Philadelphia and New York. Airlines serve cities nationwide from Baltimore-Washington International Airport, one of the country's most convenient.

The city's relatively low real estate prices are also attractive to companies seeking large space.

Baltimore's Inner Harbor is an attractive place to conduct business. The views are spectacular. Harborplace and the Power Plant have a variety of shops, restaurants and other attractions that rival those in any city.

The city also has major league baseball and football teams, a world-class orchestra and top-drawer art museums. Baltimore is home to two of the best medical institutions in the nation, if not the world, and excellent universities and colleges.

All too often, those of us who live here focus our attention on the many problems and forget Baltimore's attractions.

Apparently, John Wiley likes what it has seen.

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