State Center redevelopment would boost Baltimore's economy

March 24, 2011

As the president of the largest trade group of commercial contractors in Maryland, I want to add my voice of support to the State Center redevelopment project planned for Midtown Baltimore.

Given the tumultuous couple of years the construction industry has endured (of course, as difficult as things have been, we recognize that Maryland has fared significantly better than the rest of the country), State Center represents a tremendous opportunity for local contractors.

But moreover, State Center represents a substantial opportunity for the fortunes of Baltimore and surrounding regions, as this project taps into the heart of the city's untapped market potential. State Center is strategically located among nine historic communities that, collectively, are starting to emerge as a significant market. The State Center project will make a significant contribution toward making that happen.

Investment in these transit rich neighborhoods will create opportunity where our citizens need it most. We are also aware of a very robust and thoughtful economic inclusion program that will ensure local residents will get the opportunity to have a significant role in this project, not only as apprentices and craft technicians but as business owners and entrepreneurs.

It is our hope that some of the drama that has accompanied this project the past couple of years has finally played itself out and that everyone can start to embrace one of the most significant development projects to hit this region in quite a while and one that exemplifies the best of public and private partnerships.

Mike Henderson, Baltimore

The writer is president of Associated Builders and Contractors of Baltimore.

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