Business news

TIFs: The primer

May 5, 2016
P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Baltimore is about to deal with another controversial tax financing package for re-developing part of the city.  This time it’s a $535 million deal for Kevin Plank’s Sagamore Development, which is proposing a huge mixed-use project at Port Covington in South Baltimore.

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

The State Treasurer says the three major national bond rating agencies have given Maryland bonds top ratings.

Hopkins Plans More Local Hiring And Contracting

Jun 23, 2015
P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Johns Hopkins University plans to hire more city residents and do more business with local companies.

University President Ronald Daniels announced the beginning of the Hopkins Local Initiative Monday during Baltimoreans United In Leadership Development's One Baltimore Assembly at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church in Sandtown.

Helping People Get And Keep A Job

May 29, 2015
P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

One of the issues raised in the wake of riots after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody was the lack of jobs in his neighborhood.  More than a quarter of the adults there are out of work.

But it's not just a lack of jobs that's the problem; it's making sure people who get past the interview can hold the job down.

Kelly Little, former executive director of the Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, said a company approached his organization in April wanting to hire people from the community.

Job-training Programs But No Jobs?

May 21, 2015
Mary Rose Madden

Local foundations and the federal government have promised to funnel money into Baltimore for job training programs to respond to some of the communities’ needs articulated during the weeks or protests after the death of Freddie Gray. But what happens when the jobs don’t materialize?

Take Janet Littlejohn, for example. She had a full basketball scholarship to Coppin State University right after high school.  She was working on her nursing degree until she broke her leg. She lost her scholarship and couldn’t afford tuition, so she had to drop out.

Optimism In Investment After Turmoil

May 7, 2015
P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

From Greater Rosemont to Druid Heights, community leaders are seeing last week's riots in the city as an opportunity to attract the investment that by-passed Baltimore for other cities after riots in 1968 after the death of Rev. Martin Luther King.

"Hopefully if our leaders – not only government but the private sector, the foundations and everything – will get together and really focus and opportunities will be created," said Kelly Little,  former executive director of the Druid Heights Community Development Corporation.

Costas Inn on North Point Boulevard in Dundalk smells like beer and crab cakes. There was a pretty good crowd on a recent Friday.  But Donna Grover, a long-time regular, says it’s nothing like it was when Bethlehem Steel was running full strength at Sparrows Point, a few miles away. "This bar used to be packed like sardines and since Sparrows Point shut down, it staggers," Grover said.

Speeding Up Innovation in East Baltimore

Feb 11, 2015
P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

  Ed Yoon, chief technology officer of dataFascia, is drawing a diagram on a wall in his office.  Don’t worry; the paint used in the offices turns a boring wall into a dry erase board.

His company is working on a way to make electronic health records, EHRs, more available to app developers.

“In essence, we’re sort of a middleware lair that allows us to take data from different EHR's and abstract that in a way so that the app developer is just looking at the data; not caring really caring where the data's actually coming from,” says Yoon.

On the sixth floor, Lauren Dickinson and Matthew Davenport with Gemstone Biotherapeutics, a regenerative medicine company, sets up new equipment in a shared lab space.

The two companies, dataFascia and Gemstone, are among several companies that have moved into Johns Hopkins University’s second business accelerator, Fast Forward East, at the corner of North Wolfe Street and Ashland Avenues.

The school is to hold an open house Wednesday.

John Lee for wypr


The new owners of Sparrows Point have ambitious plans to redevelop the 3,100 acres on the lower east side of Baltimore County. But at the same time, they are beginning a massive cleanup for the industrial site where steel was made for more than a century.

Sparrows Point: Planning A Rebirth

Feb 9, 2015
John Lee for wypr

Sparrows Point was once home to the largest steel mill in the world.  Today, it's home to abandoned and torn down buildings, environmental contamination and vegetation run amuck. But there is a new plan to bring back the former home of Bethlehem Steel known simply as The Point.