Baltimore Renaissance Plan Presented Before City Council

A real estate developer from Virginia, Kahan S. Dhillon Jr., has recently proposed a $10billion development plan he dubs the ‘Baltimore Renaissance.’ The plan entails developing 70 vacant lots, with Dhillon acting as the master planner.

Dhillon presented his proposal in front of the city council in a hearing on the 27th of July. Within the hearing, Dhillon proposed the formation of task forces for each council district to help develop each community’s plans. The plan will include the development of 70 vacant lots within Baltimore City and be spread throughout each council district. In the hearing, Dhillon also assured the Council that the $10billion figure is plausible, has factual support. and that the project will not entail a large scale tax-increment-financing (TIF) deal. However, Dhillon has requested a $3.5 million gift from the city to get the project started.

While Dhillon demonstrates enthusiasm for the project, many remain skeptical of the plan. Many, including Klaus Philipson, a Baltimore architect, have noted that Baltimore is not lacking in plans and that the situation is much more complex than such plans seem to claim. When questioned about the specifics of the plan and its financing, Dhillon remained vague and cited a confidentiality agreement to account for his refusal to list the investors of the $200 million he has claimed to have already raised.

With such a large scale plan that will no doubt rely on some form of taxpayer support, it is understandable why many remain dubious about such a vague plan. When current projects such as the Port Covington Development deal with multiple issues and widespread controversy, it is clear that these matters are too complicated for a grand sweeping project to fix all of the problems in the city.

 

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Ross Webster

Ross Webster

Ross K. Webster is currently pursing his bachelors degree in philosophy at the University of California, Riverside. Ross is joining CPHA for the summer of 2017, and is looking forward to directing his writing skills towards the topics of housing and transportation in a nonprofit setting.
Ross Webster

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