Episode 6: The City Steps In
On December 1, 2016, Baltimore City issued an RFP (Request for Proposals) for the lease or purchase and redevelopment of the Broadway Market properties. Only one proposal was submitted, and many in the community disliked it. So, now what happens?
There’s a lot of people invested in keeping these markets alive. Even Baltimore City seems anxious to help Fell's Point have a real market again. Although Eric Holcomb with CHAP wasn't sure the buildings were historic any longer, he seemed really enthusiastic about the markets. But how? It's been years and the Markets are still in bad shape.
Speaking of "bad shape", I’m tired of talking interviews. I've heard really interesting stories about the buildings around the markets being torn down years ago. I'm going to dig into some fun stuff. I wonder if there were explosions!
When the RFP came out, the Fell's Point community was on edge. Was there really no way the promised 2nd floor of the North Market could be rebuilt? Would the City really sell off these venerable old buildings to a for-profit developer? Fueling these concerns was a backlash over an overhaul at the Cross Street Markets that caused the developer to back out.
It didn't help at all when the single bid on the RFP was revealed to propose turning the North Market into an amphitheater and the South Market into a seafood restaurant.
To everyone's relief, the City decided to step in and redevelop the Markets themselves. This episode of History at Risk includes clips from an interview with Robert Thomas, Exec. Dir, Baltimore Public Markets, on the background behind that decision, as well as an interview with Eric Holcomb, Executive Director, CHAP (Commission for Historical & Architectural Preservation) on historical protections for the markets.
- “Proposed Broadway Market overhaul calls for restaurant, seafood market, green space" Baltimore Sun, June 7, 2017
- “As communities evolve, public city markets strive to remain relevant" Baltimore Sun, Feb. 25, 2017
- Broadway Market Jan. 7, 2017 charet - complete video
- Baltimore Public Markets Community Engagement meeting, Dec. 12, 2017
- Complete interview with Robert Thomas, Exec. Dir, Baltimore Public Markets
- Complete interview with Eric Holcomb, Executive Director, CHAP
- Wikipedia article on the Baltimore Public Markets
- Community Architect Daily - Baltimore Public Markets are in danger, Feb. 2, 2017
- Broadway Market Dec. 1, 2016 RFP
- “Baltimore’s Public Markets” by John Gentry