Inner Harbor Coalition

Dedicated to Revitalizing the Inner Harbor and Harborplace for the People of Baltimore

Ballot Initiative Petition Challenges Harborplace Plan

Baltimore, June 14, 2024. Thiru Vignarajah launches petition for city ballot initiative to protect city parks from development.

Thiru Vignarajah anounced a ballot initiative petition today from a busy McKeldin Plaza during a crowded Inner Harbor celebration of Fleet Week. The referendum will protect all 20 city parks, including the Inner Harbor Park from development and illegal uses by dedicating them, in perpetuity, in the City Charter. If passed, the charter amendment will kill the MCB and city deal to develop Harborplace, which currently sits in a city park. 10,000 valid signatures are required to get the initiative on the ballot. The deadline is July 31, 2024. Thiru said in today’s press conference that he is optimistic about gathering the required signatures as he has gathered an army of volunteers from numerous goups in the city to act as petition circulators. “We have done the math.” stated the former mayoral candidate, “and we can get it done."

Inner Harbor 2024 is an unbiased discussion on urban planning, economics, transportation, ecology and design as it applies to the Harborplace development plan. Presented by the American Institute of Architects Baltimore.

Architect Leon Bridges eloquently explains why the MCB plan for Harborplace is a bad idea for Baltimore.

The Inner Harbor Coalition is taking the show on the road.  

If your neighborhood or community organization would like to have the Inner Harbor Coalition present the facts about the Harborplace plan, please send us an email to schedule a presentation.  

Below is our Inner Harbor Coalition Info Sheet.  

Print, share and post this with your neighbors, coffee shop, community center, collegues, or hand out anywhere you think of.

Help stop the privatization of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor!

Over 50 years ago, Baltimore citizens recognized the Inner Harbor’s uniqueness, gifting it as a “public park for uses and benefit for this and future generations.” They made a promise to keep the space open for all “in perpetuity.”

Now, MCB’s scheme breaks that promise. MCB’s plan will:

  • Destroy openness of the Inner Harbor we love: the gentle step-back from water to promenade to two-story pavilions to taller buildings framing the harbor.
  • Permanently disrupt downtown with the removal of the Light-to-Calvert Street spur, cutting Light Street’s lanes in half (from 8 to 4) and Pratt’s from 4 to 2.
  • Turn the Inner Harbor Park into a construction site for years.
  • Require $400-$500 million of taxpayer money (says the city’s finance dept).

Mayor Brandon Scott is jettisoning the 1970s guardrails put in place to keep our park land out of the hands of politicians & developers.

The Inner Harbor will go from being the city’s most protected planning area to one with no zoning limits.

Even worse, MCB is not even bound to this plan! They may (in their own words) choose to build higher and with more apartments if the financials make sense to them.

We deserve a publicly-led plan, not a developer-led one.

We can stop this! Nov 5, we can vote NO to the charter amendment!

Want to help? Support the Inner Harbor Coalition!

“The problem is we’re trading public park space for "the developer's" revenue certainty…on a public park in which economic activity will be relocated from other parts of the city. No. That’s not a win-win proposition. That’s a zero-sum. And we should stop playing zero-sum games in Baltimore.”

Anirban Basu, Economist, Sage Policy Group

John Waters weighs in about Harborplace; Mayor Brandon Scott signs bills enabling the area’s redevelopment

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Proposed commercial buildings in Inner Harbor Park

Economist Anirban Basu

Sage Policy Group CEO, Anirban Basu

Maryland Matters Commentary: Economist offers advice to Gov. Wes Moore on Inner Harbor development

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Harborplace in the News

Statement of M.J. (Jay) Brodie to the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore

M.J. (Jay) Brodie is the former president of the Baltimore Development Corporation and former commisioner of the Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development. (Photo: Baltimore Sun)


Critics denounce Harborplace bills as a "blank check" giveaway to the developer

Above: Baltimore architect David Benn shows the implications of completely removing Harborplace area height restrictions under bills the council committee went on to advance. (Fern Shen)

Thiru Vignarajah’s Press Conference on the Future of Harborplace with Anirban Basu and Rebeccca Hoffberger

Thiru Vignarajah, candidate for Baltimore City mayor, speaks out against MCB’s plans for Harborplace and the Inner Harbor at a press conference on Feb. 5.
Sage Policy Group Economist Anirban Basu explains his opposition to MCB’s plans for Harborplace at a press conference for Thiru Vignarajah.
The American Visionary Art Museum’s Rebecca Hoffberger backs Thiru Vignarajah’s alternative vision for Harborplace at a press conference on February 5, 2024.

Shadow Studies

These video shadow studies were created by Baltimore architect Jerome Gray. Each one reflects the shadows cast by the proposed residential towers on the seasonal solstice or equinox.

Follow the discussion about Harborplace and Baltimore's Inner Harbor Park on Harborplace Forum.

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