City sees jump in young, college-educated residents
Excerpted from article by Natalie, Baltimore Sun October 26, 2014. Link: http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bs-bz-millennials-20141025-story.html#page=1
It’s difficult for longtime Baltimoreans to say when exactly the young college graduates started moving into the neighborhoods clustered around downtown. But at some point they were everywhere, some 25,000 of them, toasting at bars, forming kickball leagues and jamming the free Circulator buses.
“These things take a little while to catch on, and then one day, they really rocket off,” said Tim Barnett, 32, who moved to Mount Vernon from Texas in 2006 for a taste of city life. He expected to spend just a few years here, but he’s stayed. He now works for Zipcar and is one of the organizers of the Baltimore Bike Party, a monthly event that attracts hundreds of people for a nighttime ride through city streets.
“It’s at this tipping point, and it’s tipping to the better side,” he said. “Every day more and more people are getting involved with something else cool and awesome and beneficial.”
A new analysis of census data has quantified the explosive growth. It found that the number of college-educated people ages 25 to 34 living within three miles of Baltimore’s central business district increased 92 percent from 2000 to 2010. Their numbers grew from about 13,000 to 25,000, according to the study released last week.
The influx has helped shape neighborhoods in an area that stretches south toward Fort McHenry, east to Canton and Patterson Park, west to the B&O Railroad Museum and north to Remington.
The new residents have spurred new bars, restaurants, entertainment and other services catering to young adults. For example, in Canton, the number of neighborhood establishments grew 15 percent from 2010 to 2012; in South Baltimore, the number of neighborhood establishments grew 11 percent over that period.
The influx is also helping to drive changes in Baltimore’s real estate market, including conversions of older buildings into apartments and the construction of new housing. Since 2010, Baltimore has added 4,800 residential units in buildings of 15 units or more citywide and 3,000 more units are under construction, said city Planning Director Thomas J. Stosur.
“I really want to have a positive, noticeable lasting effect on the city around me, and pretty much anyone who wants to do that can find a way to do that in Baltimore,” said Barnett. “If you can be a part of something that is on its way up and making itself better collectively, that is something that is fairly intangible but is really in the back of the mind of a lot of young professionals.”