The Central Baltimore Partnership

Established in 2006, Central Baltimore Partnership (CBP) fosters sustainable development in 10 challenged, transit-oriented neighborhoods located at the center of the Baltimore region. Central Baltimore is geographically defined as University Parkway to the north, Greenmount Avenue to the east, Mt. Royal to the south, and the Jones Falls to the west. CBP’s initial strategy area covers the zone within central Baltimore, which encompasses the Barclay, Greenmount West, Charles North, and Old Goucher neighborhoods and the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. Based on the U.S. Census 2010, the CBP focus area has a population of 21,756; 33.5% African American, 46.2% white; and subareas with very low income households, low educational achievement and high unemployment.

CBP acts as a catalyst for encouraging development and investment in Central Baltimore. Through its work with partner organizations, CBP promotes affordable housing, homeownership development, and economic development and job opportunities for neighborhood residents, especially the most disadvantaged in communities of color. As a result, Central Baltimore is now seen as the city’s premier transit oriented development location and its best opportunity for major area development outside of the harbor side.

Program/Project Narrative

The Central Baltimore Partnership received an Opportunity Collaborative Demonstration Project grant to fund the final piece for the third phase of planning for the Homewood Community Partners Initiative (HCPI). The first two phases have been completed with broad community engagement and captured in the just released report, HCPI Findings and Recommendations, a Call to Action.

The report recommends a broad sustainable community strategy for a carefully targeted area of 11 neighborhoods, a comprehensive set of programs and a significant $60 million investment from a variety of partners to catapult an increase in population around transit centers already present in central Baltimore. Johns Hopkins University was the catalyst of HCPI, it will be its major initial investor and has committed half of the funding for the implementation planning to match the Opportunity Collaborative funding.

A Model for the Region

HCPI has significant implications for the region, both as a major regional development itself and as a model for others throughout the region. The implementation planning is a critical capstone in securing financing commitments and launching the multifaceted agenda that will carry the momentum of bold planning into action.

HCPI is based on the country’s best community-university partnerships, which acknowledge both the self-interest of the institution and that of the community by finding a zone of mutual interest.  The HCPI project is the final completion of a three phase planning and organizing effort to launch a comprehensive strategy building sustainable communities in an 11 neighborhood section at the center of the Baltimore region.

Demonstration Project Funding – Smart Growth Community Development Policies

Funding from The Opportunity Collaborative will enable CBP and JHU to formulate an implementation plan, with the full collaboration of HCPI partners, and demonstrate how smart growth-community development policies become achievable actions of change.  Among the 29 HCPI program recommendations, there are three categories each with its own kind of work – based on the stage of readiness – the CB-JHU HCPI Task Force will begin work on full facilitating an implementation work group for each program.

HCPI’s agenda is based on advancing the existing community master and vision plans, collaborating with the 11 neighborhoods and the Waverly Main Street and Station North Arts and Entertainment District, as well as the three universities and other major institutions in the area – a total existing population of 21,738 people and 9,568 housing units (U.S. Census 2010).

Project Partners – True Collaboration

CBP and JHU have used an advisory committee for the first two phases of planning HCPI and plan to sustain that structure in the form of a HCPI Task Force. In addition to a number of CBP Steering Committee members and formal partner organizations, the many other organizations are also represented on the HCPI Advisory Committee: Barclay-Midway-Old Goucher Coalition, Village Parents, Baltimore Museum of Art, Charles Village Civic Association, Greater Remington Improvement Association, Oakenshawe Improvement Association, Waverly Main Street, the Charles Village Business Association, Union Memorial Hospital and from JHU, the Center for Social Concern, Office of Community and Government Affairs, and School of Education.

The driving force of the future planning and implementation efforts of HCPI will continue to be the needs and goals of the area communities and stakeholders, with special attention to ensuring participation and parity for those who represent disadvantaged populations. Regional partners, such as Central Maryland Transit Alliance, Baltimore Integration Partnership, and Baltimore Neighborhood Collaborative, have been and will continue to be integral in advancing HCPI due to this area’s significance in the regional economy.

The Leadership Team

Joe McNeely, CBP’s Executive Director with 30 plus years’ in local and national community development experience and former head of HUD’s national office of neighborhoods, will co-chair the joint JHU-CBP HCPI Task Force, and lead the implementation planning project.  The HCPI Task Force will be co-chaired by Andy Frank, Special Advisor to JHU’s President on Economic Development, and Karen Stokes, Executive Director of GHCC. The HCPI Task Force creates a true collaborative forum in advancing collective action items and programming and thus will continue to operate as a community-driven process.


Central Baltimore is geographically defined as University Parkway to the north, Greenmount Avenue to the east, Mt. Royal to the south, and the Jones Falls to the west.