March 12 2014

Industrial Mills of Jones Falls Redeveloped for a New Baltimore

My previous blog discussed the chronic undercrowding in the City of Baltimore and the current plans to reverse it by charming homebuyers with reduced property tax rates. The City has also been charming developers of the once abandoned stone mills clustered around Jones Falls. The lure is still tax related, but this time in the form of Planned Unit Developments and new market tax credits. A lot has changed since the nineteenth century when the mills were occupied by prominent cotton duck, model train, and rubber manufacturers taking advantage of the flowing waters of the Woodberry area.

These mills offer up a lot of what urban planners would hope for in a city. The mills are in a transit-oriented, walkable, and niche neighborhood situated near two major public green spaces: Druid Hill Lake Park to the west and Wyman Park to the east. Let’s also not forget the local Union Craft Brewery located next to the light rail tracks, and a close neighbor to the mills. Despite transit access, residents in the area had concerns of increased traffic around the mills, but I had an incredibly easy drive into the area on a recent Saturday. This is despite road work closing off one lane and it being the first warm day in the city following a string of snow storms.

Clipper Mill, City of Baltimore, Maryland

While taking photographs near the Clipper and Meadow Mills, a girl who’d just hopped off the Woodberry light rail stop paused to ask me for directions to the popular Artifact Coffee and Woodberry Kitchen. Artifact Coffee is marked with a simple sign with the letter “A” and is part of Union Mill. Woodberry Kitchen is a highly rated restaurant located at Clipper Mill, a quick walk under the bridge and over the light rail tracks from Artifact Coffee; both are projects of the same locavore and restaurateur, Spike Gjerde.

Artifact Coffee, City of Baltimore, Maryland

So, with all of these great urban amenities, it seems that the mills are set for success, and with plans to add more public transit and metro lines to the city, I’m curious to see if more industrial sites will be transformed into modern homes and offices for future Baltimoreans.

Do exposed brick, industrial yet green design elements, and public transit access entice you to move to Baltimore?

Credits: Images by Jade Clayton. Data linked to sources.

Jade Clayton

Jade Clayton recently received her B.S. in economics and business administration from Towson University in Towson, Maryland. She is currently pursuing a post-baccalaureate certificate in internet application design, and hopes to receive a Master’s in urban planning. Her interest in planning began with a high school internship for the downtown partnership in her hometown of Frederick, Maryland. This interest has grown since attending college near the City of Baltimore, where the potential for innovative and sustainable urban growth is abundant, as are the challenges. Since receiving her undergraduate degree, Jade has been working full-time as a research assistant at Towson University, providing analysis and research on the local and regional economy in Maryland. Since graduating, Jade has spent her newfound free time becoming reacquainted with her love for the outdoors, backpacking through five European cities, and getting to know Baltimore a little better every day.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 at 9:27 am and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Environmental Design, History/Preservation, Jade Clayton, Land Use, Transportation, Urban Development/Real Estate, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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