Baltimore’s experience

October 9th, 2007

The October 4th New York Times has an article about how Baltimore is weathering the recent slump in home and condo sales. Even with the downturn, the city’s working waterfront is helping to sustain its economy:

Despite the drag from the housing downturn, there are several countervailing forces sustaining Baltimore’s economy. The port operation, with 18,000 workers, thrives. Among other traffic, all of the vehicles that Toyota imports for sale east of the Mississippi come through here. And the Baltimore-Washington International Airport is a magnet for light industry and commerce.

And an editorial in today’s Providence Journal picks up on this article in criticizing Patrick Conley’s plan to condo-ize Providence’s working waterfront:

Of course, Baltimore also has its Old Harbor District, and that’s what the likes of Patrick Conley are talking about as they try to turn much of Providence’s working waterfront into some kind of condo and tourist heaven (despite the drag of the New England winter). But Providence has its Riverfront Park, which serves nicely. And we need the well-paid blue-collar jobs real ports have far more than the low-wage hotel, restaurant and condo jobs that would be created by the Conley approach to waterfront development.

Maintaining a vibrant working waterfront in the Port of Providence will mean good paying jobs and continued shipping commerce that will help Rhode Island’s economy weather current and future economic downturns.

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