Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pigtown Vision Session 4/11/2011

We met at the Bath House (904 Wash Blvd) at 7pm

The meeting started off with some basic, dry, but necessary information:

Pigtown Main Street Revised Mission Statement:
To bring together the community to revitalize the historic commercial district and create sustainable, positive change to the identity of Historic Pigtown.

Pigtown Main Street Revised Vision Statement:
To have a historic commercial district that: houses thriving businesses and job opportunities; is green, clean and safe; has resident support, community gatherings & organizational partnerships; enhances economic vitality and quality of life for residents and business owners; establishes our neighborhood as a place where folks want to visit, live, work, shop and play; and is worth of being the gateway to Historic Pigtown.

Four Community Volunteer-Based Committees that work with Main Street:
  • Organizational – Promote Organization (call Sun or other reporters to make sure PMS gets credit), Fundraisers
  • Business Development – Retain, attract, and expand local businesses. Go to see other businesses and to owners about opening another place here, work with property owners to attract good businesses that will stick around. Technical assistance with businesses.
  • Design – Façade improvements, streetscape, pigtown on capital improvements list, corner cans empty 2x per day, security, enforcement officers for trash dumping, working with police and businesses for not being a target
  • Promotional – Run Social Media, Contacts, PR Strategy, build relationship with media, write press releases, “rah rah rah” committee, Pigtown Festival
Main Street Program – Grass roots effort (Part of Baltimore Development Corporation)
10 Main Streets in Baltimore:
East Monument Street
Federal Hill
Fells Point
Pennsylvania Ave

Main Street designation allows the community to get help from the National Trust for the Historic Main Street Program. The program was originally intended for rural neighborhoods, but Boston Mayor saw promise. Then O’Malley saw it in Boston, and brought it here.

If we want the 900 block buildings torn down, continue to complain. There aren’t much in capital funds, but the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Executive Vice President of BDC Kim Clark. Need letters from the community showing that the wish for demolition is still there. Got letters 6 months ago. Would like more new ones.
COP approached council about Bath House. Suggesting it remain non-profit offices.
Having a hard time getting restaurants interested in Pigtown – would help if they could get liquor license.

Stores wanted:
Butcher – also give lessons
Laundry mat (closer? – there are already 2 nearby)
Health Club & Fitness Center
Tool Library
Restaurants (can they get a liquor license?)
Sit down (not table cloth place)
Nice Cheeseburger Joint
Sit down pizza (like Joe Squared on North Ave)
BBQ place
Fancy hot dog place (like Ben’s Chili bowl – other H street DC places would work well too)
Jimmy Johns
Dunkin’ Donuts/ Baskin Robins (want to come here, but looking for people to run Franchise)
Convenience store open late (24 hour not allowed) - Note: New City Mart on Ostend/Blvd open til 2am
My Organic Market
Are places doing small versions, like a Whole Foods Express?
Co-op Local Grocery
Farmers Market – difficult money-wise for farmers to afford rent
Could do it only on the weekend to keep overhead low
Restaurants can stock up on fresh food
CSA delivery spot
Boutique Stores
Garden Store
Flea Market maybe?
Temporary pop-up shops to get commercial interest

Needs to be easier for businesses to come in (zoning)
Tree trimming
Streetscaping – No one wants to stay on the main street… you go there to do what you’re going to do, and then leave, it’s a quality of life issue
Café Tables – difficult to put tables on the street due to imminent domain  minor priviledge
Bike racks
Need connection to Carroll Park & Golf Course (used by lots of people outside of the community)
Need to clean up trash and have more trash cans
Need more lighting on Cross Street to B&O
Fix Library Signage – say Pigtown
Want it to be called Pigtown NOT Washington Village
Money for security – Daryl applying for money with B&O Railroad
  • Need foot patrol – designated police officers – bad activity has been stagnant lately, and want to push it over the edge to keep it that way
  • Belair-Edison got $100,000 for 2 police officers on Main St – people were dealing drugs out of businesses and scaring off customers, but that’s gone now.
Would like new Pigtown sign – At MLK
Need Newsletter – most people don’t know what’s going on
Need community notice board – PMS planning 4-sided kiosk with community notices and ads
Need sandwich board for community meetings to put outside meeting place
Need to document successes so businesses know the area is getting better
Need wayfinding system (aka-restaurant over HERE), especially from entry points like B&O, Ostend Football Parking, MLK, and Carroll Park (ie- person at meeting didn’t know there were two laundry mats nearby)

Do we want destination businesses or community businesses?
People moving here like it because it’s not Federal Hill or Fells Point. They like it because it feels comfortable, and like a community.
We’d like businesses that are a combination of the two.

150-200 people showing up to Gallery Openings, but only 6 or 7 from the community
Why not more from the community? Not enough promotion? First Thursdays
Mayor’s cleanup this Saturday
COP will be giving away bags & gloves @ Scott & Washington Blvd around 9am
Call city 311 about trash out at MLK (or anywhere you’re having a problem) – they get a mark everytime someone calls. The more calls, the more quickly it will be addressed. Maybe post it on your Facebook and get friends to call? Also can put complaint in online.

If there's anything I can add to this meeting, it's the following thoughts:
It's Historic Pigtown. What are we doing here that will be worth preserving in 50 years?
"If a city's streets look intersting, the city looks intersting; if they look dull, the city looks dull." - Jane Jacobs


  1. For those interested in helping in one of the four committee groups, please contact Pigtown Main Street's board president, John Lam: Pigtown@AnxiousPenman.com

  2. There really isn't any excuse as to why Pigtown doesn't have a dope ass BBQ joint.