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Belair Road Commercial Revitalization

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Baltimore City and Baltimore County have partnered with Urban Land Institute to conduct a targeted analysis in restoring the economic vitality of the Belair Road corridor.  The study includes a stretch of five miles from Emley Avenue (Clifton Park Golf Course area) in the city to I-695 in the county. An eleven member panel of volunteer experts in the fields of economic development, transportation and urban design created a strategy for public and private investment on Belair Road identifying particular areas for focused and specific kinds of attention. Their recommendations included strengthening of the nodes along the corridor, taking advantage of opportunity sites and improving linkages between nodes. 

Nodes are historically walkable business districts that serve as potential hubs of activity and have unique identity and character. They identified three nodes for commercial revitalization:

            Belair-Edison              Gardenville                 Overlea*

 

*State Highway Administration through their streetscape project (Phase I) Concept Design for the Belair Road corridor in the county to I-695 also designated Fleetwood Avenue to Madeline/Walnut Avenues as Downtown Overlea as places to stop and shop in their study in 2007. With the city coming on board, Downtown Overlea would be revitalized to Kenwood Avenue even possibly to Glenmore Avenue.

Opportunity Sites are areas with potential for relatively large scale redevelopment. The city and county aim to foster mixed-use development to better serve the needs of the residents and expand the current market.

            Quarry                                    Fullerton*

*Re-orienting existing retail at the intersection of 7500 Block Belair Road & Fullerton Avenue to embrace community facilities nearby attracting activity from the school, recreational center and Belair Road.

LINKAGES are areas between the nodes and opportunity sites. Here the aim is to attract more residential development over time to reduce the bloated inventory of commercial space and increase demand for the services and goods offered on Belair Road.

Working within this overall framework, the panel recommended key implementation measures in the realms of economic development, sense of place/branding, residential communities, conceptual design, streetscape and transportation, infrastructure and public policy. The aim is to preserve existing assets and build on strengths to establish the nodes as places to stop and shop. Overall the northeast Belair Road corridor will consist of neighborhood and commercial nodes and there will be eight nodes along the five mile stretch. 

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