In the last few weeks, the city of Baltimore has constantly been in the news. Unfortunately, being associated with the violent protests that followed the death of local Freddie Grey is not exactly in the city’s best interest. The ideal method of mending the economy is expanding the upper middle class, but detailed strategies must be applied so as to convince home buyers that Baltimore is their best choice.
The reason why the upper middle class is so important is mainly financial. This category is associated with the most frequent and consistent purchases from a wide variety of retailers and therefore brings an important amount of money to the city.
Compared to other cities, Baltimore’s upper middle class is rather small. For instance, in D.C. this category amounts to 43% of the population, while in Baltimore it barely reaches 16%. And this city is clearly in need of many more people who earn at least $100,000 per year.
A week representation of this category implies that powerful retailers are far less likely to be interested in opening local stores. And this translates into the people of Baltimore having to go secondary locations to do their shopping, which definitely means less money for the city.
Being regarded as a city where police brutality is widely spread is obviously not beneficial to Baltimore’s house market. People want to live in a place where they feel safe and where they know that their children will be far from danger.
This is exactly why extensive measures need to be taken to reassure the population of the city and they need to be made public, so that potential home buyers settle in Baltimore.
Fortunately, the Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, has a plan. She has reported that 4,000 high income families have moved to the city since 2010 and that her intentions are to raise that number up to 14,000 by 2020, precisely through providing high-end homes and more retail facilities.
While the situation in Baltimore is somewhat more stable than the one in Cleveland or Portland, there is a long way up to the fix.
While some of the city’s neighborhoods are being reinvented and reorganized, nobody is tackling the situation of such places as Sandtown-Winchester, Freddie Grey’s part of town.
Here, the people are in dire need of workplaces, as extremely few residents actually manage to find a job. And unfortunately, the ones who do never end up earning more than $25,000 per year and in most cases their jobs involve a daily commute of at least 45 minutes.
In fact, the solution to this problem is also broadening the upper middle class, because this affects everything. If more wealthy families move in, who will want to shop on a daily basis, then massive retailers will open up stores in Baltimore, which will attract more food and beverage facilities.
And all of these new businesses offer new local job prospects for lower-end residents, like the ones in Sandtown-Winchester. And by providing a lawful means of income, fewer and fewer of these people will turn to crime.
Furthermore, if the environment in low-end neighborhoods is stabilized, then more and more children will have a chance at a more normal childhood that will most likely include an education and offer them the possibility of finding a more high-end job one day, thus significantly lowering poverty and the local crime rate.
Sadly, there would be quite some time before these positive effects would kick in, but the advantage would be that they would offer a stable foundation for a bigger and better city. Therefore, it is crucial that Baltimore enhances its upper middle class so as to salvage its economy for years to come.
Image Source: livebaltimore
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