7 Black-Owned Businesses Set To Open Shop In Baltimore’s Harborplace

May 31, 2024 | by magnews24.com

7 Black-Owned Businesses Set To Open Shop In Baltimore’s Harborplace

Under new ownership, the new Harborplace will house residential towers, offices, and shops.

Seven Black-owned businesses will soon be open for business in Baltimore’s revived Inner Harbor shopping center known as Harborplace, The Baltimore Banner reports. 

The businesses—Cuples Tea House, Milton’s Daughter, Pandora’s Box, Storybook Maze, Yele Stitches, MoreLife Organic Juice, and Motion Athletics—will be housed in the Light Street and Pratt Street pavilions. With the support of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore program, these establishments were named as the next cohort of the Downtown Partnership’s BOOST (Black Owned and Operated Storefront Tenancy) initiative.

The businesses are scheduled to open Juneteenth. 

“You look around the harbor, there aren’t many Black-owned businesses,” Cuples Tea House co-owner Eric Dodson said during the May 29 ribbon-cutting ceremony. “For us to be on the front porch of what we call Baltimore’s first tourist attraction is phenomenal. We are grateful.”

As the program’s third cohort, the initiative partnered with Harborplace owner MCB Real Estate. According to CBS News, new ownership plans to tear down two concrete pavilions and add residential towers, offices, and shops. With a hefty price tag of approximately $1 billion shared between private and public funds, the proposal would create space for a park as well as revive traffic patterns with an emphasis on pedestrians over cars. 

The plan already received the green light from Baltimore City’s Planning Commission and City Council and now heads to city voters in November 2024. 

Under the program, all seven businesses will receive grants of up to $25,000, licenses for two years, and business support. In the past, 10 participating businesses were awarded up to $50,000 in grants as well as retail space on Howard Street or Charles Street.

For Idris Coleman, owner of Motion Athletics, being a part of the new face of Baltimore is exciting. “When you visit a place, you get a true sense of what the place is because the businesses are based around it,” Coleman said. “And I think that’s what is unique about Baltimore.”

“Prioritizing local businesses is what will make us successful,” said Adam Genn of MCB Real Estate.

The businesses will have to pay rent contingent on which figure is higher: $10 per square foot or 10% of gross revenue.


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