Hogan's State Center decision will hurt Baltimore's West Side

The following article first appeared in the Baltimore Sun on Dec 26, 2016:

Last Wednesday, Gov. Larry Hogan used the authority of the Board of Public Works to lead the dismantling of a community-supported project to redevelop the State Center complex and add thousands of jobs to an underserved community ("Maryland voids leases for long-stalled State Center project, plans to study other options," Dec. 22). Since entering office, Governor Hogan has stalled and delayed the full-funding of this project, despite the fact it that would bring much needed revitalization and economic opportunity to Baltimore's West Side, and now we know why. The governor has apparently been working to develop a separate plan for an arena that will provide him immense political capital and benefit his top donors at the expense of Baltimoreans living and working in the State Center area today.

As the president and vice president of the State Center Neighborhood Alliance, we must say this is a huge blow to residents of the nine neighborhoods surrounding State Center. We are extremely disappointed in the BPW's actions and feel as if our community is being ignored, or worse — forgotten.

The State Center project proposal, which has been previously approved by the state and has survived the legal challenges brought on by outside private interests, would be a win-win-win — for the governor, for the State of Maryland and its employees, for Baltimore City and its State Center area residents. This is a sad day for Baltimore, especially for those of us living and working in the West Side, who could really use the boost to jobs and amenities that this redevelopment would provide. We are glad to see that the State Center development team will fight this, and hopefully prevail. It's what is best for all of Maryland.

John E. Kyle and James Hamlin, Baltimore

The writers are president and vice president of the State Center Neighborhood Alliance, Inc.

Melissa Heuer