March 29, 2007

UMBC

Catonsville has a chance to really benefit from the 20,000+ students that attend the University of Maryland at Baltimore Coounty.

David Schwartz, the New Executive Director of the Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce and I met with several members of the staff at UMBC on Tuesday. They are very interested in working with the business community on Frederick Road.

We are looking into a regular bus schedule to shuttle students back and forth between the school and our business district. We also talked about bring the student "One Card" to Catonsvile. This is a card that the students can use to purchase goods, services and food (similar to a debit card). The Card is already accepted by several businesses in Arbutus and is gaining popularity.

Store Owners and Property owners THE BALL IS IN OUR COURT. We need to give the students a reason to visit the businesses on Frederick Rd. Maybe offer student discounts, student nights, entertainment, specials for UMBC students with ID.

We have a great opportunity to get some of these students to move here, if we make the apartments in the Frederick Rd area student oriented (ex. equip them for wi -fi).

Good things are happening! I will keep you updated. Craig

8 comments:

April said...

Don't neglect the staff and faculty of these schools! Can we get a discount too?

Anonymous said...

What I would most like to see is a theater-ish organization, perhaps as
tacked
on top of a coffee shop...my ideal would be something like the Hamilton Arts
Collective in NE Baltimore -- they have some semi-regular theater
companies, rent the space out for other events, themed movie nights,
classes,
etc.

If the performance space is tied to something with a more retail bent
(bookstore/coffee shop, pizza joint), they could have a positive
symbiotic
relationship.

I hate that I have to go into Baltimore
or around
it to the north side for post-collegiate theater stuff. Students are
fine, but
some of us are late bloomers and would like to work with and see the
work of
others over age 25. But it would be great to have a Theatah place that
I can
walk to.)

If you end up doing something like a "Catonsville Arts Collective", I'd
love to
be involved and help with it, but I'm not entrepreneurial enough to get
something started from scratch by myself.
Thanks!

April Walters

Anonymous said...

Hi Craig.

I would like to get in touch with you about the feasibility of opening a microbrewery/pub in the area. I'm currently a Senior International Business and Government and Politics Double Major at the University of Maryland - College Park with the intent of going onto law school and business school for an MBA. I spoke with Councilman Moxley's office, Dave Schwartz at the Catonsville Chamber of Commerce, and Weinkam & Weinkam's office. Dave Schwartz told me to contact you. I am familiar with the restrictions and I have contacted you before concerning zoning changes three years ago. I am only doing this for an Entrepreneurship class, but with your help and the help of the community, I believe we can make this work.
Joe K.

Anonymous said...

It's funny this comment came up. I had tried unsuccessfully to post a suggestion a few days ago that something like The Young Artist's Theatre in Laurel (yatheatre.com) would be great to have in town. I just attended a birthday party there with my daughter and they were getting ready to do a sold out performance directly after the party. If we could have something like that with classes, etc., the kids in Catonsville would love it. And maybe combined with some of the ideas above too - kids during the day, older actors at night... We have plenty of support for and interest in theatre around here and plenty of local talent to run something like this too.

Anonymous said...

I used to work as aconsultant with the Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative in Baltimore. I have to say it is Fantastic that you are eliciting input from the community. I am also overjoyed to hear you comment on rehabing the existing properties rather than demo-ing them. You are right in saying that the Main-street that work follow the old model of pedistrian friendly sidewalk storefronts with parking out of site. We live one block from your 'cornor' and will activly be participating in discussions from now on. Thank you again for involving us!

Anonymous said...

Another good business is a family friendly cafe like pbecafe.com in Portland, OR. I saw it in a parent magazine recently - they even provide specialized training on how to open a family friendly cafe - that plus a little playground and tables outside..what a great place for Moms Clubs, etc. to meet! Now you just need someone interested in starting one...

Anonymous said...

I think it is great that you are trying to revamp Catonsville! We moved from Ellicott City to Catonsville a few years ago. I have always said I wish downtown Catonsville was more like Ellicott City's main street. My family and I love to walk through Ellicott City and shop the antique shops, etc. I wish Catonsville had that same feel. I think we need more antique shops along Frederick Rd. I would never think about walking through Catonsville like we walk through Ellicott City, it just doesn't have that same small town feel, it feels way more industrialized! I also loved someone's suggestion about a small play yard for kids. There really aren't any places in Catonsville that you could walk to with your kids to play and mingle with other moms. I hope that you can come up with some great shops that will help turn downtown Catonsville into a more small town, antique place!

Steve Whisler said...

Craig,

I really appreciate your efforts to encourage economic growth for our Catonsville businesses.

Round-robin shuttle services to the UMBC campus dorms, Charlestown community, and other locations would bring customers to our area. More importantly, these new patrons would prompt entrepreneurs to open other establishments to serve consumer needs.

As a member of the Catonsville Chamber of Commerce, I would like to see the Chamber create a shuttle service on a trial basis.

Steve Whisler

On the Lighter Side!