Baltimore, MD Economic Overview
With its many recognized districts, Baltimore, Md. is indeed “a city of neighborhoods" and home to a population of just under 3 million. Professionally active residents enjoy the city’s newfound economic growth as the former industrial manufacturing hub moves towards a technology industry future thanks to a competitive tech talent market.
As a result, the Baltimore commercial real estate market is also growing at twice the average rate of the entire state of Maryland.
Baltimore has a largely industrial manufacturing past, boasting world-renowned brands like General Motors and Procter and Gamble. Today, the city continues to attract rising companies like Amazon and Under Armour. On the other hand, Forbes has ranked Baltimore 4th in new places where America’s tech future is taking shape. This is thanks to its fast-growing tech talent pool, which is second only to San Francisco in job areas like information systems and software development and programming, among many other industry categories. Analysts are predicting that Baltimore is poised to become the next tech and start-up hotspot.
Baltimore, MD Commercial Real Estate Market
Situated in north-central Maryland, Baltimore stretches over 90 square miles, of which more than 80 square miles is dry land. The city is officially made up of nine neighborhoods divided by geographic regions.
A tour of Baltimore’s economic landscape would certainly begin in Central/Downtown Baltimore which boasts 29.1 million square feet of Downtown Baltimore office space. Subsequently, this area, already home to hundreds of companies, is considered to be the city’s main economic asset and continues to be the city’s lifeline, with its dynamic commercial and cultural activity.
Most of Central Baltimore is Downtown and Downtown West commercial real estate with historic Inner Harbor its chief commercial and tourist destination. Over 13 million people are attracted annually by the area’s hotels, restaurants, and spaces devoted to retail and entertainment, such as Harborplace and Power Plant Live! The area is also home to Baltimore’s world-class sport complexes like Oriole Park at Camden Yards and the Baltimore Arena.
The North Baltimore office market utilizes its prime location to accommodate an abundance of educational institutions like Notre Dame of Maryland University, Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus, and Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. The last-named is a public high school that specializes in mathematics, science, and engineering, one among many such institutions that contribute to the city’s profusion of tech talent early on. Finally, North Baltimore is also home to the uniquely developed Station North Arts and Entertainment District, more popularly called Station North, the city’s official arts and entertainment district. Here, artistically-leaning commercial ventures, such as museums and theaters, make use of formerly abandoned warehouses that have been converted to practical North Baltimore office market space.
Another neighborhood of note lies on the city borders of Inner Harbor/Central Baltimore, Southeast Baltimore. This region is home to the state of Maryland’s largest arts and entertainment district, Highlandtown Arts District or “ha!" Here, artists make use the rich Southeast Baltimore office market to live and work in a neighborhood famed for its cultural diversity. South Baltimore also includes the city’s most popular neighborhood, Canton, with its expansive waterfront Canton industrial real estate.
Baltimore, MD Office Sales Volume
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.
Baltimore, MD Office Transactions
Data provided by Yardi Matrix, for properties larger than 50K SF, which sold at over $5M.
Baltimore City, MD Commercial Inventory Breakdown
Total: 34,089,631 SF
By square footage range:
- 50k to 100k SF: 3,600,093 SF / 10.56% of total office
- 100k to 500k SF: 20,264,575 SF / 59.44% of total office
- 500k to 1M SF: 6,091,653 SF / 17.87% of total office
- > 1M SF: 4,133,310 SF / 12.12% of total office
- Class A+: 650,000 SF / 1.91% of total office
- Class A: 14,106,803 SF / 41.38% of total office
- Class B: 13,332,828 SF / 39.11% of total office
- Class C: 258,065 SF / 0.76% of total office
Employment in Baltimore, MD
31% of jobs in Baltimore are in the service industry, with John Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital being the city’s biggest employers. However, 23% of jobs in the city are in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, otherwise known as STEM jobs, according to the latest reports by Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C. think tank.
That percentage of Baltimore’s local employment equals approximately 281,730 STEM jobs, and it has placed Baltimore 8th out of a hundred metropolitan cities in STEM job concentration. While these positions include maintenance and repair experts who require no university education, 57% of Baltimore’s STEM workforce are college-educated and have an average annual income of $87,857.
Education in Baltimore, MD
Baltimore has 12 accredited public and private colleges and universities with both 2-year and 4-year programs. Well-known private schools in the city include Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University Maryland, Maryland Institute College of Art, and Notre Dame of Maryland University. Public schools include University of Baltimore and University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Baltimore also has top primary and secondary schools like Carver Vocational-Technical High School and Digital Harbor High School that give students an early start in technology careers especially with the city’s tech industry fast becoming its most employable and profitable sector.
Commuting Time in Baltimore, MD
According to census survey data, Baltimore holds the distinction of having the 6th longest commute in the United States, only surpassed by Southern California, New York, Washington, and San Francisco with their more notoriously congested roads. On average, Baltimore commuters take 31 minutes to get to and from work. Their main route is the I-695 (Maryland) otherwise known as the “Baltimore Beltway."
Fortunately, there are several ways to shorten your commute time and avoid bumper to bumper traffic on the Interstate. MTA Maryland, in general, operates a wide-ranging bus network that incorporates commuter buses, a light rail network and a subway line. Baltimore even has a free shuttle bus service operating downtown, seven days a week, known as the Charm City Circulator. Meanwhile, the city also has a water taxi service if you’d like to take a break from land transportation. Baltimore Water Taxi has 6 routes along its Inner Harbor serving both as a sightseeing and transportation service. There have even been increased efforts to use these longtime water taxis as a viable commuter option.
Commuters who want to take their bicycles instead can make use of Baltimore’s extensive system of bike routes throughout the city. Meanwhile, pedestrians can take pride that their city was named the 14th most walkable city out of the 52 largest American cities.
Baltimore City Demographics
- Total Population579,585
- Male Population(47.1 %) 272,957
- Female Population(52.9 %) 306,627
- Median Age35.00
- Average Household Income$72,559
- Median Household Income$50,975
- Median Income Under 25$27,669
- Median Income 25-44$55,974
- Median Income 45-64$54,130
- Median Income Over 65$33,969
Residential Rents in Baltimore, MD
When choosing the best place for a business, location research is very important – not only for the office, but also for the employees’ convenience.
For a coastal city and the country’s 29th most populated city, both Baltimore’s residential and commercial rental rates are extremely reasonable.
Baltimore studios start at under $1,000 monthly while a one-bedroom apartment averages $1,100 a month and a two-bedroom $1,200 a month. Those averages are just over half the Los Angeles and New York rental rates.
The tech sector may be maturing, but Baltimore remains advantageous and affordable for businesses, particularly start-ups. Baltimore commercial real estate has a 14.4% vacancy rate and average rent is $22.85 per square foot for full-service leases. Compared to top rival and established tech hub Silicon Valley’s 8% vacancy rate and its demand-driven average rental rate of $45.36 per square foot for full-service leases, Baltimore is a bargain.
Baltimore City, MD Average Rental Price, September 2019
- $ 1,243/mo
- Studio: $ 1,007
- 1 Bedroom: $ 1,188
- 2 Bedrooms: $ 1,264
Baltimore City, MD Rent Trends
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