Remington, the neighborhood just south of the Homewood Campus, was originally inhabited by Baltimore’s working class families. In recent years, however, the area has seen a spike in housing prices and experienced an influx of single, white Baltimoreans in part due to its proximity to Hopkins.
This year, in particular, two new establishments have raised the question of the University’s role in local gentrification: Remington Row, an upscale apartment complex, and R. House, a trendy food market. Representatives from the University claim that University President Ronald J. Daniels does not have a formal relationship with Seawall Development, the real estate company responsible for these new buildings. However, Seawall representatives claim that the University had an integral role in the development.
The Editorial Board encourages the University to be clear and upfront about any formal or informal relationship with Remington developers and acknowledge both the positive and negative effects that these buildings are having on the neighborhood. For example, R. House Actively hires members of the local community, but attracts mostly non-residential patrons.
Remington Row will bring an influx of new higher-income residents with more money to spend in local businesses, but will also contribute to the rising rents and home prices that are forcing many long-time, working class residents to move.
As Hopkins students, we appreciate all of the new amenities and activities that are popping up in Remington. However, we the Editorial Board call on students to educate themselves about the community and acknowledge the ongoing gentrification. Developments that privilege new arrivals at the expense of long-time residents rarely serve the local community well.
Forcing out the community members who are too poor to pay their rent just pushes poverty around and eliminates opportunities for social mobility. Remington residents should not be forced to uproot their lives in order to attract outsiders to the neighborhood.
The Editorial Board calls on the University to always consider its impact on Baltimoreans. Even well-intentioned ideas, which we believe these developments are, can do more harm than good.