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Smart Growth Illustrated

The Can Company, Baltimore, Maryland

The Can Company development along Baltimore's waterfront is a historic, industrial-age factory converted into a center for emerging 21st-century information technologies. The property, once a metal-can manufacturing facility, became an abandoned brownfield as the can industry relocated away from Baltimore. The site was the first to apply Maryland's voluntary cleanup program to address brownfield contamination. After cleanup, it was transformed into a vibrant, mixed-use retail and office complex attractive to technology firms and has revitalized the surrounding neighborhood. Developer Struever Brothers, Eccles & Rouse reused the historic structures to create a 200,000-square-foot commercial center housing 40 businesses, including high-tech companies, restaurants, and retailers. The restaurants and retailers not only provide service to the high-tech office workers but add amenities for the surrounding neighborhood's residents.

Completed in 1999, the rehabilitation of the historic neighborhood employer has encouraged the ongoing redevelopment of the nearby Canton neighborhood. Between 1997 and 2000 neighboring home values rose over 70 percent. Annual home sales doubled in the late 1990s, and building and construction permits quadrupled as abandoned and underutilized town homes were rehabilitated, creating a vibrant urban community. The Can Company and its Emerging Technology Center are part of Baltimore's larger plan to develop a Digital Harbor as a competitive location for technology firms. Offering a hip, urban alternative to suburban technology office parks, the Digital Harbor program has created 4,000 jobs in two years.

The Can Company development has received many awards, including the Maryland Historic Trust 1999 Preservation Award, the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties Special Recognition & Revitalization Award in 2000, the Maryland Department of Planning Smart Growth Award in 1998, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation Honor Award in 1999.

Headquarters offices and a restaurant occupy this refurbished building with stores on the side
Headquarters offices and a restaurant occupy this refurbished building with stores on the side (see next photo).
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Stores line the first floor of office building.
Stores line the first floor of office building (see previous photo). These provide shopping opportunities for the workers and neighbors.
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Can Company's cafes and restaurants and enjoy the outdoor seating.
In nice weather workers and neighbors meet at the Can Company's cafes and restaurants and enjoy the outdoor seating. The variety of building styles reflects the history of area.
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Neighboring home gets a makeover.
Neighboring home gets a makeover. The Can Company's success spurred the revitalization of the surrounding neighborhood.
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The Can Company's Emerging Technology Center provides an urban alternative to suburban technology parks.
The Can Company's Emerging Technology Center provides an urban alternative to suburban technology parks.
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The Can Company's signature building with offices and a restaurant.
The Can Company's signature building with offices and a restaurant. The old factory's smokestack--a landmark in the Canton neighborhood--was preserved.
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SMART GROWTH PRINCIPLES
THE CAN COMPANY
#1 Mix Land Uses Graphic: check mark
#2 Compact Building Design -
#3 Range of Housing Choices -
#4 Walkable Neighborhoods -
#5 Distinctive and Attractive Places Graphic: star
#6 Preserve Open Spaces and Farmland -
#7 Development in Existing Communities Graphic: check mark
#8 Transportation Choices -
#9 Predictable and Fair Decision Making Graphic: check mark
#10 Community and Stakeholder Participation -

KEY
Graphic: star Principle highlighted by case study
Graphic: check mark Other principles illustrated

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