Five months after he announced his resignation, M.J. “Jay” Brodie will leave his post Friday as Baltimore’s top development official.
Brodie, 75, showed up without a tie, relaxed and smiling on Thursday for the monthly meeting of the city’s design review panel and said that he had just 24 more hours to go as president of the Baltimore Development Corp.
“I decided that Aug. 3 would be the day,” Brodie announced to the Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel. “I have no regrets. It’s been a great run.”
BDC Executive Vice President Kimberly A. Clark will become interim president while a national search for Brodie’s successor is ongoing, he said.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced in February that Brodie was leaving but would remain indefinitely in the job he had held for 16 years while a Plant City, Fla., firm conducted a national search for a new BDC president.
Brodie’s departure came amid a cluster of resignations at City Hall this past year, including Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III, Deputy Mayor Christopher Thomaskutty and Peter O’Malley, the mayor’s chief of staff.
Brodie said Thursday that Irene E. Van Sant, the BDC’s project analyst, has also resigned. Her last day is Aug. 10.
Another BDC official, Kathy Robertson, resigned earlier this summer to take a job with the state Department of Transportation.
Brodie said Thursday he was leaving with a sense of accomplishment that the 21-year-old nonprofit BDC had shifted its mission to help the city’s neighborhoods through programs like Main Street and overseeing the opening of 20 grocery stores in the city during his tenure.
“Looking back, I think the BDC had a very important role to play in neighborhoods,” he said.
First appointed by former Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke in January 1996, Brodie has served four Baltimore mayors.
He has often been at the center of controversy over large developments and the city’s granting of tax breaks in the form of tax increment financing bonds, known as TIFs, or payments in lieu of taxes, known as PILOTS, to developers.
He leaves as two other requests are on the horizon: A $48 million PILOT for the Superblock project on the city’s West Side, and a yet-to-be submitted $100 million TIF for construction of a tower for Exelon Corp. in Harbor Point.
“Controversy comes with the job,” Brodie observed, with a tinge of philosophic reflection.
An architect and former deputy commissioner of the city’s Department of Housing and Community Development from 1969-1984, Brodie is a member of the board of the National Coalition to Save Our Mall in Washington. He said he plans to take a month off and then visit relatives in New York and friends in Arizona, Maine, New Haven, Conn. and San Francisco before possibly embarking on a consulting career.
“I want to take a period of refreshment and after that period of refreshment, I will think about the things I want to do,” he said.