Baltimore unveiled its EconView tool on Tuesday, a new application aimed at providing residents, business owners and potential investors an idea of the type of development underway in city neighborhoods.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced plans to launch the tool during her State of the City Address earlier this month.
“I want to highlight what is happening in Baltimore, and the exciting growth that is coming to our many different communities,” Rawlings-Blake said in a news release announcing the launch.
The city promises that the tool will be regularly refined and updated and the product has some decent features that direct a resident to which city agency to contact about a particular project. It also includes a handful of useful tidbits like the expected total cost to build a project.
But, like any new tool, there are still bugs to be worked out. EconView is a little behind: the planned rehab to The Motor House ( the former Load of Fun Building) wasn’t yet listed.
The product was developed by the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Neighborhood Development and the Mayor’s Office of Information Technology; the only cost associated with the product is staff time, according to Howard Libit, a spokesman for the mayor.
Development of the tool comes just as some entrepreneurs, such as the Oakland-based OppSites, are marketing products aimed at providing the same services to cities.
Libit said via email he was not familiar with OppSites.
“This new tool seemed like the best fit to convey the information we wanted in the way we wanted,” Libit wrote.