The Baltimore Empowerment Zone extends over 6.8 square miles, covering three separate areas of east, west, and south Baltimore, and containing over 50,000 people and 2,000 businesses. The Empowerment Zone area covers 25 census tracts. The neighborhoods that make up the Empowerment Zone include: East Harbor, Historic East Baltimore, Harlem Park / Lafayette Square, Poppleton, Sandtown-Winchester, and Washington Village of Baltimore City. 

About the Empowerment Zone


Geographic Area

East Harbor
Located just east of the Jones Falls Expressway and the Inner Harbor, the East Harbor area encomp
asses Fells Point and Jonestown, both historic communities that include numerous, established commercial and retail businesses and residences. Fells Point, Butchers Hill and Washington Hill are formally designated Historic Districts. Fells Point and Little Italy are tremendous tourist attractions. The area is also home to the Marriott Waterfront Hotel, Fresh Fields and a cadre of restaurants including Roy’s, Charleston’s and Fleming's.

Historic East Baltimore
Community organizations, institutions, and businesses have united to create the area known as Historic East Baltimore.  The boundaries of the area beginning at the southern line is Fayette Street from Central Avenue to Chester Street and Jefferson Street, western line from Central Avenue to E. Monument Street and Caroline Street, northern line of Federal Street from Caroline Street to Lakewood Avenue and the eastern line of Eager Street and Kenwood Avenue.  This area is home to the new John Hopkins University Biotechnology Research Park.

Harlem Park / Lafayette Square Community
Located in West Baltimore, Harlem Park/ Lafayette Square is a collection of adjoining neighborhoods made up of community residents, community associations, community institutions, community churches and religious organizations, community schools, and community businesses.  The community is located from the far northwest corner of Lafayette Avenue and Fulton Avenue, to the middle of Lafayette Avenue, south on Fulton Avenue, east on Franklin Street and North on Fremont Avenue. 

Community of Poppleton
Poppleton is located in West Baltimore just across the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.  With an amended urban renewal plan, the Community of Poppleton hosts the University of Maryland Biotechnology Campus.  The community is also home to Hollins Market, a public market with diverse appeal.  The boundaries are Franklin Street to the north, Carey Street to the west, Pratt Street to the south, and Paca Street to the east.

Sandtown-Winchester/ Self Motivated Community

This area is one of the Empowerment Zone's largest and includes the Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street and Renaissance area.  The boundary lines are located south of Gwynn Falls Parkway, east of Reisterstown Road, Pennsylvania Avenue and Fremont Avenue, north of Lafayette Avenue, east of Fulton Avenue, south of Laurens Street between Fulton Avenue and Mount Street, east of Mount Street, north of North Avenue and east of the Western Maryland Railroad tracks.

Washington Village Pigtown Neighborhood
Washington Village Pigtown is in Southwest Baltimore and includes the neighborhoods of Barre Circle and Morrell Park.
  Over the last several years, the neighborhood has gained new investment, particularly with the renovation and now new Montgomery Park Center.  Located in south west Baltimore, the neighborhood boundaries are the southeast corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Interstate 95, West on Interstate 95 to Baltimore & Ohio Railroad tracks, south and then west on the B&O tracks to Atlantic Avenue.  Follow tracks to Carey Street back to Pratt and Pratt to the southeast corner of Scott Street.


Empowerment Zone 2000 Demographics:

Total Residents
Under 18
18 – 64

Median Household Income
Median Family Income

Residents Living In Poverty

Residents in the Labor Force
Unemployment Rate







Tax Tips

Important Tax Tips for Accountants and Businesses in Empowerment Zones and Renewal Communities:

A little time on the computer can reduce your federal tax liability and help a company's bottom line. Just download the Address Locator (4 Mb) to see if your business is located in an Empowerment Zone. Review your employee roster to see if you have employees that live in the Empowerment Zone. From 2002-2009, your business could earn a yearly wage tax credit of up to $3,000 for every employee that lives in an Empowerment Zone.

Personal property that you purchased last year and use in an Empowerment Zone can be expensed, resulting in an additional $35,000 in deductions each year from 2002-2009, through Increased Section 179 deductions.

Plan ahead for this summer. Your business can receive up to $1,200 in Work Opportunity Tax Credits (WOTCs) if you hire youth from an Empowerment Zone between May 1 and September 15.

If you have entry-level jobs, you can take up to $2,400 in WOTCs for each 18 to 24 year-old employee you hire from the Empowerment Zone. It does not matter where the employee works for you, but you will need to obtain a certification that the employee qualifies from the State Employment Services Agency (SESA).

You can increase the wage credit available to you by targeting your employee recruitment to residents of housing developments located in the Empowerment Zone. These residents can qualify the business for the Empowerment Zone Wage Credit or the WOTC.

Leverage your tax credits by reviewing State tax laws to significantly reduce Your taxes. In many cases, tax incentives may be available for businesses located in State or local enterprise communities.

To find more information on Renewal Community tax incentives and to obtain a free copy of the publication, "Tax Incentive Guide for Businesses in the Renewal Communities, Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities", call 800-998-9999. Above content is directly from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

For more information, go to:

Home | About Us | The Empowerment Zones | Programs and Grants | Best Practices | Resources | Contact Us
Empower Baltimore Management Corporation • 111 Water Street, Suite 201 • Baltimore, MD 21202 • 410-783-4400 • (fax) 410-783-0526