Nine East 33rd Street project rendering

An infrequently used
development tool is helping Johns Hopkins University and Medicine partner with
private developers on projects that serve both Johns Hopkins’ mission and the surrounding
community’s needs.

On multiple properties
throughout the Baltimore-Washington Corridor, Johns Hopkins has entered into
ground lease agreements with private developers. Those arrangements enable
Hopkins to hand off development and operations of new facilities to the private
sector while maintaining ownership of prime locations and future options to redevelop

In locations, such as
Charles Village, JHU is also using these development projects to address the
community’s needs and desires. The Nine East 33rd Street project,
for example, served the university’s need for market-rate student apartments
while also creating 31,000 square feet of ground-level retail space in a
section of the city that was considered under-retailed. The current plan to
redevelop the Blackstone Building at the corner of North Charles and East 33rd
will produce a 115-room hotel which is needed by both the university and the
surrounding community.

Ground lease payments from
Nine East 33rd are already funding additional benefits in Charles
Village, namely a multi-faceted streetscaping project designed to create a
vibrant, walkable retail district. The project, lead by Design Collective, is adding
walking paths, bike paths, landscaped medians, brick crosswalks, granite curbs,
improved lighting and benches along parts of 33rd and St. Paul

“We’re building the
ecosystem of Charles Village,” said Mitch Bonanno, JHU’s Chief Real Estate
Officer. “The ground leases have proven to be a good way to use university land
in a way that is mutually beneficial to Johns Hopkins and the community. They
are also creating economic development opportunities.”

Those opportunities,
Bonanno said, include expanding Johns Hopkins’ local hiring goals to
public-private projects. For example, the development agreement for the Study
Hotel at North Charles and 33rd included requirements that hotel
construction and operation meet JHU’s local hiring standards.