Balancing Preservation and Progress
Annapolis has a robust Economic Development Strategic Action Plan that guides the delicate balance between preserving the existing local character and assets and embracing progress to ensure continued relevancy. The City constantly strives to achieve a vital and resilient economic environment that:
- Preserves existing local assets and community character
- Welcomes globalization
- Embraces cultural diversity
- Ensures that the City is recognized as a center of excellence for culture, heritage, arts, entertainment, recreation and technology
- Continually creates new opportunities to attract and retain companies, residents and visitors alike
Annapolis’ Six Business Neighborhoods
West Annapolis: Colorful Boutiques and Upscale Services
Located at a primary point of entry to Annapolis and a brisk walk to the city’s vital center, West Annapolis is the charming home to a strong and civically active business community. Renowned for colorful boutiques, antique stores and upscale services in its commercial core, its side streets discreetly house the largest concentration of professional and healthcare provider offices in the city. For shoppers looking for that unique gift, specialty shops and antique stores abound, offering some of the most creative shopping in Annapolis. Mind, body and spirit can also be nurtured at a host of salons, spas, yoga studios and alternative healthcare therapy services.
Eastport: Maritime Heart and Soul of Annapolis
Sweeping views of the Chesapeake Bay, as well as strong community spirit and quality of life that blend historical with nautical, make Eastport one of the top destinations in Annapolis. Here, charming homes nestle among thriving marine businesses. Despite its laid-back, fun-loving boating atmosphere, Eastport has a well-deserved reputation as the hard-working maritime heart and soul of Annapolis—from its retail and office “village center” along Fourth Street, to its high-performance sailing retailers and manufacturers, boatyards, marine services and sailing schools.
Historic Downtown: Beautiful Seaport Capital
For 350 years, history, hospitality and architecture have drawn tourists, world-class boaters and dignitaries from across the globe to Annapolis’ city center. Its unique mix of stately historic homes, brick streets, charming boutiques and sidewalk cafes, stunning harbor, government offices, and revered academic institutions of St. John’s College and the United States Naval Academy have turned visitors into residents for centuries. Creatively housed retail and office space amid the largest concentration of elegant Georgian and Victorian architecture in the nation and a busy pedestrian thoroughfare combine to offer your business a formidable advantage. In fact, the entire downtown area (one square mile) is a National Historic Landmark.
Collectively, the city’s six commercial neighborhoods are the cornerstone of Annapolis: A city where a vibrant economy and superior quality of living is a way of life.
Inner West Street: From High-Tech to High-Touch
Inner West Street’s dynamic blend of commercial, professional, cultural and residential elements offers compelling advantages to its business base. The gateway to a vital legislative and judicial hub, circuit and district courthouses, three high-end hotels and a significant number of busy office buildings are clear evidence of the vitality of this professional, high-tech and hospitality region. Yet, transformation of existing buildings into boutiques, office space and restaurants has preserved the village feel of this dynamic, charismatic area. Buzzing with activity from morning to night, this urban-village setting with lively cultural attractions has made it the ideal venue for the world-class Annapolis Arts District, where studying, exhibiting, performing, and practicing the visual and performing arts flourishes.
Upper West Street: Highly Visible and Easily Accessible Corridor
Proximity to Route 2, a major north-south highway, and Route 50, a major east-west highway, makes Upper West Street a strategic commercial artery of Annapolis. Close to premier shopping destinations that offer every convenience, this high-visibility corridor is blossoming with retail businesses, office development and unique urban-residential neighborhoods. One end of the corridor serves as an anchor of the Annapolis Arts District. Midway along the corridor, the Annapolis Design District has blossomed into a “cool” urban business community where leading home design and showroom, arts and other innovative/entrepreneurial businesses create, collaborate and enjoy. The rest of Upper West Street offers an attractive selection of sites for light industrial use, retail, office and residential.
Forest Drive: Charming Blend of Urban and Suburban
Forest Drive is a key place to live and work in Annapolis. From gourmet foods and fine wines to healthcare and car care, a wide array of shopping and businesses serve the secluded neighborhoods that border the accessible main thoroughfare. Ease of access to major transportation arteries, including routes to Washington DC, Baltimore MD and nearby airports, make Forest Drive a smart choice. It has all the amenities and conveniences you could ask for in an area that blends urban and suburban for the perfect formula for success.
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