The Venetoulis Institute & the Baltimore Banner Secure Downtown Office & Newsroom Location to Bring Local News to Baltimore

January 13, 2022

Downtown Office and Newsroom to Employ up to 100 journalists and staff

BALTIMORE, MD (January 13, 2022) – The Venetoulis Institute for Local Journalism, a Baltimore based nonprofit organization, announced today that it has signed a multi-year lease for prime office space in Baltimore’s desirable Inner Harbor. The 15,000 sq. ft. space located in Spark Flex in the Pier IV office building can accommodate up to 100 employees for The Institute and will include a state-of the-art newsroom for The Baltimore Banner.

“A newsroom should be in the heart of the city, close to the institutions we seek to hold accountable and integrated into the communities we serve and are a part of. We will be bringing more than 100 jobs to the area over the next year, helping to support the ongoing efforts to revitalize downtown Baltimore.” said Imtiaz Patel, Chief Executive Officer at The Venetoulis Institute. “We are building a new kind of news organization where an open, modern space is a critical component to attracting top talent and of how the newsroom and business operations will work together to build a sustainable news media organization.”

The Institute, which was founded earlier this year by Maryland businessman and philanthropist, Stewart Bainum, Jr., and his family, is preparing to launch The Banner, a new digital news enterprise serving Baltimore’s diverse communities. The newsroom for The Banner is rapidly being built out by Kimi Yoshino, a veteran reporter and former managing editor with the Los Angeles Times. The Banner recently announced several appointments of diverse veteran journalists with deep ties to the region who collectively bring decades of reporting experience on vital issues in Baltimore, including health, crime and justice, education, and arts and culture. The goal is to have more than 50 journalists initially, with ability to grow a newsroom with well over 100 staff members.

Located in the Pier IV office building in downtown Baltimore, The Venetoulis Institute and The Baltimore Banner newsroom will be a part of Spark Flex, a new hybrid workspace model that blends collaborative coworking with traditional corporate office space. As The Institute continues to grow Spark Flex provides lease flexibility, build-to-suit office space, hospitality-focused amenities and on-site member services.

“We are excited to have The Venetoulis Institute and The Baltimore Banner select our entrepreneurial community, Spark Flex, as the home of their dynamic team,” said Shervonne Cherry, Director of Community and Partnerships for Spark Coworking. “Organizations are looking for creative solutions and resourceful partners as they define and redefine their workplace culture, and Spark Flex fits those needs. Spark Coworking and The Cordish Companies, our parent company, are extremely excited about this not-for-profit model of journalism and what it means for the Baltimore community.” 

“The Downtown Partnership is thrilled to welcome The Venetoulis Institute and The Baltimore Banner to downtown Baltimore,” said Shelonda Stokes, President of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore. “Welcoming 100 new employees and potential residents adds to the positive momentum of downtown’s growth.”

The Venetoulis Institute is currently hiring for several business and newsroom positions in Baltimore. To learn more about open positions, visit


About The Venetoulis Institute: A nonprofit local news organization dedicated to strengthening, uniting, and inspiring the greater Baltimore community.

Rick Abbruzzese

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