Amazon HQ2 is upending Northern Virginia’s already unstable housing market

Amazon has yet to break ground in Northern Virginia for its second headquarters, but residents are already turning away persistent speculators, recalculating budgets for down payments on homes and fighting rent increases. Amazon announced in November that its second headquarters would be in National Landing, which includes parts of Crystal City, Pentagon City and Alexandria, all suburbs of Washington. The company will hire 25,000 people over the next 10 to 12 years. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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China is pulling ahead of North America on smart cities

China is developing 500 smart cities — almost half the worldwide total, and more than 10 times North America's figure. Why it matters: China's smart cities signal the country's strengths not only in technology and infrastructure, but in implementation. Details: In Canada and the U.S., smart cities face obstacles including skepticism of Big Tech, privacy concerns, outdated infrastructure, and the difficulty of aligning stakeholders. (Axios)

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Under Armour recognized by ESPN for basketball program linking youth and police

Under Armour has been recognized by ESPN for working with the NBA to use basketball to build community ties between youth and police. The Baltimore-based apparel maker received the network’s Sports Humanitarian Corporate Community Impact Award for Building Bridges through Basketball. The brand, given the award Tuesday night, started the effort in 2016 in Chicago and has expanded it to Charlotte, N.C. (Balt. Sun)

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Five major medical malpractice cases that preceded last week’s ‘record-setting’ verdict against Hopkins Bayview

Last week, a jury awarded a mother whose baby suffered a brain injury during birth at Johns Hopkins Bayview $229 million — a record sum, her lawyers said. The baby, who is now 4-years-old, has brain damage due to a lack of oxygen during her delivery. She has cerebral palsy, uses a feeding tube and requires 24/7 care. Although Maryland laws meant to cap malpractice awards will likely reduce the total to about $200 million, the jury’s verdict is among the largest in U.S. history. (Balt. Sun)

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Food marketplace planned for Baltimore’s Clipper Mill

Owners of Baltimore’s Whitehall Mill plan to bring a new food marketplace to the former factory in Clipper Mill, complete with outdoor table service and off-premise catering. Baltimore’s liquor board is set to make a decision on whether to approve a liquor license for the facility, 3300 Clipper Mill Road, on July 18. The hearing is at 11 a.m. in Room 215 at City Hall and is open to the public. David Tufaro, founder of Terra Nova Ventures, which oversaw the building’s recent $22 million renovation into an apartment complex, could not be immediately reached for comment. Tufaro also restored nearby 19th-century Jones Falls Valley property, Mill No. 1, home to Cosima. (Balt. Sun)

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Uber launches new 'comfort' tier option in 43 cities, including Baltimore

Ride-sharing service Uber Technologies Inc. has launched a new ride tier called Uber Comfort, which gives customers access to a quiet ride, control over the vehicle's air conditioning and higher rated drivers for a premium price. The new tier, which launched Tuesday, includes Baltimore as well as 42 other cities and the entirety of Connecticut, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. Uber Comfort is now the ridesharing company’s third-most expensive ride behind Uber Select and Uber Black and SUV. The Comfort tier costs roughly 20 percent to 40 percent more than an UberX ride. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Sound Garden owners plan medical cannabis lounge in Fells Point

The couple behind beloved Baltimore record store The Sound Garden is looking to branch out with plans to open the city's first medical cannabis lounge. Sound Garden owners Bryan and Andrea Burkert envision a private social club offering activities for Maryland medical cannabis cardholders at 701 S. Bond St. in Fells Point. The site was formerly home to Sir Duke, a bar that closed earlier this year. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Maryland remains at No. 31 on CNBC's list of best states for business

Maryland remained at No. 31 on CNBC's annual list of the best states for doing business while rival Virginia took the top overall spot. Little changed from last year's rankings for Maryland. The state continued to rank highly for its workforce in addition to technology and innovation. Maryland also continued to place low for categories like cost of living, cost of doing business and infrastructure. CNBC ranks the states using more than 60 measures of competitiveness in 10 categories, weighted based on how frequently each is used as a selling point in state economic development marketing materials. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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