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Old July 9th, 2005, 04:51 PM   #1
StevenW
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Thumbs up Baltimore Development News IV

To get this thread started off right, here are some recent posts from the last thread. These are renderings of projects that have never been built or are on the drawing boards or are in the works for construction soon:

Hackerman's Conway street proposal:









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Water Tower





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300 East pratt
Last rendering ever released:




Old rendering, when it was proposed as a Westin Hotel:


Yet another old proposal for 300 East Pratt that never happened:



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RLJ Convention Hotel proposals:




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Old proposed projects that never happened:

The SM Tower:






Other towers that never made it:
The proposed Provident tower:


another proposal scrapped:


The older One Light Street proposals:


BTW, I love that first One Light Street rendering/design. Too bad it never happened.
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Old July 9th, 2005, 07:35 PM   #2
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Here is the link for Baltimore Development III

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=216685
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Old July 9th, 2005, 08:21 PM   #3
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damn, you guys are already on #4? judging from the number of development news threads, i would say baltimore is best-represented on ssc.
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Old July 9th, 2005, 08:29 PM   #4
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Found this pic on the Brewer's Hill site:



I didnt realize how intergral the Brewer's Hill/Camden Crossing developments are to creating one cohesive waterfront district. Of course each waterfront neighborhood has its own feel and flair, but I really think that there's no reason people cant be drawn from the Inner Harbor and travel southeast through Harbor East and Fells Point and Canton. They just need some reason to go.
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Old July 9th, 2005, 09:24 PM   #5
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Thank's StevenW for creating the Baltimore Development News IV Thread.

Fanofterps and Waj0527, I walked by the site where the Water Tower condos are supposed to be built. There is a large sign with a picture of the building on one of the facades of the parking lot and better yet, they have a sales office on the ground floor. So that looks encouraging.

Has anyone heard anything about the City Place development. I walked past that too and didn't see any signs of any activity.

The current issue of the BBJ also has an article about Best Buy looking for a site in downtown Baltimore. You guys are really astute because someone on this forum mentioned this several weeks ago and I found it difficult to believe! The article has a photo of the retail section of Lockwood Place, but I don't think that they would locate there because the cost of leasing there would be prohibative unless they get a break from the developer.
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Old July 9th, 2005, 09:26 PM   #6
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by xzmattzx
damn, you guys are already on #4? judging from the number of development news threads, i would say baltimore is best-represented on ssc.
Actually, it's really the 5th thread.
When the threads started changing over after 500 posts, the first time, the thread name stayed the same. AND before the first thread change, the post count was a rediculious #. I think it was at or 7,000 posts!!
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Old July 9th, 2005, 09:31 PM   #7
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Jaramillo
Thank's StevenW for creating the Baltimore Development News IV Thread.

Fanofterps and Waj0527, I walked by the site where the Water Tower condos are supposed to be built. There is a large sign with a picture of the building on one of the facades of the parking lot and better yet, they have a sales office on the ground floor. So that looks encouraging.

Has anyone heard anything about the City Place development. I walked past that too and didn't see any signs of any activity.

The current issue of the BBJ also has an article about Best Buy looking for a site in downtown Baltimore. You guys are really astute because someone on this forum mentioned this several weeks ago and I found it difficult to believe! The article has a photo of the retail section of Lockwood Place, but I don't think that they would locate there because the cost of leasing there would be prohibative unless they get a break from the developer.
Thanks, Hugh. I generally try to keep up with our post count. When 500 posts happen it's time to start over.

About "CityScape, I think you are refering to, it's in the designing stage. I talked to the BDC project manager for CityScape. From what I understand from him, both CityScape AND 300 East Pratt are coming along.
I don't know why, but, I think that August is going to be a month that will reveal allot of info AND renderings on some of these projects we've been LUSTING over. LOL.
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Old July 10th, 2005, 02:32 AM   #8
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Thanks Hugh also

Imagine the following:
Zenith= 200 units, 300 East Pratt= 250 units, 1 Light St=250 units, Cityscape= 300 units, Water Tower= 300 units, and St. Regis complex=200 to 300 units. This would add about 3,000 people living in the Central Business District or a real 24 hour enviroment in Center City not to mention a great skyline.







Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenW
Thanks, Hugh. I generally try to keep up with our post count. When 500 posts happen it's time to start over.

About "CityScape, I think you are refering to, it's in the designing stage. I talked to the BDC project manager for CityScape. From what I understand from him, both CityScape AND 300 East Pratt are coming along.
I don't know why, but, I think that August is going to be a month that will reveal allot of info AND renderings on some of these projects we've been LUSTING over. LOL.
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Old July 10th, 2005, 04:23 AM   #9
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Ditto.
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Old July 10th, 2005, 06:03 AM   #10
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All of these projects plus the Key highway redevelopment is going to bring a lot of triffic downtown.
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Old July 10th, 2005, 03:05 PM   #11
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yeah, that has been one of my biggest concerns/questions. How and WHEN will upgrades to public transportation begin? Who will pay for it? Where will it be?

Well, one thing, until public transportation grows with all the other new developments both commercial and residential, maybe some business big and small will profit more by slower traffic and more foot travel. I guess we'll have to wait and see about that one.
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Old July 10th, 2005, 05:56 PM   #12
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Excellent viewing

On waj0527's map The Korean War Memorial park is an excellent location to see the work ocuring at Canton Crossing.

Last edited by Maudibjr; July 10th, 2005 at 05:58 PM. Reason: bolding
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Old July 10th, 2005, 08:38 PM   #13
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I'd love to see some up-to-date construction pix of the Canton Crossing projects.
Wouldn't you?
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Old July 10th, 2005, 09:56 PM   #14
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Let's keep this link pretty close by: http://www.arcwheeler.com/projects/414lightstreet.php

In the next 3 or 4 weeks it will be interesting to see updates on this most exciting project for Baltimore.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 03:14 AM   #15
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How long til the Westside looks the renderings developers released?:








Last edited by waj0527; July 11th, 2005 at 03:33 AM.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 04:27 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenW
yeah, that has been one of my biggest concerns/questions. How and WHEN will upgrades to public transportation begin? Who will pay for it? Where will it be? Well, one thing, until public transportation grows with all the other new developments both commercial and residential, maybe some business big and small will profit more by slower traffic and more foot travel. I guess we'll have to wait and see about that one.
I don't think anybody profits when transportation slows things down. Over the years a number of corporate presences in the city have cited transportation and parking as reasons to move to the 'burbs. I'm really hoping something emerges in the way of a new idea on this because right now, it's all in the hands of the Md Dept of Transportation and you can read their plan on their web site (www.mtamaryland.com). Suffice to say, at best, improved transit in the city will progress at a glacial pace. Unfortunately MDOT is a multi-modal agency that serves the entire state so transit in the city is just a small piece of the pie for them. Transit stands in the same long line with budget requests for roads in Garrett county, port facilities, toll bridges, and the 800 lb gorillas, the Wilson Bridge and the next Bay Bridge.

Right now, the Red line (Woodlawn to Canton) is about 10 years out at best. The Green Line (extension of the Subway northeast from Hopkins Hospital) comes after that. It will be intersting to see what comes from the current bus line revision plan. It has long been needed but every tiny little change will be controversial and you can expect to see media photos of little old ladies with their walkers standing vainly at retired bus stops, waiting to get to their doctor appointment. I wish I knew where all this ends up because I really think that, along with the school system, nothing else holds such a strangle hold on the city's progress.

Having transit in the hands of the State just won't move things along fast enough. Projects that require federal funds will move even slower than the State since the State has to come up with a detailed plan, spend a lot of its own money and THEN stand in line for Federal money, which may take years. We need a conclave of creative thinkers who can come up with concrete proposals that don't have costs in the billions and that can start being built now. Who knows, maybe the talked-about Charles St trolley can be the start of something, but cost-wise, I can't see that being cheap or fast either since it's basically low-end version of light rail and requires building tracks and wires on current streets. I wish I knew the answer to all this because, like many people, I struggle with getting places in the city every day and sometimes just get sick and tired of the aggravation. The rails are not extensive enough, the buses are slow it best and when I drive somewhere, parking is always a hassle, even for a person like me who has paranormal ability to find parking spaces anywhere.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 05:44 AM   #17
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Just imagine the Arc Wheeler project and the Westin Con. hotel almost side by side if built with the Arc Wheeler project atleast a hundred feet taller than the Westin. That would be crazy. I'm guessing that RKTL would get the AW project or maybe Design Collective. Since these are privately owned project we could see sonstruction start in a matter of months not years. With the current convention hotel plan already $105 million over and striking lots of bad press, I see the Westin 45% back on track, the current hotel plan seems to be in the paper everyday with something bad about it so who knows.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 01:18 PM   #18
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Private hotel deal
Hackerman plan may kick in if city deal fails
Heather Harlan
Staff

The CEO of Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. is prepared to build a hotel behind the Sheraton Inner Harbor, just steps from the city's Convention Center -- if the city's publicly funded project crumbles, according to real estate sources familiar with the plan.

The Baltimore City Council is expected to vote July 11 whether to approve the $305 million, 100-percent, publicly financed convention headquarters hotel just outside Oriole Park at Camden Yards downtown. Mayor Martin O'Malley and the Baltimore Development Corp., advocates of the proposal, have argued that since 9-11, a convention headquarters hotel outside of New York or a resort area has not been built without public subsidy.

Willard Hackerman, the Whiting Turner CEO who has a long-standing policy of prohibiting his employees from talking with the media, could not be reached for comment.

The CEO's behind-the-scenes discussions raise a key question, though: Why should the city use taxpayer money to fully fund a hotel if private developers are willing to make that move?

Councilman Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., who has led opposition against the proposed publicly financed headquarters hotel, said he would have to see Hackerman's latest hotel designs before deciding whether a new property on Conway Street or one combined with an existing Sheraton Hotel near Hackerman's site could supplant the city's plans.

"We've heard all of the arguments that there needs to be more rooms to support the Convention Center," Mitchell said. "If Mr. Hackerman is willing to build on that site near the Convention Center, I think that's fantastic."

Donald C. Fry, president of the Greater Baltimore Committee, had a different perspective. Even the initial planning for a new convention headquarters hotel can stimulate further hotel development or expansion of existing properties, he said.

"I think the fact that a convention headquarters hotel would be built would give other private companies reason to look at their investments and see if they need to expand," Fry said.

Once Denver proceeded with plans to build a convention headquarters hotel, other private investors decided to jump into the game. In November 2004, Stonebridge Cos. of Colorado announced plans to build a 220-room Hilton Garden Inn limited-service hotel across from the Hyatt Denver Convention Center Hotel.

During a recent hearing about Baltimore's proposed convention center hotel, Cheryl Cohen, Denver's manager of revenue, said the privately financed hotels that began to take shape -- once Denver decided to move forward with a publicly financed project -- were much smaller in scope and scale.

The proposed convention headquarters hotel in Baltimore would be a Hilton with 750 rooms. The city's largest hotel, the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, has 751 rooms, but stands about a mile from the Convention Center.

The Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel has 337 rooms. The site behind the Sheraton that Hackerman controls is about a half acre, according to state property records, and could accommodate a tall building.

The Baltimore Business Journal first reported in June 2002 that Hackerman had purchased the land along Conway Street for $1.7 million, raising speculation that he could extend the existing Sheraton Inner Harbor into a much-needed convention headquarters hotel.

Hackerman was one of the bidders whose proposal was rejected by the city in favor of the Hilton, led by Black Entertainment Television founder Robert L. Johnson.

In October 2003, the group led by Hackerman asked the mayor to strongly reconsider its alternative plan to construct a Westin on Conway Street behind the Sheraton. With a link to the Sheraton, the team -- including local developer Otis Warren, national development firm Garfield Traub and Baltimore architect Peter Fillat -- said the combined properties would serve as a convention headquarters hotel.

Even though Hackerman's alternative plan showed some private investment, public subsidy would be needed, according to those familiar with the proposal.

Ray Garfield, principal of Garfield Traub Development in Texas, said he and his firm are simply "sitting on the sidelines'' waiting to see how the Baltimore situation unfolds. Garfield said the original team, which included his firm, could mobilize in days -- should the publicly financed proposal fall flat.

"Mr. Hackerman's site is an excellent site and one that can be developed more cost effectively,'' Garfield said.

While Hackerman's initial Westin proposal was rejected, the CEO's Towson-based firm is being considered as construction manager for the convention headquarters hotel project.

The Baltimore Development Corp. (BDC) has narrowed its list to Faulkner USA of Austin, Texas, Hensel Phelps Construction Co. of Chantilly, Va., and Whiting-Turner, which developed the office tower at 750 E. Pratt St. The BDC has not yet made a final decision.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 01:20 PM   #19
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Consumer electronics chain Best Buy has sights on Downtown Baltimore
Julekha Dash
Staff

Best Buy Co. Inc., the nation's largest consumer electronics retailer, has targeted downtown Baltimore as part of its expansion plans.

The move would be an economic boon to a city currently underserved by national retail chains and mirrors a trend among big box retailers making forays into urban markets after years of neglect, retail experts say.

The Minneapolis store is "looking at being a part of the [Downtown Baltimore] area," Best Buy Spokesman Jay Musolf said.

"This is another way to add convenience for residents of Baltimore that live in downtown," without having to drive to other store locations, he said.

Other Baltimore area Best Buy stores are in Woodlawn, Towson, Glen Burnie, White Marsh and Columbia.

But Musolf could not divulge where the downtown store would go or when it would open until at least later this month because the company has not yet officially announced a signed lease agreement.

Only a handful of downtown spots could accommodate a retailer whose stores range in size between 20,000 and 45,000 square feet. Lockwood Place, a restaurant and retail site under construction, will include a single retailer on its third floor, which is 30,000 square feet, said John Meyer, a principal at KLNB Retail Inc.

Meyer said the Towson retail broker is negotiating with a variety of retailers but declined to say whether Best Buy is one of them. The complex will open in spring 2006 and will include stores that are not already downtown, he said. The shell of the building, located at Pratt and Market Place, will be completed by year's end, Meyer said.

Ronald M. Kreitner, executive director of WestSide Renaissance Inc., said he was unaware of any discussions to lure the consumer electronics chain to West Baltimore, which is undergoing revitalization efforts.

Best Buy's entry into downtown will encourage other lifestyle retailers to come on board since chain stores "tend to follow one another," said Nan Rohrer, director of retail development at Downtown Partnership of Baltimore Inc.

The store's interest in downtown follows that of another national big-box retailer, Office Depot Inc., which opened two downtown outlets within the past year. An influx of downtown residents -- which will total 10,000 by year's end -- has motivated retailers to consider downtown more seriously than in the past, Rohrer said.

A Baltimore store would further Best Buy's penetration in urban markets, Musolf said. This year alone, the company opened its third outlet in Manhattan and stores in Atlanta and Chicago.

In the quarter ending May 28, Best Buy opened 11 new stores in the United States. The new stores helped fuel a 12 percent revenue increase to 6.1 billion, with MP3 players, digital TVs, video games, digital cameras and notebook computers supplying the strongest sales. The company, which operates 840 stores in the United States and Canada, had $27 billion in fiscal year 2005 sales and earned $984 million in net income.


© 2005 American City Business Journals Inc.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 01:23 PM   #20
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OPINION
From the July 8, 2005 print edition
'Housing bubble' won't burst in city

"Housing bubble" has become a quite ubiquitous phrase in the American lexicon over the past several years.

The bubble never seems to burst or deflate, but every new quarter brings with it dire warnings of a market correction that will send the value of our homes and our real estate investments into the abyss.

It has happened before: Southern California's housing market was on fire in the mid-1980s. By the recession years of the early '90s, though, many homeowners were holding mortgages that far exceeded the value of their houses. Foreclosures were rampant.

Willl that happen in Baltimore and other areas that have experienced years of rapid house price inflation? According to local economist Anirban Basu, who writes our "Economic Barometer" reports each week, the Baltimore area is less vulnerable to a large correction than other metros.

The major reason is that the Baltimore area is surrounded by more expensive metros. While $200,000 for a bungalow in the city neighborhood of Hamilton is shocking to locals, it is still considered a bargain to families and investors coming in from the outside. And a lot of people and money are indeed coming in from the outside.

Another indication that Baltimore's housing market is not out of control is the relatively small percentage here of interest-only, variable-rate mortgages, which are riskier than conventional loans. Only 19 percent of mortgages in Greater Baltimore are interest-only, compared with 48 percent in San Diego and 45 percent in Atlanta.

So what's the bottom line? Baltimore is still a solid investment and should remain that way for at least the next several years.


© 2005 American City Business Journals Inc.
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