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Old March 20th, 2007, 12:59 AM   #2041
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A question I asked at ssp I'll ask here, too.
Baltimore's "downtown" really is expanding.
Just imagine when the Cordish tower goes up. It will even bring closer the Center City skyline with the Harbor East skyline. Which kind of makes me wonder, (and I have wondered this for quite some time), is there space available AND zoned for a high-rise or two past 750 east pratt and down President Street to Harbor East?
Does anyone know? Anything available on Stiles Street? Fawn Street? Eastern Ave.?
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Old March 20th, 2007, 01:36 AM   #2042
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Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
A question I asked at ssp I'll ask here, too.
Baltimore's "downtown" really is expanding.
Just imagine when the Cordish tower goes up. It will even bring closer the Center City skyline with the Harbor East skyline. Which kind of makes me wonder, (and I have wondered this for quite some time), is there space available AND zoned for a high-rise or two past 750 east pratt and down President Street to Harbor East?
Does anyone know? Anything available on Stiles Street? Fawn Street? Eastern Ave.?
I don't know about zoning but I've always wondered about the parking lot on President between Eastern and Fawn. It seems like a huge opportunity to me. It's even overlooks that little park and would have a great view of Downtown, Fed Hill, etc....But then, would there be opposition from Little Italy residents about height?
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Old March 20th, 2007, 01:51 AM   #2043
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Not sure about the current zoning situation there, and like any project in Baltimore, high-rises there would surely receive opposition. I would think, however, that the Pratt Street redevelopment could serve to open the door for more "city center"-type development further east. Presently, city center seems to end around Market or so. If the area further east could somehow become more associated with the city center than it could open the door for larger development. It's all about changing peoples' perceptions. Large developments belong in downtown, not in neighborhoods. You just need to convince people that you're building in downtown and not a neighborhood.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 02:03 AM   #2044
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Oh, yeah

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Originally Posted by MountVEE View Post
I've always wondered about the parking lot on President between Eastern and Fawn. It seems like a huge opportunity to me. It's even overlooks that little park and would have a great view of Downtown, Fed Hill, etc....But then, would there be opposition from Little Italy residents about height?
Lived in Little Italy 88-89. Mendel Friedman of Jolly Construction proposed an 11-story tower on that lot. S--- hit the fan. Neighbors were still feeling burned about Scarlett Place. "They shoved that down our throat" was a common refrain. Suspect feelings haven't changed since then. You're right, it would have great views, forever unobstructed since no one will build on Columbus Plaza and the Sewage Pumping Station pretty much has to stay where it is to get the city's effluent out to Back River.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 05:41 AM   #2045
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Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
The real estate there is rapidly appreciating. Part of the bad perception is simply the age of the housing stock shows it deterioration. Much of it is pre-Civil War.

I think the UMB BioPark will take care of that area.

Nate
Maybe it's finally time for something good to happen there. I know several people who moved to Union Square and a nearby block around 1980 and have been waiting for the development wave to arrive since then. They have seen every variety of crime and grime since then, including one person who spent several hours hiding under her bed while two guys ransacked her house and both of them having their rain gutters stolen numerous times. They even have to chain their flower pots to the ground so the thieves only steal the flowers. Anyway...Union Square is quite beautiful but it's a real urban adventure living there and the adventure is a lot more than just perception.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 06:20 AM   #2046
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Maybe it's finally time for something good to happen there. I know several people who moved to Union Square and a nearby block around 1980 and have been waiting for the development wave to arrive since then. They have seen every variety of crime and grime since then, including one person who spent several hours hiding under her bed while two guys ransacked her house and both of them having their rain gutters stolen numerous times. They even have to chain their flower pots to the ground so the thieves only steal the flowers. Anyway...Union Square is quite beautiful but it's a real urban adventure living there and the adventure is a lot more than just perception.
Really? 1980? wow. That neighborhood's kinda sketch now but in 1980? wow.
Maybe I'm pretty new to Baltimore (and only 25, hence born post-1980) but I always imagined most neighborhoods downtown being pretty rough at that point....including Inner Harbor....let alone west baltimore...I hate to be one of those people and maybe I'd rather stay blissfully unaware, but I rarely venture farther west than MLK ever....And I lived in Harlem for two years. A friend of mine just bought a house near Hollins Market and I've yet to ever visit her. I think she moved there because it was one of the only downtown neighborhoods she could afford. Speaking of, I'm looking to buy but there's just nothing out there for me in a neighborhood where I don't fear for my life. I'm still waiting for the over-priced condo market to bust or get over-saturated so I can find something under $200,000 in Mount Vernon or downtown. That seems to be an impossibility. Why is it so either/or?!!
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Old March 20th, 2007, 07:05 AM   #2047
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A great story about a historic Baltimore neighborhood. All I have to say is it's about time.

http://wjz.com/video/[email protected]
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Old March 20th, 2007, 07:39 AM   #2048
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Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
It'd really be great to see Central a nice avenue. I don't know if it was ever nice, really! It used to have rail freight cars running on it.

I think the City plans to rebuild the streetscape on it, but they were waiting to see what would happen with the Red Line (probably nothing on Central, thankfully) to rebuild.

Nate

It could be a nice avenue if they opened up the canal under the center median again!

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Old March 20th, 2007, 07:43 AM   #2049
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I don't think there's anything to be built tall between IHE and downtown. We had discussed this a little while ago. Some 8-12 buildings would work well on those vacant lots, but they're in Little Italy, and it be amazing to even get that through.

---

Union Square's housing is newer and in better shape than Hollins Market. Nice victorians. The area there is not that horrible. It's simply surrounded on three sides by more extreme decay and poverty.

With the gentrification of Pigtown and the Biotech, that area now really stands a chance to move over and make a change. There was simply too much weight the other way before. Even areas to the north of Baltimore St are getting consideration.

Lafayette Square is starting to get recognized for what it is, one of the great urban squares in America! Somebody needs some pictures to post, that and Franklin Square.

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Old March 20th, 2007, 09:27 AM   #2050
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamie_hunt View Post
Lived in Little Italy 88-89. Mendel Friedman of Jolly Construction proposed an 11-story tower on that lot. S--- hit the fan. Neighbors were still feeling burned about Scarlett Place. "They shoved that down our throat" was a common refrain. Suspect feelings haven't changed since then. You're right, it would have great views, forever unobstructed since no one will build on Columbus Plaza and the Sewage Pumping Station pretty much has to stay where it is to get the city's effluent out to Back River.
The difference between the late 1980s and today is Little Italy hungers after whatever foot-traffic it can get.

I too remember very well the opposition Little Italy gave to Scarlet Place, and when several apartment buildings were proposed along the (then) new President Street Boulevard, residents were up in arms…

Almost ten years later, when the Marriott (nee Wyndham) was proposed for Inner Harbor East…I was absolutely, one hundred percent positive…Little Italy would protest the high-rise.

They welcomed it.

I think Little Italy, especially the old family restaurants, are feeling the “economies of scale” at work. Too many are having a harder time making ends meet. Today, even fifteen years later, I think any and every kind of development that can bring more foot traffic, i.e. paid dinners to the area, are welcome.

Little Italy merchants were originally against Harborplace and the Inner Harbor as we know it…they foresaw it as competition. While Harborplace and the Inner Harbor development may have helped them succeed for the last twenty-five years, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more than half the Little Italy restaurants gone in another ten or fifteen…
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Old March 20th, 2007, 09:58 AM   #2051
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Jaramillo View Post
Hollins Market

I have heard rumors that the old Hollins Market is going to be refurbished somewhat. There are plans for 2 restaurants to open near there, one in the old Cultured Pearl space and the other in the market itself. That neigbourhood has a lot of potential but everytime you hear that things are going to turn the corner, they go south really quickly and nothing much happens. There are some beautiful old Victorian houses on Union Square but a lot of the rest of that area is pretty grim and there is not a lot of foot traffic that would sustain retail or other commercial activity. I think drugs are a big problem in that area too.

Anybody out there have any information that they can share on the Hollins Market?
Hollins Market was great. I haven’t been there for close to twenty years.

During the renaissance of the area, besides Cultured Pearl, I used to frequent Tell Tale Heart (another joint inspired by Edgar Alan Poe) and on early Saturday mornings, Rudy's Patisserie, across from the market, for the best hazelnut torte on the east coast.

Once, while at the Tell Tale Hearth, I was yelled at for shaking the sauce in the bottle for their jerk-chicken. Supposedly (they claimed) by shaking the sugars and vinegars in the bottle, the bottle could explode. I’m not kidding…

I hope the Hollins Market area once again sees a revival. With the shopping center at Mount Clare yards, along with all the investment at Union Square; I was convinced the area would prosper. Perhaps it was the overall economy, but the area fell into disrepair in the 1990s. Hopefully the area will stabilize and regain some of its past luster…
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Old March 20th, 2007, 10:10 AM   #2052
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It could be a nice avenue if they opened up the canal under the center median again!

The problem with Harford Run, as with the Jones Falls, is that with the exception of a prolonged rain, the stream smells pretty bad.

While the Jones Falls was covered up in the early 1900s, Canal Street wasn’t covered up until the mid 1950s.

I can’t imagine any benefit of opening us that urban sewer. The Jones Falls, perhaps, but not Central Avenue.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 03:04 PM   #2053
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Lafayette Square is starting to get recognized for what it is, one of the great urban squares in America! Somebody needs some pictures to post, that and Franklin Square.
There are a few pictures of Franklin Square and Union Square on this page of my web site. I don't have any of Lafayette Square though.

There are some really nice houses around these squares, but as you say, surrounded by extreme decay. The contrast from one block to the next is striking.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 03:08 PM   #2054
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Could it be that there is some movement, however slow, on the Cityscape project? I noticed that two brick buildings on Lombard Street that are directly next to the Brookshire Hotel are being gutted on the inside. Is this the beginning of their demolition? Those two buildings, along with some structures on Calvert Street, are part of the Cityscape building footprint. Hmm?
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Old March 20th, 2007, 03:23 PM   #2055
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The problem with Harford Run, as with the Jones Falls, is that with the exception of a prolonged rain, the stream smells pretty bad.

While the Jones Falls was covered up in the early 1900s, Canal Street wasn’t covered up until the mid 1950s.

I can’t imagine any benefit of opening us that urban sewer. The Jones Falls, perhaps, but not Central Avenue.
Back then, they dumped anything and everything into the water. Paint, chemicals, oil - you name it and they dumped it. Environmental laws have since stopped that practice.

The city is currently spending over $1 Billion dollars separating the residential sewer system from the street storm water system. When these two systems were one, heavy rains would cause sewerage overflows. The separation will stop that. BTW, that is the reason our water and sewer bills have gone up substantially. That is how they are paying for this project which will be completed in a few years.

I doubt either stream smells bad now. Both still empty into the harbor and there is no smell at either location where they join the Patapsico.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 04:00 PM   #2056
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I think Little Italy, especially the old family restaurants, are feeling the “economies of scale” at work. Too many are having a harder time making ends meet. Today, even fifteen years later, I think any and every kind of development that can bring more foot traffic, i.e. paid dinners to the area, are welcome.

Little Italy merchants were originally against Harborplace and the Inner Harbor as we know it…they foresaw it as competition. While Harborplace and the Inner Harbor development may have helped them succeed for the last twenty-five years, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more than half the Little Italy restaurants gone in another ten or fifteen…
Didn't realize LI's restaurants were struggling so. Still, the restaurants and the residents don't always see things the same way. While an 11-story tower on the lot bounded by President, Fawn, and Eastern may be good for restaurants (though, would 60-70 units make that much of a difference?), residents see it as casting a long afternoon shadow on the neighborhood, in a much more direct way than the Marriott or even Scarlett Place. Won't name names, but the woman who very effectively led the opposition to an 11-story tower in 88-89 still lives there and is, well, still effective--and connected.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 04:12 PM   #2057
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Really? 1980? wow. That neighborhood's kinda sketch now but in 1980? wow.
Maybe I'm pretty new to Baltimore (and only 25, hence born post-1980) but I always imagined most neighborhoods downtown being pretty rough at that point....including Inner Harbor....let alone west baltimore...I hate to be one of those people and maybe I'd rather stay blissfully unaware, but I rarely venture farther west than MLK ever....And I lived in Harlem for two years. A friend of mine just bought a house near Hollins Market and I've yet to ever visit her. I think she moved there because it was one of the only downtown neighborhoods she could afford. Speaking of, I'm looking to buy but there's just nothing out there for me in a neighborhood where I don't fear for my life. I'm still waiting for the over-priced condo market to bust or get over-saturated so I can find something under $200,000 in Mount Vernon or downtown. That seems to be an impossibility. Why is it so either/or?!!
Wow we're the same age.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 05:02 PM   #2058
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Wow we're the same age.
Me too.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 05:15 PM   #2059
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Nice article in NY Times

Tuesday, March 20, 2007
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By SUSAN WARNER
Published: May 25, 1986
WITH the redevelopment of the downtown waterfront near Harborplace and the National Aquarium nearly complete, developers are now pushing farther out along the harbor, transforming abandoned industrial property into a glittering string of expensive housing, restaurants and marinas.

A 110-year-old plant where industrial fish scrubbers and crushers were once manufactured will reopen as an apartment building this summer. Breakwaters have been set up for a 500-slip marina on the site of an old licorish factory. And this spring, city officials approved rezoning for a $600 million apartment and shopping development to be built on an abandoned shipyard.

City planners predict that in the next five to 10 years, nearly 2,500 dwelling units could be added along the waterfront, representing an investment of nearly $1 billion.

The new projects, which are being built as far as two miles from Harborplace, are designed for professional workers and affluent retirees who want to live close to the downtown business district, and perhaps moor a boat at their doorstep.

While rents in the new developments are high for Baltimore - from $500 to more than $1,300 a month - developers say they are certain that people will pay a premium to be near the water.

''The waterfront in Baltimore is proving to be quite an asset,'' said Paul Schurick, a spokesman for the Neighborhood Progress Administration, the city's redevelopment agency. ''New residents, builders and people who have lived here all their lives are dis-covering that waterfront living is very special.''

The latest, and so far largest, proposal is the $600 million Harbor Keys development that is to be built on the 22-acre site of an abandoned Bethlehem Steel shipyard about a mile south of Harborplace. The site's owners - Richard A. Swirnow, a local developer, and a subsidiary of the Fairfax Savings & Loan Association of Baltimore - have not yet secured financing but they have said construction is to begin this fall.

The developers are planning to build 1,590 housing units, some in new towers that could rise as high as 29 stories, others in ''pier houses'' atop the existing shipyard piers. The complex, which is to be built in stages over the next 10 to 12 years, also will include 200,000 square feet of retail space and a 666-slip marina.

Most of the new waterfront construction, however, is under way along a 25-acre stretch of land about a mile east of Harborplace in an area known as Canton. The new developments are set apart from the more pristine waterfront surroundings near Harborplace, but the developers say they expect to draw tenants who will be charmed by the character of the working harbor.

Daniel Henson, who is developing a turn-of-the-century tin-can decorating factory into a $33 million, 240-unit luxury rental building called Tindeco, now scheduled to open this fall, installed a telescope in a model unit through which visitors can gaze out over ships docking at the nearby Domino Sugar Company refinery or Exxon tank farm.

''People are just mesmerized by it,'' he said. ''In the Inner Harbor, all you see are the pleasure craft, but when you look out here and see the tugs pulling in one of those huge ships, that's really exciting.''

The first developer to push beyond the Inner Harbor was Louis J. Grasnick, who in 1982 built 40 waterfront town houses on a three-acre site of abandoned railroad property he had bought three years earlier. He had planned to relocate his lumber business there, but changed his mind when Mayor William Donald Schaefer suggested that there was a market for luxury waterfront housing. The town houses, priced at more than $150,000, sold out immediately and some have since resold for more than $200,000.

Mr. Grasnick is now building a $15 million, 95-unit high-rise condominium tower just east of the town houses, with units selling for up to $400,000.

This spring, he announced plans to convert a building west of the town houses, now a Volunteers of America job-training center, into 85 apartments.And he has submitted a proposal to build a $17 million, 160-unit apartment and town-house development on a city-owned site just west of the V.O.A. building.

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Old March 20th, 2007, 05:16 PM   #2060
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Really? 1980? wow. That neighborhood's kinda sketch now but in 1980? wow. Maybe I'm pretty new to Baltimore (and only 25, hence born post-1980) but I always imagined most neighborhoods downtown being pretty rough at that point....including Inner Harbor....let alone west baltimore...I hate to be one of those people and maybe I'd rather stay blissfully unaware, but I rarely venture farther west than MLK ever....
Ach. Then you're missing Patrick's at Pratt and Schroeder, the oldest Irish pub in the country (they say). As convivial as the old Mencken's Cultured Pearl Cafe, though the Pearl was funkier.

1980 was about the time folks were slapping themselves in the head for not buying property in Federal Hill a decade earlier, when the neighborhood was threatened by a highway and property was selling for next to nothing. StevenW captured it on another thread ...

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Remember this?
For a good read on Union Square, check out "Happy Days" by H.L. Mencken. His family moved to 1524 Hollins on the north side of the square in 1883 (he was three at the time), when that part of the neighborhood was a relatively new suburb. Except for five years at 704 Cathedral in Mt. Vernon, he lived there 'til he died in 1956. Cool thing is, most of the neighborhood landmarks of his youth remain, except for Willow Brook, the mansion on the west end of the square demolished for the lamentably ugly Stuart Hill elementary school.

Last edited by jamie_hunt; March 20th, 2007 at 05:24 PM.
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