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Old March 21st, 2007, 05:22 PM   #2121
30 Floors Up
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30 Floors, e-mail: Hord Coplan Macht, Inc. (Carol Macht, ASLA); PB Americas, Inc./Halvorson Design Partnership, Inc. (Gerald Jannetti, P.E.); Timothy Haahs & Associates, Inc./EDSA (Timothy Haahs, P.E.); Whitman, Requardt & Associates, LLP/Mahan Rykiel Associates (David McCormick, AIA); and Ziger/Snead Architects & Thomas Balsley Associates (Steve Ziger, AIA)

They were the five finalists chosen March 8 to compete for the RF redesign. Press release top right corner of the BDC website http://www.baltimoredevelopment.com/ has more info.

The RFP they responded to http://www.baltimoredevelopment.com/...d%201-2-07.pdf stipulates "flexible recreational spaces/programming spaces inclusive of existing uses such as the volleyball courts, trapeze school, running tracks, ice skating rink, and the Volvo Ocean Race" Skate park could at least occupy the rink space during the spring, summer, and fall.
Rather than contact all 5 of the companies, I sent my suggestion to the BDC.

Now that I've done that, don't worry about them ever being constructed. No one ever listens to me.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 05:57 PM   #2122
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I work for one of the 5 selected teams and help prepare the proposal for rash field. Our plan is so schematic now as this was our mandate by BDC. So we have not programmed anything. All we know is that Rash field needs to still have much flexibility to accomodate all the festivals and activities that come to town and that there still needs to be something to draw people from the harborplace area that is not commercial. If the city can pony up the money needed, rash field can be a spetacular place.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 06:08 PM   #2123
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Forget about zoo's plan to add 3 elephants
By Nicole Fuller
sun reporter
Originally published March 21, 2007
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore announced yesterday the cancellation of plans to bring three African elephants from Philadelphia, citing a delay in the expansion of its elephant exhibit amid a dire financial situation.

The elephants were scheduled to arrive in late spring or early summer from the Philadelphia Zoo - a move that Maryland Zoo officials had hoped would accelerate its breeding program and deliver a much-needed boost in attendance at the zoo in Druid Hill Park, which has suffered financially in recent years from a decline in visitors.





Already dealing with a record budget deficit because of rising maintenance costs and slumping attendance, the zoo's board concluded it would be more prudent to concentrate on turning around budget shortfalls rather than taking on more costs, said Elizabeth "Billie" Grieb, the zoo's president and chief executive.

The Maryland Zoo, home to two African elephants, had planned an $11 million upgrade to its exhibit, adding 6 acres of space and a half-mile walking trail for the creatures, and a new barn - much-needed accommodations for the larger herd.

Construction had begun on renovation of the exhibit's existing barn, but further work has been delayed because the zoo has been unable to raise the money to fund the project. The state has pledged $5.5 million, leaving zoo officials to find the rest of the money through private donations.

"It didn't seem to be the best option to increase our operating costs and devote so much capital to this project right at this moment, when we really want to put the zoo on solid financial footing and really address the structural needs of our aging campus," Grieb said in a telephone interview yesterday.

"I hope what it says to visitors is that we are looking at the whole zoo and trying to make decisions about what's best for the whole visit," she added. "But I think right now, for the next year or two, we'll focus on things that are not as incredibly expensive as bringing in new elephants."

Although zoo officials publicized the elephants' arrival in an announcement celebrating a record number of attendees at the 131-year-old attraction's opening weekend this month, Grieb said the zoo's board and its executive committee had been in discussions for weeks over the future of the elephant exhibit because of the inability to raise capital funding for the project.

They decided yesterday that the zoo would be unable to accommodate Philadelphia's female elephants - Petal, Kallie and Bette - on the previously agreed-upon timetable.

"We were very excited about Maryland as a home for our elephants," said Andrew Baker, vice president for animal programs at the Philadelphia Zoo. "We thought Maryland had a great staff and plans for expansion and would have provided a great home. It was very disappointing, but nevertheless we're optimistic that we're going to find a great new home for them."

For years, the Maryland Zoo has struggled financially as its funding, largely subsidized by the state, has increased by an average of about 1 percent annually since 1993. Late last year, zoo officials requested an additional $4 million from the state, pointing to a $3 million budget deficit for the fiscal year that will end in June. The zoo's annual operating budget is about $12 million.

Working to cut operating costs, the zoo has closed in January and February since 2005 -months with little attendance. Last year, the zoo tallied about 332,000 visitors. A standard adult admission is $15 - a price that zoo officials concede might curtail attendance, but they said it is necessary to generate revenue.

In 2003, after laying off 20 employees and sending more than 400 animals to other facilities in a major cost-cutting plan, zoo officials considered lending their two elephants - Dolly and Anna - to another zoo. Keepers at the zoo have tried unsuccessfully for two years to artificially inseminate Dolly. And though all the elephants from Philadelphia were females, there were hopes that the two of them at prime breeding age could become pregnant through insemination at the zoo.

After a public outcry over the possible move of Dolly and Anna, and a bevy of donations and millions of dollars in emergency aid from the administration of then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., the elephants stayed. There was also a name change from what was formerly the Baltimore Zoo.

Zoo officials in Philadelphia said yesterday they will work closely with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums - a Silver Spring-based accreditation body to which both the Maryland Zoo and the Philadelphia Zoo belong - to find a new home for their three elephants. Like their counterparts in Maryland, zoo officials in Philadelphia were unable to raise money through a capital campaign to build a new elephant exhibit on their grounds, which prompted them to look for a new home for the elephants.

Steven Feldman, a spokesman for the AZA, said the organization's elephant species survival planners will immediately begin the process of evaluating where the best home would be for the animals. Out of the 79 elephant-holding institutions in North America accredited by the AZA, 61 plan to expand or build new elephant exhibits in the next five years, he said.

"Because [of] the state of these facilities, because the elephant population is always changing, we have to perform a new assessment," Feldman said. "We love animals, and we care about them a lot, and we want to make sure they find a good home. And this is a process we went through to place them in Maryland, and it's a process we'll go through again to place them in a great home."

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Old March 21st, 2007, 06:27 PM   #2124
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Esmark submits bid to buy Sparrows Point steel plant
JEN DEGREGORIO
Daily Record Business Writer
March 20, 2007 6:12 PM
Chicago-based Esmark Inc. said Tuesday that it has submitted a bid to purchase the Sparrows Point steel plant from Mittal Steel Co. NV.

Esmark spokesman Bill Keegan told The Daily Record that his company was one of “a number” of bidders for the mill, which last month was ordered by the U.S. Department of Justice to be sold to make sure that Mittal does not have a monopoly over the U.S. market for tin.

Keegan would not say how much Esmark offered or provide further details, and a spokesman for Mittal declined to comment. But Scott Burns, a steel analyst with Chicago-based Morningstar Inc., placed Sparrows Point’s value at between $875 million and $1 billion.

The Justice Department gave Mittal until late May to sell Sparrows Point, with the possibility of a 60-day extension. The ruling came after the Netherlands-based company announced a $33 billion merger with Luxembourg-based Arcelor SA that would create the world’s largest steel company. Initially, the Justice Department ordered Mittal to sell Dofasco Inc., a Canadian-based subsidiary of Arcelor. But that deal fell through after the Dutch trust that Arcelor placed Dofasco in to avoid Mittal’s hostile takeover bid refused to agree to the sale.

The Justice Department’s next choice was to force the sale of either Sparrows Point or a Mittal plant in Weirton, W.Va., both of which provide tin to the Eastern United States. The department ultimately chose Sparrows Point because it was deemed stronger and more likely to survive on its own. Esmark had a tentative deal with Mittal to purchase Weirton, but that fell apart after the department’s announcement.

Esmark is “one of the few domestic buyers that would likely be interested” in Sparrows Point, Burns said. The company is looking to expand its production capabilities after buying Wheeling-Pittsburgh Corp. in a deal that is expected to be finalized this summer.

With its direct ocean access, Sparrows Point is more desirable to foreign steel makers that need to import raw materials by ship, according to Burns. U.S. steel producers tend to congregate around the Great Lakes and consider energy and labor costs prohibitively expensive on the East Coast, he said.

“Foreign steel producers are really trying to get footholds in the U.S. market,” Burns said.

David S. Iannucci, Baltimore County’s executive director of economic development, said he does not care what company buys Sparrows Point as long it invests in its operations.

The plant, which employs about 2,400 and has the capacity to produce 3.6 million tons of steel per year, has for decades been considered one of the county’s most important economic engines. It produces galvanized hot- and cold-rolled sheet, semi-finished steel and tin to the construction and automotive industries, among other users.

“We viewed the Department of Justice’s determination … as a vote of confidence in the long-term viability of the Sparrows Point plant,” Iannucci said. “Baltimore County hopes that the new buyer will have deep pockets and will have a willingness in making significant investments in improvements to infrastructure.”

Emanuel Jones, financial secretary for United Steelworkers Local 9477, the union that represents Sparrows Point workers, hopes a new owner will expand the plant’s influence in the industry.

“Hopefully we’ll get blessed with somebody … who tries to make us their main factory so that we can compete,” Jones said. “They have to come up with a plan to put money in the plant.”

(Above - The U.S. Department of Justice gave Mittal Steel until late May to sell Sparrows Point after the company announced its $33 billion merger with Arcelor. One industry analyst said the Baltimore County plant is worth between
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Old March 21st, 2007, 06:30 PM   #2125
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Tiburzi wants pro soccer at Camden Yards
LOUIS LLOVIO
Daily Record Business Writer
March 20, 2007 5:36 PM
After announcing it had landed the 2007 ASPT Dew Tour, the Maryland Stadium Authority is focused on bringing other sporting events to the city.

To help, the group originally formed to secure the Orioles and bring the National Football League back to Baltimore named Paul A. Tiburzi chairman of the Camden Yards Sports and Entertainment Commission.

Tiburzi, the managing partner of DLA Piper’s Baltimore office, will replace Carl Wright. The commission is a panel of business and community leaders who work to attract events to the complex.

“We know we’re not going to land every event,” said Tiburzi, who was appointed last week. “But we want to be able to be in the discussion.”

One of Tiburzi’s early goals is to make M&T Bank Stadium the permanent home of the NCAA Lacrosse Final Four Championship. The championship, which will be played in Baltimore in May, is moved around by the NCAA. It’s scheduled to be played in Boston in 2008; in 2005 and 2006 it was in Philadelphia.

Tiburzi’s primary goal, however, is to bring professional soccer to Baltimore.

While the city already has the Baltimore Blast, they play indoors. Tiburzi said he wants to bring the outdoor game.

He said Baltimore is an ideal spot for a Major League Soccer team like the D.C. United, which plays its home games at RFK Stadium in Washington, and international teams such as Real Madrid and Manchester United that play exhibition matches in the U.S. during the summers.

The ideal, though, would be to bring a signature soccer event to the stadium each year.

“We want something people look forward to every year as a Camden Yards tradition,” he said.

The stadium authority has seen some success at the Camden Yards sports complex over the last several years. The complex includes M&T Bank Stadium — home of the Baltimore Ravens, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the adjoining parking lots, the B&O Warehouse and Camden Station.

Since 2000, the complex has hosted the NCAA Lacrosse Final Four, the Army-Navy football game and several high profile non-sports events, including a crusade by evangelist Billy Graham last year.

In December, Baltimore will host the Army-Navy football game for the second time.

Navy, which plays its home football games in Annapolis, is becoming a regular at M&T. The midshipmen played Notre Dame in the city last year for the first time since 2002. And in 2005, Navy opened the season against the University of Maryland at M&T Bank Stadium.

The impact of bringing events to the complex is large.

The stadium authority receives a portion of the 10 percent ticket tax charged to fans for games at the stadium. Last year’s Ravens’ home playoff game netted the state agency nearly $500,000.

According to event organizers, the 2007 ASPT Dew Tour will generate up to $15 million for the city during the four days it will be here, June 21-24.

Additionally, the tour — and events like it — showcase the city, said Thomas J. Noonan, president and CEO of the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

BACVA was not involved in bringing the tour.

“This brings a whole new segment of the population downtown for a day,” Noonan said.

Plus, the television coverage — the event is shown on NBC and the USA Network — is invaluable. Shots of the Inner Harbor in the summer amount to free advertising that would cost millions were the city to buy ad time, he said.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 06:31 PM   #2126
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Forget about zoo's plan to add 3 elephants
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore announced yesterday the cancellation of plans to bring three African elephants from Philadelphia, citing a delay in the expansion of its elephant exhibit amid a dire financial situation.
If ever a place needed deep-pocketed patrons like the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago has, the Maryland Zoo is it.

Love Druid Hill Park, but the rolling topo makes it brutal getting the young'ns around the place--and the elephants are at the farthest point from the entrance. Wonder if there's room for them to relo to the Aquarium's Center for Aquatic Life and Conservation on the Middle Branch.

http://www.vergason.net/projects/cu_nataqua.htm

Last edited by jamie_hunt; March 21st, 2007 at 07:45 PM.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 07:08 PM   #2127
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I work for one of the 5 selected teams and help prepare the proposal for rash field. Our plan is so schematic now as this was our mandate by BDC. So we have not programmed anything. All we know is that Rash field needs to still have much flexibility to accomodate all the festivals and activities that come to town and that there still needs to be something to draw people from the harborplace area that is not commercial. If the city can pony up the money needed, rash field can be a spetacular place.

agree with you 100% Jeff. supposedly the BDC and Parking Authority are making a decision today or tomorrow on the Team being selected.

Best of Luck to you guys as well.

Rash Field has a lot of potential to be a great destination in Baltimore. No matter what, the design of what it will be will be heavily influenced by the community no doubt.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 07:42 PM   #2128
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Originally Posted by 30 Floors Up View Post
Rather than contact all 5 of the companies, I sent my suggestion to the BDC. Now that I've done that, don't worry about them ever being constructed. No one ever listens to me.
BDC VP Andy Frank's still young enough to understand the appeal of a skateboard park. If not, put a bug in Bill Struever's ear to have it included in the park at Harbor Point -- skyline backdrop's better there than Rash Field anyway.


Last edited by jamie_hunt; March 21st, 2007 at 10:33 PM.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 08:03 PM   #2129
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Originally Posted by folsomfanatic View Post
agree with you 100% Jeff. supposedly the BDC and Parking Authority are making a decision today or tomorrow on the Team being selected.

Best of Luck to you guys as well.

Rash Field has a lot of potential to be a great destination in Baltimore. No matter what, the design of what it will be will be heavily influenced by the community no doubt.
Totally agree that the area needs an update. I can even live with the parking garage. The challenge will be the north elevation. Placing a large box(parking garage) on rash field will reslult in a large wall between the harbor and key highway. I wonder if there are plans to put in some retail allong the promenade? They are going to have to dress it up.........
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Old March 21st, 2007, 08:04 PM   #2130
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Originally Posted by folsomfanatic View Post
agree with you 100% Jeff. supposedly the BDC and Parking Authority are making a decision today or tomorrow on the Team being selected.

Best of Luck to you guys as well.

Rash Field has a lot of potential to be a great destination in Baltimore. No matter what, the design of what it will be will be heavily influenced by the community no doubt.
This is such a high profile site and such a great opportunity for one of the firms as well as for the City. Best of luck to you too.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 09:01 PM   #2131
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Help fix Baltimore Colts history! Read this article:

http://www.pressboxonline.com/story.cfm?id=1741

And then sign the petition below!

http://coltsheritage.com/
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Old March 21st, 2007, 10:01 PM   #2132
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The Sun

Not sure if anyone heard this, but Tim Ryan has been announced as the fourth publisher of Baltimore Sun since 2000. Tim will be the new president, publisher and CEO of The Sun, succeeding Rondra Matthews. He starts in his official capacity this Friday...
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Old March 21st, 2007, 10:47 PM   #2133
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Is that a good thing?
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Old March 21st, 2007, 10:47 PM   #2134
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City budget includes more for rec centers, zoo
$2.65 billion proposal up 10.7% over fiscal 2007 but does not raise taxes

By John Fritze
Sun Reporter
Originally published March 21, 2007, 12:40 PM EDT
Baltimore city officials unveiled a $2.65 billion budget today for the coming fiscal year that allocates slightly more money for recreation centers, the Maryland Zoo and the cleaning of vacant properties but that does not raise tax rates or other fines.

The overall city budget, which prioritizes spending for everything from police officer salaries to road repair, will grow 10.7 percent over the prior fiscal year, though much of that increase appears to be attributable to an infusion of state money that will be used to pay for sewer upgrades.

Continuing a tax-reduction program started under her predecessor, Mayor Sheila Dixon's administration has proposed reducing the property tax rate by 2 cents -- though most taxpayers will still pay more in property taxes because assessed values have increased faster than the decline in the tax rate.

The 2008 fiscal year begins July 1 of this year. Though the city is expected to have a surplus in this current year's budget, the growth is not predicted to be as strong as in past years, when the city's real-estate boom drove up the amount of money the city received in property and recordation taxes.

"The fiscal real-estate growth is good," Dixon said. "The city has put together a budget to maintain basic services and make some critical improvements."

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Old March 21st, 2007, 10:53 PM   #2135
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Sources: Police to rock Baltimore as part of Virgin Festival
Baltimore Business Journal - 3:12 PM EDT Wednesday, March 21, 2007by Julekha DashStaff

Legendary rock band The Police will play in Baltimore Aug. 4 as part of the city's Virgin Festival lineup, according to sources familiar with the event.

Landing the Police, the platinum-selling group led by vocalist Sting that dissolved in the mid-1980s and recently announced a reunion, will be a coup for the city. Virgin Festival promoters are expected to make a formal announcement about the event, which will be held over two days in August at Pimlico Race Course, Thursday morning in New York. The announcement will include at least two other headline bands who will play at Pimlico.


The Baltimore Business Journal first reported last month that the Virgin Festival could return to Pimlico featuring the Police as one of the headline acts.

The Business Journal also reported that local concert promoters were working with Pimlico to make the Virgin Festival an annual event at Pimlico.

Richard Branson's Virgin Festival chose Baltimore in 2006 as the first U.S. location for its musical event which debuted in the U.K. Two Canadian cities, Vancouver and Toronto, will host the Virgin Festival this year, featuring Chicago alternative band the Smashing Pumpkins and the Killers, who played in Baltimore last year. Last year's Virgin Festival in Baltimore also featured the Who, Thievery Corporation and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 11:02 PM   #2136
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It has been so quiet on here. News on 300 East Pratt and especially 10 IH has to be coming any day now.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 11:23 PM   #2137
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He should be on this forum

[snip] "So in other words, we should put a horse farm down there [in Fells Point]?" asks Brown Benson, Horn's friend and patron and a master of sarcasm. He's eating a Quiznos sandwich and sipping a glass of wine and, after more wine, he's primed to play a strident devil's advocate. "Then, what? The only places we can put the tall buildings is in Columbia, Hunt Valley? Where we going to put the tall buildings, in Mount Vernon? Charles Village?

"I live in Inner Harbor East, and you know what? I think they should have built it taller," Benson continues. "I mean, I get the argument that the water view can get blocked, but look at it--we're not looking at the Mediterranean here! Yes, there can be some city planning, but urban areas evolve. And they should be allowed to evolve. If people want high buildings, well, fine. I just don't get it." [snip]

--excerpted from a story by Van Smith in today's City Paper

http://www.citypaper.com/news/story.asp?id=13418

Last edited by jamie_hunt; March 21st, 2007 at 11:34 PM.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 11:28 PM   #2138
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Originally Posted by jeffbaltimore View Post
I work for one of the 5 selected teams and help prepare the proposal for rash field. Our plan is so schematic now as this was our mandate by BDC. So we have not programmed anything. All we know is that Rash field needs to still have much flexibility to accomodate all the festivals and activities that come to town and that there still needs to be something to draw people from the harborplace area that is not commercial. If the city can pony up the money needed, rash field can be a spetacular place.
Drawing people from harbor place is key. When you say "not commercial" does that mean the city wants no retail at all, or are we talking just not another harborplace? Wouldn't a restuarant and maybe a few shops be a welcome addition to the area? How else would you draw people down there on a consistent basis?

I see Rash field as large enough to sustain a little retail while at the same time making the park a pedestrian gateway from the Inner harbor to Federal hill Park and simultaneously supporting the festivals and activities of the inner harbor. The beach volleyball, while nice, can go; IMHO. It takes up too much space for the benefit of too few people.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 04:57 AM   #2139
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Totally agree that the area needs an update. I can even live with the parking garage. The challenge will be the north elevation. Placing a large box(parking garage) on rash field will reslult in a large wall between the harbor and key highway. I wonder if there are plans to put in some retail allong the promenade? They are going to have to dress it up.........
The only discussions I've ever heard about the parking garage at Rash Field reference this garage being built underground, including the requirement that those who bid on the work must be experienced in said development. I can't imagine that has changed.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 05:00 AM   #2140
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It has been so quiet on here. News on 300 East Pratt and especially 10 IH has to be coming any day now.
yep, the sooner, the better.
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