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Old March 29th, 2007, 01:54 AM   #2401
PeterSmith
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Not sure if anyone else mentioned this, but emporis now has the Four Seasons tower and new Legg tower listed with their new heights. It's hard to believe that the new Four Seasons tower is going to be taller than the Alex Brown building.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 02:19 AM   #2402
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Sounds like the

City development team is alot further along than the Cordish team. I bet the Cordish westside development is 2 to 3 years away from starting.

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Well then, that's very cool. It might be an office tower too. That's two towers that Cordish has in the pipelines now. Pretty cool.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 02:25 AM   #2403
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Opinion for board

Do you think that the Westside can turn around with the Superblock development? I'm not confident you can turn a poor depressed neighborhood into a vibrant area. I'm hopeful the area can change.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 02:42 AM   #2404
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I definitely think it's possible that an area like the Westside could become a vibrant urban area, but I'm with you that the Superblock probably isn't going to fix the Westside over night. I am confident that the Westside's revitalization is on the horizon, however. As long as Baltimore keeps moving forward, the Westside has too many positive qualities to keep it from improving. It's location is a great one. It's close to the waterfront and well-served by public transportation. It's already home to a world-class university and hospital, and the city's most revered theatre. It's within walking distance of hundreds of attractions, and is anchored by the nation's oldest market. By the time the Superblock is finishing up, we'll most likely also being seeing the Red Line beginning to make its way through the Westside (Making it one of the only places in the city accessible by every rail line) and also the renovation of the Towne Theatre.
I think as long as the waterfront continues to grow and real estate prices continue to rise, the Westside will be a natural choice for those who can't get a waterfront condo.
In fact, once the plans for the Superblock get underway, I wouldn't be surprised if we see a number of new plans unveiled for other Westside properties by those who were waiting out the Superblock deal.
It'll be interesting to see what types of plans the developers have for the Superblock. That'll probably set the pace for the next few years of Westside development. I think in the next 7-8 years the Westside will have a whole new reputation.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 02:58 AM   #2405
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterSmith View Post
I definitely think it's possible that an area like the Westside could become a vibrant urban area, but I'm with you that the Superblock probably isn't going to fix the Westside over night. I am confident that the Westside's revitalization is on the horizon, however. As long as Baltimore keeps moving forward, the Westside has too many positive qualities to keep it from improving. It's location is a great one. It's close to the waterfront and well-served by public transportation. It's already home to a world-class university and hospital, and the city's most revered theatre. It's within walking distance of hundreds of attractions, and is anchored by the nation's oldest market. By the time the Superblock is finishing up, we'll most likely also being seeing the Red Line beginning to make its way through the Westside (Making it one of the only places in the city accessible by every rail line) and also the renovation of the Towne Theatre.
I think as long as the waterfront continues to grow and real estate prices continue to rise, the Westside will be a natural choice for those who can't get a waterfront condo.
In fact, once the plans for the Superblock get underway, I wouldn't be surprised if we see a number of new plans unveiled for other Westside properties by those who were waiting out the Superblock deal.
It'll be interesting to see what types of plans the developers have for the Superblock. That'll probably set the pace for the next few years of Westside development. I think in the next 7-8 years the Westside will have a whole new reputation.
I agree. I think the west side appears to be a stagnant situation because of the lack of progress of the superblock. This ridiculous delay has deflated a lot of the optimism for the westside to the point where even the most optimistic group of people (us on this board) are cynical about it. Superblock talks began before centerpoint construction even began. Can you imagine if you had development of the superblock in addition to centerpoint, hippodrome, maggie moores, etc all popping up together in the last 3 years? Not to mention the proximity to the Zenith, Hilton convention center, BGE conversion, etc. I think the degree of optimism and excitement around the westside would be extremely high.
Instead, a lot of us have begun to doubt the potential there and I think a lot of that is simply due to this frustrating delay which makes us feel like nothing is ever going to happen. Personally, I really think if/when this project ever gets off the ground, there will be a newfound vitality to the westside development. There's a reason everyone says the superblock is so critical to the west side.. because it is.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 03:07 AM   #2406
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Wegmans
The rumor about a Wegmans opening near Greektown, I can assure you is not true. I am a Wegmans devotee ever since we stumbled upon our first one in Corning NY many years ago. Of course we where there at 6 AM the Sunday back in October of '05 when they opened the one in Hunt Valley and we shop there regularly now since that time. They only open 1 new store per year and while they have plans for 3 more in Maryland none will be anywhere near Greektown. One is going in Frederick, another in Crofton and another in Landover. They are noted for searching for areas that have high disposable income and Greektown while it might be gentrifying somewhat with all of the new development near there has a long long way to go. Their stores are usually 140,000 square feet which is more than double the size of the very largest Giants, then there is parking for a store that size and lastly they wouldn't locate in an urban area like that in a zillion years.

I mean really look how long it took Suprefresh to open that puny store on Charles Street with all of the people that live and work near there!

I read that the new Filen's is expecting a huge turnout for the pre opening this evening. Good luck to them, they should do well but personally I like the Nordstroms Rack for good quarlity men's wear. I bought a Bill Blass tuxedo there for $100! Acutally a shirt that I bought at the regular men's store there recently cost me amost twice as much.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 03:12 AM   #2407
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Jaramillo View Post
Wegmans
The rumor about a Wegmans opening near Greektown, I can assure you is not true. I am a Wegmans devotee ever since we stumbled upon our first one in Corning NY many years ago. Of course we where there at 6 AM the Sunday back in October of '05 when they opened the one in Hunt Valley and we shop there regularly now since that time. They only open 1 new store per year and while they have plans for 3 more in Maryland none will be anywhere near Greektown. One is going in Frederick, another in Crofton and another in Landover. They are noted for searching for areas that have high disposable income and Greektown while it might be gentrifying somewhat with all of the new development near there has a long long way to go. Their stores are usually 140,000 square feet which is more than double the size of the very largest Giants, then there is parking for a store that size and lastly they wouldn't locate in an urban area like that in a zillion years.

I mean really look how long it took Suprefresh to open that puny store on Charles Street with all of the people that live and work near there!

I read that the new Filen's is expecting a huge turnout for the pre opening this evening. Good luck to them, they should do well but personally I like the Nordstroms Rack for good quarlity men's wear. I bought a Bill Blass tuxedo there for $100! Acutally a shirt that I bought at the regular men's store there recently cost me amost twice as much.
Landover AND high disposable income in the same sentence? That doesn't seem right. Landover has improved, but that much?
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Old March 29th, 2007, 03:17 AM   #2408
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Superblock

biggest challenge ‘checked off list’
JEN DEGREGORIO
Daily Record Business Writer
March 28, 2007 5:42 PM
The year-long battle over property rights between the city of Baltimore and the powerful Weinberg Foundation ended Wednesday with the strokes of a pen, paving the way for the redevelopment of the blighted West Side area known as the superblock.

In what Mayor Sheila Dixon termed an “unusual, perhaps unique” deal, the city agreed to swap properties bordered by Park Avenue, West Lexington, Howard and West Clay streets for the foundation’s holdings on the south side of West Lexington Street.

The properties will give the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation Inc. control of an entire city block, where it would create a mixed-use project spearheaded by the Cordish Co., the Baltimore-based firm that developed downtown’s Power Plant nightclub complex. The project would complement the foundation’s multimillion-dollar renovation of the Stewart’s department store building on the same block, where Catholic Relief Services plans to move its new headquarters.

In return, the city will gain the properties it needs to renovate the superblock, a depressed retail district roughly bordered by Liberty, West Lexington, Howard and West Fayette streets. The city has an agreement with developers Lexington Square Partners LLC to rehabilitate the area with a mix of new shops, apartments and parking space. But the $250 million project has been stalled by a dispute with the Weinberg Foundation, a powerful, $2 billion charity that controls roughly half of the superblock.

If all goes according to plan, construction could begin in a year on the superblock and the Weinberg project, said M.J. “Jay” Brodie, president of the Baltimore Development Corp., the city’s economic development agency

“All of us want to do now is to move forward to get the superblock developed and to have this long travail … come to an end,” Weinberg Foundation President Shale D. Stiller said at a news conference held to announce the deal.

The agreement appears to clear a development path for Lexington Square Partners. But the city first must condemn properties that it has promised to the developers, and contend with three lawsuits that have challenged different aspects of the deal.

The city also must determine how much it will pay the foundation for the difference in the swapped property values. In the deal, the foundation will give up more properties than it would receive. The city said it would pay the difference, a value that would be determined through negotiations or, as a last resort, arbitration.

But J. Kirby Fowler, president of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore Inc., said the agreement means the superblock’s “biggest challenge … is being checked off the list.”

“For several years we’ve been pushing the city hard for progress, and the deal with the Weinberg Foundation was critical to continuing momentum,” he said during an interview after the news conference.

The agreement must be approved by the Board of Estimates, the city’s spending panel. The BDC’s Brodie said he expects the board to vote on the agreement in a matter of weeks.

The city is also drafting a land disposition agreement, or LDA, that will govern the transfer of properties to the Weinberg Foundation. The LDA, which also needs Board of Estimates approval, will include a development timeline and benchmarks the foundation and Cordish must meet to keep the properties.

S. Jerome Hagley, whose Atlanta-based Harold A. Dawson Co. Inc. is part of Lexington Square Partners, said his group would collaborate with the foundation and Cordish to create a seamless transition between superblock and surrounding West Side.

“I think this agreement is positive for both our block and the Weinberg’s block,” Hagley said in an interview. “I think it will enable us to come together.”

Lexington Square Partners plans Friday to present schematic drawings to the BDC.

Brodie said he thinks the teams’ efforts will re-establish the West Side as downtown’s premier shopping destination, which it was in the 1950s.

“It is a great agreement, and I am pleased that we have come to this so that we can continue to move the momentum of the West Side renaissance,” Dixon said during the news conference.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




A map showing the new changes for Baltimore's 'superblock.'
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Old March 29th, 2007, 03:32 AM   #2409
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Gee, I hope the superblock developments happen well before the Red Line.

The Red Line won't start construction until 2011 at the earliest!

Nate
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Old March 29th, 2007, 03:48 AM   #2410
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You know, I don't think the superblock is the biggest impediment to Westside development.

I think the horrible streetscaping on Fayette, Baltimore, and Lombard Sts in Charles Center and Hopkins Place are the biggest culprits. The connection to the westside is so disjointed. Downtown needs to be more seemless. It's just not seemless there.

I think I subconsiously avoid walking on Lombard and Baltimore Sts in particular to transverse downtown. I'll do Fayette (which has gotten a little better), Pratt (which isn't really good with the berms and all), but I'll do Lexington (yes, the public square section) or Saratoga more often than the others.

There is no incentive to "wander" across Hopkins Place, period coming from the east. The ugly Arena has got to go before too long.

Nate
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Old March 29th, 2007, 04:21 AM   #2411
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Shale D. Stiller (right), president of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, discusses the Westside Superblock Memorandum of Understanding with M.J. "Jay" Brodie (left), president of the Baltimore Development Corporation, and Housing Commissioner Paul Graziano, at a City Hall news conference.
(Sun photo by Amy Davis)
Mar 28, 2007



The 300 block of W. Fayette St., as seen from N. Howard Street, is part of a proposed west side redevelopment project.
(Sun photo by Amy Davis)
Mar 28, 2007
__________________
Baltimore, my hometown.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 05:08 AM   #2412
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
Gee, I hope the superblock developments happen well before the Red Line.

The Red Line won't start construction until 2011 at the earliest!

Nate
Haha, it's a race between the tortous and, I don't know, the terrapin...? Let's hope we see these projects at all much less by 2011.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 05:14 AM   #2413
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Yes, they did. They gave it the traditional brick look that we Baltimoreans are so used to seeing.
Actually, there is less exposed red brick on the Metro West Building than before the restoration. A large portion of the exterior was altered.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 05:17 AM   #2414
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i have a good feeling about superblock this time. this project is bigger than i originally thought. i didn't know that the former greyhound bus station was also in this project, but i'm glad it is.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 05:29 AM   #2415
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Originally Posted by folsomfanatic View Post
i think i got my pics working again.
I just don’t understand the vernacular here: double intricate cornices (third level and fourth level) and the hut on the fifth floor. Overall, “urban light” in my book: they resemble city rowhouses in that they are shoulder to shoulder on the street; obviously attempt to provide analogous luxuries and amenities of the old urban mansions one would find in Mt. Vernon and Bolton Hill; yet come off looking a bit tacky and suburban.




If they had been three stories, fine. But this photo clearly demonstrates the scale disparity. Really unfortunate, but the “damage” to the urban context is rather minor. I’m sure it could have been worse.


Last edited by Eerik; March 29th, 2007 at 05:31 AM. Reason: Correct spelling error.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 05:40 AM   #2416
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Originally Posted by Javalady1 View Post
Landover AND high disposable income in the same sentence? That doesn't seem right. Landover has improved, but that much?
Keep in mind Landover is in a county with very high incomes and the demographics there have changed significantly in the last ten, and definitely twenty years. The situation is akin to Baltimore, where there are plenty of “old-timers” who still consider Federal Hill and Canton to be lower class neighborhoods.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 05:52 AM   #2417
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Originally Posted by cgunna View Post
Hopefully the Men's section is better than the teeny closet of a men's department at the Timonium store.

I'll be there tomororw!
I think you are thinking of Lohemans in Timonium.. That men's dept is pretty much a closet. Them mens dept at Filenes in Hunt Valley is big. I don't think there is a Filenes in Timonium though.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 06:04 AM   #2418
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Originally Posted by Eerik View Post
Keep in mind Landover is in a county with very high incomes and the demographics there have changed significantly in the last ten, and definitely twenty years. The situation is akin to Baltimore, where there are plenty of “old-timers” who still consider Federal Hill and Canton to be lower class neighborhoods.
PG County is the richest majority black jurisdiction in the entire country. Retail there is just beginning to pick up.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 06:09 AM   #2419
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For some reason, Retail in PG was always slow compare to Montgomery County or DC.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 06:16 AM   #2420
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Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
You know, I don't think the superblock is the biggest impediment to Westside development.

I think the horrible streetscaping on Fayette, Baltimore, and Lombard Sts in Charles Center and Hopkins Place are the biggest culprits. The connection to the westside is so disjointed. Downtown needs to be more seemless. It's just not seemless there.

I think I subconsiously avoid walking on Lombard and Baltimore Sts in particular to transverse downtown. I'll do Fayette (which has gotten a little better), Pratt (which isn't really good with the berms and all), but I'll do Lexington (yes, the public square section) or Saratoga more often than the others.

There is no incentive to "wander" across Hopkins Place, period coming from the east. The ugly Arena has got to go before too long.

Nate
The lack of incentive to wander to the West Side hasn’t been because of the lack of streetscape, because until recently, for the vast majority of people in the metro area, there hasn’t been a reason to go there. Granted, things are finally beginning to change with more development, but I would hardly blame poor streetscaping.

I do agree with you that the arena site needs to go, or at least significantly modified. Ironically, and perhaps most unfortunate is that it is (currently) the best site within the downtown area.
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