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Old March 29th, 2007, 06:16 AM   #2421
Eerik
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As for the arena...

Perhaps a new arena could be located at the same site, but buried deep into the ground, so that the roof would be at street level. Build on top, or create a park with new structures ringing the site.

While I love the notion of a “streetcar” running down Howard Street, once the Howard Street tunnel is abandoned as a freight line, align the Light Rail into the tunnel. Expand the old underground passenger concourse at Lombard and Liberty (today Lombard and Howard) northward to Baltimore Street, and align the platform so the Light Rail stop becomes a true station…connected with a new arena. Design the concourse as a dramatic space. Program the public areas with retail and services, so that the facility, or at least the non-arena portions could be more active when the arena is not in use.

The site has a lot of potential. It’s centrally located, served by various forms of mass transit, close to commercial space, and an increasing amount of non-commercial. The stadiums and convention center are nearby. From an urban design perspective, even the way Liberty Street meets the site could be more dramatic with a unique design…
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Old March 29th, 2007, 06:30 AM   #2422
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The more I read into the superblock news, the more I realize the mess simply continues.

Sure, the City and Weinberg have passed their beef, but now other property owners are challenging their status and outsiders are (perhaps rightly) challenging the closed BDC process. I don't think this thing has begun by a long shot with this lawsuit.

Nate
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Old March 29th, 2007, 06:48 AM   #2423
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pennster View Post
PG County is the richest majority black jurisdiction in the entire country. Retail there is just beginning to pick up.
PG County is such a mystery. In the immediate Washington metro area, and within the corridor between DC and Baltimore, the extremes between wealth (defined as income and education) and at the same time “social ills” defy logic. It is as if PG County were a wealthy ghetto. Night after night, watching the local DC news, the worst crime always appears to happen in PG County. Yet it is such a wealthy jurisdiction, and as noted, “the richest majority black jurisdiction in the entire country.” I just don’t get it…
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Old March 29th, 2007, 06:54 AM   #2424
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
The more I read into the superblock news, the more I realize the mess simply continues.

Sure, the City and Weinberg have passed their beef, but now other property owners are challenging their status and outsiders are (perhaps rightly) challenging the closed BDC process. I don't think this thing has begun by a long shot with this lawsuit.

Nate
I am afraid you are correct. There are a huge number of individual conflicts still brewing beneath the surface, discussions not publicized by the media. All of this could drag out for years, and some fear, completely stifle and stall the redevelopment efforts.

If this should happen, the only hope is for other nearby development to occur, in lieu of the Superblock. Of course, I’m afraid that is exactly what all the Superblock players want to happen: real estate assessments would realize a significant gain, and provide a modest pot of gold for the winner. Which winner? Well, I’m sure that will go back to the courts as well…
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Old March 29th, 2007, 07:39 AM   #2425
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For some reason, Retail in PG was always slow compare to Montgomery County or DC.
....lack of disposable income and high crime comes to mind. The income has come around somewhat.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 07:42 AM   #2426
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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.
I spent a lot of time in Landover in 1999 thru late 2000. It wasn't what one would call a thriving, safe place. I hope it is better now.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 08:25 AM   #2427
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I spent a lot of time in Landover in 1999 thru late 2000. It wasn't what one would call a thriving, safe place. I hope it is better now.
I agree. But it has a lot to do with perception. However, you can't ignore that perception in Landover is supported by fairly high crime stats.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 08:37 AM   #2428
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CitiFinancial

Not sure of anyone read the complete story in the Sunpapers a couple of days ago, but Citigroup Inc. is planning to cut thousands of jobs and focus on growth outside North America.

“Citi's corporate and investment bank could be hard hit, with as many as 4,000 jobs lost, they said. Citigroup, which employs about 327,000 people, is expected to save $1 billion in costs with the coming cuts,” according to the Sunpaper article.

It will be interesting how this plays out locally, since they have several thousand workers in Maryland. Citigroup's CitiFinancial employs around a thousand people in Baltimore and there are another 2400 in Hagerstown.

While no one is exactly certain how many of those jobs will be shifted to the 22,000 already in India, I would guess a significant loss in Hagerstown and a smaller reduction in Baltimore. Generally speaking, the caliber of their Baltimore employees is of a higher educational level than those at the Hagerstown credit-card processing center.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 09:30 AM   #2429
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCKenny View Post
For some reason, Retail in PG was always slow compare to Montgomery County or DC.
Because the demographics (by which I mean wealth) are still very different between the jurisdictions, and not in PG's favor. Even though the county contains a huge amount of wealth (wealthier than most parts of the country with better retail), retailers know that people are even richer in the neighboring counties and the District and so place their stores there (mainly in MoCo) instead.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 10:14 AM   #2430
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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
...but you gotta love that roof!! It was actually considered very modern looking back in the day, and to this day the interior ceiling, which sort of mirrors the roof design, is one oft he few arenas where you don't see bare metal and steel beams inside.

Seriously, though, the arena does represent a barrier between downtown and the west side. I actually wouldn't be opposed to some green space on this site, after a new arena is built elsewhere. There is precious little park space downtown.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 12:10 PM   #2431
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pennster View Post
Because the demographics (by which I mean wealth) are still very different between the jurisdictions, and not in PG's favor. Even though the county contains a huge amount of wealth (wealthier than most parts of the country with better retail), retailers know that people are even richer in the neighboring counties and the District and so place their stores there (mainly in MoCo) instead.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to look at regional stats for various malls in the area. According to credit card use, and zip-origin, more than half the shoppers at Pentagon City are from PG County. This is around the same time PG residents became very vocal about their lack of shopping options.

It's amazing they are willing to drive that far to do shopping. I hate to bring up the issue of race, but what else could it be? Why doesn't PG have a major shopping mall?

Eh, who knows. Maybe it's a good thing they don't: who needs another Tysons-styled retail center.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 04:42 PM   #2432
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eerik View Post
A few years ago I had the opportunity to look at regional stats for various malls in the area. According to credit card use, and zip-origin, more than half the shoppers at Pentagon City are from PG County. This is around the same time PG residents became very vocal about their lack of shopping options.

It's amazing they are willing to drive that far to do shopping. I hate to bring up the issue of race, but what else could it be? Why doesn't PG have a major shopping mall?

Eh, who knows. Maybe it's a good thing they don't: who needs another Tysons-styled retail center.
Well, they did have Landover Mall. But I believe part of the reason for its decline was a choice by Prince George's residents to shop outside of PG County. All of the reasons for this can combine into a sort of self-fulfilling cycle where the particular location is doomed to closure.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 05:19 PM   #2433
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Well, they did have Landover Mall. But I believe part of the reason for its decline was a choice by Prince George's residents to shop outside of PG County. All of the reasons for this can combine into a sort of self-fulfilling cycle where the particular location is doomed to closure.
No, the reason was because the stores were awful. Laurel Mall is getting a rehab job and there's already Bowie Town Center which is lightyears better than an actual enclosed mall.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 05:23 PM   #2434
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Go to Mondawmin and see how many 120 dollar jeans, 140 dollar sneakers and 90 dollar shirts fly off the rack.

Tradidtionally black folks spend a LOT of money shopping. I mean a disproportionally high amount of money is spent on clothes. This sucks but its true.

But this is an altogether different discussion for another place.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 05:51 PM   #2435
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Oh yeah you guys forgot about PG mall the best mall in the county. That mall has a serious face lift it's becoming more diverse with latinos and other people instead Black people.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 05:58 PM   #2436
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But this is an altogether different discussion for another place.
May be germane to how the the West Side redevelopment proceeds. At one point several years ago, Harlem USA was regarded as the model for West Lexington Street. Same developer submitted a proposal.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 06:07 PM   #2437
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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.
Ah, well, a nice rumor, and fun while it lasted.

Maybe Trader Joe's will open something near the harbor; that would be great! We will just have to watch the evolution of things. We have a Whole Foods, and a nice Safeway. And, IMO, ANYTHING is better than Giant. I can't remember the last time I darkened their door.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 06:09 PM   #2438
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Originally Posted by Eerik View Post
PG County is such a mystery. In the immediate Washington metro area, and within the corridor between DC and Baltimore, the extremes between wealth (defined as income and education) and at the same time “social ills” defy logic. It is as if PG County were a wealthy ghetto. Night after night, watching the local DC news, the worst crime always appears to happen in PG County. Yet it is such a wealthy jurisdiction, and as noted, “the richest majority black jurisdiction in the entire country.” I just don’t get it…
It's just like Baltimore itself. Pockets of low-income areas, growing pockets of high-income wealthy areas ... it's not homogeneous, by any stretch.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 06:12 PM   #2439
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Well, they did have Landover Mall. But I believe part of the reason for its decline was a choice by Prince George's residents to shop outside of PG County. All of the reasons for this can combine into a sort of self-fulfilling cycle where the particular location is doomed to closure.
Landover mall, even 20 years ago, was a total dump. The stores were downscale. The Hecht's there was a "C" grade store, if that. And the clientele was, er, more "rowdy" than you usually see at malls.

If you live in PG and have money and live in a McMansion, why on earth would you want to shop there? That's why Tysons and co. gets so much of the PG business.
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Old March 29th, 2007, 06:26 PM   #2440
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgunna View Post
Go to Mondawmin and see how many 120 dollar jeans, 140 dollar sneakers and 90 dollar shirts fly off the rack.

Tradidtionally black folks spend a LOT of money shopping. I mean a disproportionally high amount of money is spent on clothes. This sucks but its true.

But this is an altogether different discussion for another place.
This is indeed very true.
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