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Old March 30th, 2007, 04:09 PM   #2481
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Absolutely. With the proceeds from the sale of the O's.

Of course, given how slow he is to pull the trigger on development (2 Charles Center reno took forever; convention hotel was much talk, no action) expect 1 Light to remain an empty lot for the next decade.
I share that same concern.
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Old March 30th, 2007, 05:02 PM   #2482
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I think its the middle branch.
You're probably right. Russell Street is an important gateway. Ray Lewis's project will clean up the right side as visitors enter the city. The arena may wind up on the left side. There it can take advantage of existing parking at Camden Yards and a great road network. The fact that the arena would be visible from I-95 would be an important selling point to that subset of suburbanites who won't go into downtown. Period.

BTW: lot of good arguments made here. Suspect they're being mirrored in a boardroom somewhere around town, but can't find any info except a DBED grant to the Maryland Stadium Authority for a feasibility study in FY2006 (Page 10) and a Sun article in 2004 whose link has gone bad. The Downtown Partnership's 2006-08 Development Report mentioned (page 11) that eight percent of those they interviewed urged a new arena be developed.

FWIW: the MSA RFP reportedly specified rebuilding on the Arena site, but acknowledged that the new building would never be large enough to hold the NBA or NHL.

And, finally, anyone remember that proposal for a Camden Yards Elevated Railway that would go from the Visitor Center at Light and Conway, up the Conway median to Oriole Park, then down to Ravens Stadium?
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Old March 30th, 2007, 05:10 PM   #2483
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The 'construction access' is actually construction....its the lobby being built specifically for T.Rowe.

I agree with you though, I have no idea where exactly its going to be, or if someone is leaving.
Just how many lobbies will that building have? There is already a lobby facing Pratt Street. Is T. Rowe getting their own? If they are, what a waste of space that is.
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Old March 30th, 2007, 05:29 PM   #2484
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Just how many lobbies will that building have? There is already a lobby facing Pratt Street. Is T. Rowe getting their own? If they are, what a waste of space that is.
I'm going to have to disagree with you on that one...yes T. Rowe is getting their own Lobby. I might be a little biased because of where I work, but we see a tremendous amount of institutional clients some representing potential or current investments sometimes in excess of $1 Billion dollars. We need our own reception area, somewhere we can control the first impression of potential clients, not generic building security, and a place with our name on the wall! Same goes for potential new employees. T. Rowe is a first-class operation, and its imperative we give that impression. Did you know that on that one block of Pratt St with Legg (although they are moving) WELL over $1 Trillion dollars of assets are managed? Still think a little old lobby is a waste of space?

The renovations to that building are a long time coming. It really was embarassing having some of the clients see where we worked. Some of the floors are already completed, and are really spectacular. Current renovations include our new trading floor. In the middle will be an overlook with stairs down to the equity analyst and portfolio manager's offices.
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Old March 30th, 2007, 05:41 PM   #2485
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I feel that the Arena should, no MUST, occupy the location it is now. The current footprint just might be too small as it is currently configured.

BUT WORK AROUND IT. I mean seriously, We have to be able to figure this out. Reroute traffic. Bury a few blocks of the surrounding streets. Hell the light rail could even run through the building if the room was needed on that side. The station could be indoors. Just remember what two simple pavillions did for the Inner Harbor.

One of the top ten destination in the world.

Looking at the Holy Grail that is known as the Verizon Center, there is continous retail which is connected to the actual center itself. I am really really having a hard time believing that not having a Jeezy concert, the circus or Disney on Ice is worth foregoing the possibility of Final Fours, Pro Hockey and Bball, state high school championships, first rate concerts etc,. The City NEEDS the westside to do well. The University of Maryland needs it. The Hippodrome needs it. There is no single greater way to guarentee the vitality of that area than to build the arena there.

The benefits of a new arena will far outweigh those of the superblock. If anything comes of the Pratt street redesign, a viable westside will be as close to a slam dunk as you can have.
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Old March 30th, 2007, 05:47 PM   #2486
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Maybe my perception of sporting complexes is too influenced by urban stadiums of the Camden Yards era, but I feel very strong about keeping the arena as close to the CBD as possible.

First and foremost, downtowns are were transportation networks converge. All this talk of providing family entertainment, well, mass transit can help you get there. So keep it downtown.

Concerns of where to host events while the old one is torn down, and a new one built? Plenty of viable options in the immediate area. Plus, didn’t the circus for years utilize the Fifth Regiment Armory before the arena? I recall going there as a kid to see the circus (or some circus). I would add the Armory is on the Light Rail and Subway line.

Worries that events won’t come back? Build an arena that is inferior in quality: certainly. But that’s where the marketing comes into play. Propose and build something bold, something that will keep them waiting on pins and needles to come back! Trust me, they’ll be back…

The notion of building the arena within or adjacent to the Superblock is potentially a bad one. In the early 1990s we scoured the area we define today as the Westside for a potential site. (Arena replacement was a hot topic then.) Finding a large enough footprint was definitely a problem, and assembling the various properties and coming to terms with all parties concerned was a huge obstacle. At one point, it was even proposed the city secretly start amassing properties to make it easier to negotiate terms of sale and keep the cost of assembling land to a minimum.

As a tangent to discussion of bringing an arena to the Westside, the one concern I do have about the Westside is trying to get a clear grasp of exactly what it is that we’re trying to do there? Is it me, or do others here feel the development in the old retail district is somewhat willy-nilly? Without doubt, I see and hear talk about it being a residential district with retail, and some entertainment, but is that it? Will it merely be a downtown neighborhood? Or will it assume a kind of lively Greenwich Village feel; a district filled with various styles of architecture, residential, retail, and entertainment options?

To date, since the Westside lost its moniker of “Avenue of the Arts” I can’t really say I have a strong sense of what the neighborhood is envisioned to be…
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Old March 30th, 2007, 06:05 PM   #2487
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Originally Posted by cgunna View Post
I feel that the Arena should, no MUST, occupy the location it is now. The current footprint just might be too small as it is currently configured.

BUT WORK AROUND IT. I mean seriously, We have to be able to figure this out. Reroute traffic. Bury a few blocks of the surrounding streets. Hell the light rail could even run through the building if the room was needed on that side. The station could be indoors. Just remember what two simple pavillions did for the Inner Harbor.

One of the top ten destination in the world.

Looking at the Holy Grail that is known as the Verizon Center, there is continous retail which is connected to the actual center itself. I am really really having a hard time believing that not having a Jeezy concert, the circus or Disney on Ice is worth foregoing the possibility of Final Fours, Pro Hockey and Bball, state high school championships, first rate concerts etc,. The City NEEDS the westside to do well. The University of Maryland needs it. The Hippodrome needs it. There is no single greater way to guarentee the vitality of that area than to build the arena there.

The benefits of a new arena will far outweigh those of the superblock. If anything comes of the Pratt street redesign, a viable westside will be as close to a slam dunk as you can have.
I totally agree with you on this one: a building pumped with programming on the current arena site will help infuse life and activity into the Westside, and downtown in general. If you can stand to look 40 miles down I-95 at the Verizon Center, you have the poster-child of what Baltimore needs.

Prior to the building known as the Verizon Center, Chinatown/Penn Quarter was completely vacant. It really resembled the Westside in Baltimore. Some inroads had been made along 7th Street, but the eastern edge of the old retail district was completely moribund.

Today, on almost any given night, the area if awash with pedestrians. Restaurants, businesses, retail, and much more have opened up in the area. If you haven’t been at the intersection of 7th and H Streets in a couple of years (by the Chinese arch) I would certainly recommend that you go. It was on a Sunday evening about six months ago that I decided to take a “detour” along 7th Street. I figured why not: the streets will be dead. WRONG! The street scene resembled Times Square: neon, lights, people, and lots of cars. It’s better than Georgetown…

Replace the existing arena in Baltimore with a new one. Obstacles such as constrained site should be used as a design opportunity. Recall Camden Yards. The original proposals called for demolishing the warehouse. Why? Because the site was too small. Think about it…
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Old March 30th, 2007, 06:09 PM   #2488
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I'm going to have to disagree with you on that one...yes T. Rowe is getting their own Lobby. I might be a little biased because of where I work, but we see a tremendous amount of institutional clients some representing potential or current investments sometimes in excess of $1 Billion dollars. We need our own reception area, somewhere we can control the first impression of potential clients, not generic building security, and a place with our name on the wall! Same goes for potential new employees. T. Rowe is a first-class operation, and its imperative we give that impression. Did you know that on that one block of Pratt St with Legg (although they are moving) WELL over $1 Trillion dollars of assets are managed? Still think a little old lobby is a waste of space?

The renovations to that building are a long time coming. It really was embarassing having some of the clients see where we worked. Some of the floors are already completed, and are really spectacular. Current renovations include our new trading floor. In the middle will be an overlook with stairs down to the equity analyst and portfolio manager's offices.
No disrespect meant toward T. Rowe Price or anyone else. I knew Richard Price, son of the founder. Yes, I am aware of how much money is managed between the two companies. It just seems to me that prime ground level space is wasted when major building tenants have separate lobbies.

I think a better solution would have been to have a great lobby for everyone. If that wasn't possible, a great entrance could have been constructed with escalators to a second level where separate reception areas could have existed. I'm looking at it strictly from an urban design point of view. Including the lobby on Light Street, we are now up to 3 lobbies for 1 structure. Yes, I still think it is wasted space because there were alternatives that could have achieved the same goal.

The highrise behind was touted as being an "addition" to 100 East Pratt when it was constructed. It was sold to the city as necessary for keeping T. Rowe Price in the city. Of course, a few years after that monstrosity opened and blocked everyone's view of the Bank of America Building, T. Rowe moved all their back office functions and thousands of jobs to Owings Mills anyway and the rest of us were stuck with an ugly wall to look at. Almost every urban design professional, including the City's own design panel, agreed that a tower and not a slab of a building should have been built there! But T. Rowe Price got their way because of their clout. I have a long memory!

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Old March 30th, 2007, 06:25 PM   #2489
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What's up with the West Side

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As a tangent to discussion of bringing an arena to the Westside, the one concern I do have about the Westside is trying to get a clear grasp of exactly what it is that we’re trying to do there? Is it me, or do others here feel the development in the old retail district is somewhat willy-nilly? Without doubt, I see and hear talk about it being a residential district with retail, and some entertainment, but is that it? Will it merely be a downtown neighborhood? Or will it assume a kind of lively Greenwich Village feel; a district filled with various styles of architecture, residential, retail, and entertainment options?

To date, since the Westside lost its moniker of “Avenue of the Arts” I can’t really say I have a strong sense of what the neighborhood is envisioned to be…
The Weinberg-funded plan that dates to the Schmoke admin is here. Click through: portfolio>planning>urban and central master plans>West Side.

Take away: lots of new residents who, combined with CBD employees and UM staff and visitors, would support first-floor medium to large footprint mid-priced retail. Doesn't really answer your question does it? This plan was kind of a colorful Rorschach Test--people saw what they wanted to see.

Just for grins, note the couple having a picnic along Howard Street with the old Stewart's (Catholic Relief Services world hq as of this July) on Lexington Street in the background. This plan called for a lot of demo, including a 30-40 foot setback on that part of Howard, and a sweeping vista of the Hipp on the NE corner of Baltimore and Eutaw (Starbucks is there now, as part of the Centerpoint development) allowing the theater to be seen ...

... from the new park on the northern half of the Arena site.

Sheesh!
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Old March 30th, 2007, 06:28 PM   #2490
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The 100 E. Pratt Street addition was a disaster. Even the city, pro-development as it was when approved, had reservations. (Only the proposed Redwood Financial Center Tower at Redwood and Charles Street had more controversy.) The only benefit of 100 E. Pratt I find is the sculptural element at the roof level: it’s interesting to look at.

While I certainly understand the desire for a prestigious firm to have at least some control over hosting clients (let’s face it, building management tends to cut corners wherever, and whenever it can) I wonder what happens if such a client walks into the first lobby, and once realizing it’s the wrong one, happens to see the first lobby attendant desk (where the attendant happens to be missing), then walks over to the second lobby (where the attendant really doesn’t know much about some aspect of the private T. Rowe Price lobby, i.e. is there a restroom, access, etc.)…what kind of mood do you expect your client to me in upon arrival at your office?!

Not picking on you or Price, but I personally run into that kind of stuff all the time, where the simplest of things end up becoming a major pain in the ass. Those in the money-field aren’t the most tolerant of folks…
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Old March 30th, 2007, 06:33 PM   #2491
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Originally Posted by 30 Floors Up View Post
No disrespect meant toward T. Rowe Price or anyone else. I knew Richard Price, son of the founder. Yes, I am aware of how much money is managed between the two companies. It just seems to me that prime ground level space is wasted when major building tenants have separate lobbies.

I think a better solution would have been to have a great lobby for everyone. If that wasn't possible, a great entrance could have been constructed with escalators to a second level where separate reception areas could have existed. I'm looking at it strictly from an urban design point of view. Including the lobby on Light Street, we are now up to 3 lobbies for 1 structure. Yes, I still think it is wasted space because there were alternatives that could have achieved the same goal.

The highrise behind was touted as being an "addition" to 100 East Pratt when it was constructed. It was sold to the city as necessary for keeping T. Rowe Price in the city. Of course, a few years after that monstrosity opened and blocked everyone's view of the Bank of America Building, T. Rowe moved all their back office functions and thousands of jobs to Owings Mills anyway and the rest of us were stuck with an ugly wall to look at. Almost every urban design professional, including the City's own design panel, agreed that a tower and not a slab of a building should have been built there! But T. Rowe Price got their way because of their clout. I have a long memory!
agree to disagree...
(Not on the addition though, I agree with you on that) 100 E Pratt has 5 retail spaces all with street level entrances, that's 5 more than the Legg Building has, and 4 more than the Gallery has which was built with retail specifically in mind! And your idea of a 'grand entrance' is basically what is being done. The current Pratt St Lobby entrance is basically 2 double doors wide, they are just expanding it.
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Old March 30th, 2007, 06:44 PM   #2492
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The Weinberg-funded plan that dates to the Schmoke admin is here. Click through: portfolio>planning>urban and central master plans>West Side.

Take away: lots of new residents who, combined with CBD employees and UM staff and visitors, would support first-floor medium to large footprint mid-priced retail. Doesn't really answer your question does it? This plan was kind of a colorful Rorschach Test--people saw what they wanted to see.

Just for grins, note the couple having a picnic along Howard Street with the old Stewart's (Catholic Relief Services world hq as of this July) on Lexington Street in the background. This plan called for a lot of demo, including a 30-40 foot setback on that part of Howard, and a sweeping vista of the Hipp on the NE corner of Baltimore and Eutaw (Starbucks is there now, as part of the Centerpoint development) allowing the theater to be seen ...

... from the new park on the northern half of the Arena site.

Sheesh!

I migrated from Baltimore development about the time this study came out. The one element I always liked about this plan was opening up of Redwood Street through the current arena site. Of course City Crescent creates an obstacle, but that could be addressed in due time.

City streets are one commodity every municipality needs to protect. No matter where a new arena is constructed, everything must be done to ensure existing streets are kept and not rolled into the development parcel.

As for what the Westside wants to become, you are right, I’m still not convinced. I think a part of the hold up over there is a clear definition of what the area is envisioned to become. It’s the opposite problem that Market Center Development Corporation had in the late 1970s and 1980s. Today, too many people have too many different visions of what the future holds. Here is where good leadership would address that problem. Of course, money is another factor to contend with…
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Old March 30th, 2007, 06:45 PM   #2493
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The 100 E. Pratt Street addition was a disaster. Even the city, pro-development as it was when approved, had reservations. (Only the proposed Redwood Financial Center Tower at Redwood and Charles Street had more controversy.) The only benefit of 100 E. Pratt I find is the sculptural element at the roof level: it’s interesting to look at.

While I certainly understand the desire for a prestigious firm to have at least some control over hosting clients (let’s face it, building management tends to cut corners wherever, and whenever it can) I wonder what happens if such a client walks into the first lobby, and once realizing it’s the wrong one, happens to see the first lobby attendant desk (where the attendant happens to be missing), then walks over to the second lobby (where the attendant really doesn’t know much about some aspect of the private T. Rowe Price lobby, i.e. is there a restroom, access, etc.)…what kind of mood do you expect your client to me in upon arrival at your office?!

Not picking on you or Price, but I personally run into that kind of stuff all the time, where the simplest of things end up becoming a major pain in the ass. Those in the money-field aren’t the most tolerant of folks…

I can't speak on behalf of every office building you've been in but I know 100 E Pratt. First of all there's currently one lobby. If you walk in from the doors on Light Street, its clearly evident it all connects to one security desk that is ALWAYS staffed. I don't think its so hard for the security guard to say, T.Rowe is over there if by the off chance someone misses the multiple signs. T. Rowe is simply building an adjacent lobby that will be clearly visible....not so difficult
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Old March 30th, 2007, 06:50 PM   #2494
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The current Pratt St Lobby entrance is basically 2 double doors wide, they are just expanding it.
Hmmmm. Wonder if T. Rowe Price would ever consider moving to their own building at Harbor Point. Price, Legg, Morgan Stanley: the HE/HP promenade would be the new Redwood Street. Well, MS is supposed to be mostly back office, but still ...
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Old March 30th, 2007, 07:04 PM   #2495
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Hmmmm. Wonder if T. Rowe Price would ever consider moving to their own building at Harbor Point. Price, Legg, Morgan Stanley: the HE/HP promenade would be the new Redwood Street. Well, MS is supposed to be mostly back office, but still ...
i had a friend that worked at T Rowe. supposedly they had the option to mocve to harbor point, but the big guys didn't want to work on a "toxic landfill", or something to that regard....
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Old March 30th, 2007, 07:08 PM   #2496
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You're probably right. Russell Street is an important gateway. Ray Lewis's project will clean up the right side as visitors enter the city. The arena may wind up on the left side. There it can take advantage of existing parking at Camden Yards and a great road network. The fact that the arena would be visible from I-95 would be an important selling point to that subset of suburbanites who won't go into downtown. Period.

BTW: lot of good arguments made here. Suspect they're being mirrored in a boardroom somewhere around town, but can't find any info except a DBED grant to the Maryland Stadium Authority for a feasibility study in FY2006 (Page 10) and a Sun article in 2004 whose link has gone bad. The Downtown Partnership's 2006-08 Development Report mentioned (page 11) that eight percent of those they interviewed urged a new arena be developed.

FWIW: the MSA RFP reportedly specified rebuilding on the Arena site, but acknowledged that the new building would never be large enough to hold the NBA or NHL.

And, finally, anyone remember that proposal for a Camden Yards Elevated Railway that would go from the Visitor Center at Light and Conway, up the Conway median to Oriole Park, then down to Ravens Stadium?
Good points. I think the arena issue accelerates when the campaign season is over. No one wants to make it a political issue while searching for votes. It screams taxpayer dollars. I would look for some arena studies from the city or the Md Stadium Authority during the summer or the waning days of the city campaign.
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Old March 30th, 2007, 07:12 PM   #2497
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City streets are one commodity every municipality needs to protect. No matter where a new arena is constructed, everything must be done to ensure existing streets are kept and not rolled into the development parcel.
Right.

OT, but that was one annoying aspect of the Cityscape proposal: it squats right in the bed of Water Street, the original water's edge in 1729.

Of course, not closing streets pretty much argues against any arena site in the CBD. The streetless site bounded by Russell, Bush, Monroe and the RR tracks looks big enough though ... and it's diagonally across the street from Ray's development.

Prefer the CBD, but would like to see the Arena replaced however and wherever.

UPDATE: Interested--forgot all about the mayoral campaign. Sheila's not Mayor for Life?

UPDATE: No one remembers the Camden "El"? Must've dreamt it.

Last edited by jamie_hunt; March 30th, 2007 at 07:19 PM.
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Old March 30th, 2007, 07:21 PM   #2498
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Angelos won't give up 'superblock' fight
Mar 30, 2007 3:00 AM (9 hrs ago)
by Rita Chappelle, The Examiner



(MLB photo)
Peter Angelos, a Baltimore lawyer, owner of the Orioles and a developer, won't give up his fight over the city's so-called 'superblock' development. BALTIMORE (Map, News) - An agreement reached Wednesday between Baltimore City officials and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation to move forward the redevelopment of the west-side project known as “superblock” by swapping land and each party playing a major role in the future of the area, will not put a stop to legal action by lawyer and Orioles team owner Peter Angelos.


Angelos’s development company, Atrium at Market Square, LLC and two other plaintiffs filed a lawsuit earlier this month challenging the Baltimore Development Corporation’s autonomy to enter into an agreement with Lexington Square Partners to develop the property and the BDC’s role in the selection process.



“I am surprised that no one asked how this will impact Angelos’s lawsuit,” said Shale Stiller, president of the Weinberg Foundation. “This agreement won't stop his lawsuit, which seeks to reopen the selection process by the BDC based on the fact that [Nam Seo] Koo’s property was omitted from the original RFP and if Baltimore City can't acquire Koo’s property, that may well happen.”

The city is hoping that Angelos and the other plaintiffs will see that with the signing of the agreement between the city and the Weinberg Foundation, progress is being made on the project.

“Though Angelos filed the lawsuit, it does not ask for any injunctive relief,” said Baltimore City Solicitor George Nilson. “Clearly it was prompted by his perception that there has not been significant progress on the west side. We will respond to it in April. My hope is that Mr. Angelos and the other plaintiffs will see that with the signing of the agreement progress is being made and once Lexington Square Partners releases is plans for the site on March 31, he will not continue with the suit.”

Neither the Baltimore Development Corporation nor Angelos’s attorney, M. Albert Figinski, were available for comment by press time.

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Old March 30th, 2007, 07:28 PM   #2499
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Right.

OT, but that was one annoying aspect of the Cityscape proposal: it squats right in the bed of Water Street, the original water's edge in 1729.

Of course, not closing streets pretty much argues against any arena site in the CBD. The streetless site bounded by Russell, Bush, Monroe and the RR tracks looks big enough though ... and it's diagonally across the street from Ray's development.

Prefer the CBD, but would like to see the Arena replaced however and wherever.
Build the replacement arena on the current site. Excavate the footprint, sink it into the earth. Maintain the existing streets. Design with the option to build multistory programming along the perimeter of the site; series of structures either all the way around, or partially that would open on a public green space constructed on the arena roof. Open up; create new view corridors through this space to better connect downtown.

It would be expensive, but it has to be bold.
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Old March 30th, 2007, 07:47 PM   #2500
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Build the replacement arena on the current site. Excavate the footprint, sink it into the earth. Maintain the existing streets. Design with the option to build multistory programming along the perimeter of the site; series of structures either all the way around, or partially that would open on a public green space constructed on the arena roof. Open up; create new view corridors through this space to better connect downtown.

It would be expensive, but it has to be bold.
Use the Arena as an economic development catalyst to bring back the last blighted part of Downtown. I'm speaking of the upper West Side. The old Hoschild Kohn Warehouse block, now partially used by Ageon, at Howard and Franklin would be a good location. The site is mostly cleared and it is large. The building is not historic and could be demolished. The Light Rail goes directly by it and it is easily walkable from both the State Center And Lexington Market subway Stations.

It would truly fill the hole between Mt. Vernon, the lower West Side, and Antique Row. Everyone, including the Mt. Vernon restaurants, would benefit. Architectually, the area is similar to Chinatown in DC and I could envision the same type of development happening around it. Even the Mayfair might get fixed up (perhaps by Hooters?)! The block south of my proposed site contains no architectually significant buildings either, so there would be plenty of room!

I can't load Google earth on this computer, so I can't to a top shot. Sorry.

I think putting the Arena in Canton, Westport, or some other far away (from Downtown) site would be a HUGE MISTAKE. You want people to take as many forms of Mass Transit as possible and NOT drive to events. They will spend more money walking from transit stops to the arena, than they will by driving. You see something in a store window, you have to have it, and you buy it! They are also more likely to make a day out of attending an event.

A SMALL PART OF SAID PARKING LOT.


SCOTTBBF - It's all right to disagree. I HAVE NO POWER, just opinions!

Last edited by 30 Floors Up; March 30th, 2007 at 08:36 PM.
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