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Old April 26th, 2007, 11:26 PM   #3181
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Originally Posted by slake707 View Post
There are many pieces of Wisconsin. There is Wisconsin by M Street in Georgetown, which is what you are describing. Maybe they are thinking of Wisconsin by Friendship Heights. There is a Saks, Bloomingdales (coming after new building finishes), NM, Tiffany & Co., Jimmy Choo, Klinger, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Barney's, Dior, etc..
Oh yeah, the Chevy Chase Set....

Forgot all about that as nothing, I mean absoutely nothing about that area screams DC to me. It seems so, MoCo...

But yeah your right.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 11:29 PM   #3182
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Hal Wheeler e-mailed me and told me that Stern is still the architect. The "texas Firm" is just additional players.
Good news to finally hear from them, and that Stern is still the architect, although I am actually in a Robert Stern designed building right now as we speak, this beauty:


...and it's actually quite poorly designed.
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Old April 26th, 2007, 11:41 PM   #3183
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Heard today from a local developer that the soon to be closed fire station repair shop on Key HWY will become a tower. No idea on height or when or anything else.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 12:03 AM   #3184
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Very interesting. Thanks for posting that info.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 12:27 AM   #3185
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Don't know about all that. Manhattan and Chicago are better then both I think.
Manhattan and Chicago are cities. No use comparing the shopping district in MD with them. NYC has the best shopping in the entire US. Even people who live in London regularly fly to NY for the shopping a) because it's cheaper than London and b) because it has everything and anything you could ever want. London is still trying to catch up with that. I would definitely argue that the LA area has much better shopping than Chi-town.

The development at Friendship Heights/Chevy Chase in MD was nicknamed the Rodeo Drive of the East because of its consistently dense upscale shopping in that particular area on that particular street. Rodeo Drive is pretty small as it is. I definitely see the comparison after being in both places (minus the palm trees and year-round sun).

Baltimore could definitely aspire to have something like Friendship Heights/Chevy Chase on both the MD and DC sides (though the MD side has most of the best shopping). However, the CC/FH area is what I consider super upscale. Even most upper middle class people cannot afford the prices at Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Dior, Jimmy Choo, Bulgari, and others. These are designer stores which do not intend to have throngs of people walk through their doors everyday. It would be unmanageable. This type of development works when you have such a dense base of very wealthy people in the surrounding Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Potomac, Silver Spring, NW DC area. Downtown Baltimore, however, would not be a good place for this, at least it is not what I think should be wished for initially. Baby steps.

What I'm talking about for downtown Baltimore is definitely the Wisconsin Ave/M St corridors in DC. That area brings a consistent number of young and older, suburban and tourist shoppers alike to its high end retail establishments (including me). Granted, there are no huge department stores there, but I wouldn't ever put one in that area anyway--it's not built for it and it wouldn't work. Currently, G'town is home to Benetton, BCBG Max Azria, Ralph Lauren, Puma, Urban Outfitters, A&F, Banana Republic, B&N, M.A.C., Lucky Brand Jeans, J. Crew, Talbots, H&M, Adidas, AE, Anthropologie, Barney's Co-op, Coach, Diesel, FCUK, Lacoste, Energie/Miss Sixty (my fave), Urban Outfitters, and countless other upscale boutique clothing shops. This is the PERFECT mix of super high end designers and middle/ upper-middle class chains to bring in the tourists AND the suburban shoppers, and a retail district like this in or around downtown Baltimore would be ideal. You can easily buy a $2,000 spring dress from the Ralph Lauren, and walk into Puma to buy some $60 shoes, plop down $400 for a jacket from Energie/Miss Sixty, and then head to A&F for a $40 polo.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 12:30 AM   #3186
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Oh yeah, the Chevy Chase Set....

Forgot all about that as nothing, I mean absoutely nothing about that area screams DC to me. It seems so, MoCo...

But yeah your right.
It screams DC if you live there! I agree, though, extreme upscale designer shopping like this is new to the DC area and it will take some getting used to. The culture is changing. There was an entire section in the Washington Post last summer dedicated to the discussion of extreme wealth and consumption in DC, something that is only beginning to emerge.

Here's the link. It's a really interesting article for anyone concerned with bringing the upscale shopping culture to Baltimore. And just to include an addendum to the article, the designer stores are doing *very* well and exceeding expectations.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 12:31 AM   #3187
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I've been to that Chevy Chase area once or twice. Pretty much stumbled upon it the first time and thought I was on rodeo drive. Very high class area. I kinda liked it to be honest. I wouldn't want an entire city like that, but a small section is fine.

Hope to hear news soon on our towers. Good to hear we might have another tower going up on key highway.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 12:41 AM   #3188
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I wonder if any of these conceptual renderings include the, "firehouse", area?
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Old April 27th, 2007, 12:45 AM   #3189
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We still need more MOR places like Filene's Basement.

We'd be overlooking a potentially large costumer base if we only go toward the higher end (like Towson Commons). I almost never shop there. It is simply too high-end and has too few stores of utility (excesses and nick/nacks). Baltimore, downtown and elsewhere needs a healty dose of the Target/JC Pennies/Sears calibur to be successfull.

I'm sorry. I'm not paying $60 for a goddamn pair of demins! Don't make me go to Marley Station. Keep it in town!
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Old April 27th, 2007, 12:51 AM   #3190
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Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
We still need more MOR places like Filene's Basement.

We'd be overlooking a potentially large costumer base if we only go toward the higher end (like Towson Commons). I almost never shop there. It is simply too high-end and has too few stores of utility (excesses and nick/nacks). Baltimore, downtown and elsewhere needs a healty dose of the Target/JC Pennies/Sears calibur to be successfull.

I'm sorry. I'm not paying $60 for a goddamn pair of demins! Don't make me go to Marley Station. Keep it in town!
You may not, but tourists will. (By the way, $60 is considered pretty cheap for a good pair of quality brand name jeans these days.)

I agree more useful shops for Baltimore residents would be great, but try to orient those stores more towards the population center of the city, which is not downtown. DC is doing the same thing, pushing the big box Targets and Home Depots to the Northeast quadrant, next to a Metro Station (Rhode Island Ave/New York Ave) to make it accessible, but away from the main shopping areas near downtown, where less people live. This way the stores can take advantage of being close the population it serves, as well as cheaper land prices away from sky-high downtown rents.

Believe me, I became ecstatic when a Best Buy moved to Wheaton, a couple of miles from where I live, but big box stores have their place, and it's not in a downtown such as Baltimore's.

Last edited by pennster; April 27th, 2007 at 01:12 AM.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 01:11 AM   #3191
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Has anyone herd anymore on the westport beach project?
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Old April 27th, 2007, 02:02 AM   #3192
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Not a lot of specifics. I think it was just recently reported on this forum that some site work will start next year. Please, anybody, correct me if I'm wrong.

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Old April 27th, 2007, 02:13 AM   #3193
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Nope, you're exactly right, Steven...as usual. I've been in regular e-mail contact with Pat Turner (he's been very responsive). He told me that site work will begin next year, and a web site should be up with more specifics by the end of this year. Previously, he's told me that the first phase of Westport should be completed by 2009, but he hasn't divulged what wil be included in the first phase. All I know is that the 65 story tower will come later, unless market demand calls for it earlier.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 02:13 AM   #3194
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamie_hunt View Post
Right. Incidentally, two things:

1. UMMC is spending $329 million on an ambulatory care facility on that site, and there doesn't seem to be a rendering anywhere.

2...
i'll see if i can find it. we had it during the pratt street project. from what i remember, the building is fairly plain and isn't really a focal point. it'll just add to the urban fabric and that's about it. i am not a fan of the drop off that will be on pratt street. one more thing to chop up the pedestrian environment.

check this link:

http://bp1.blogger.com/_9FpPsebMAiY/...ncept_plan.jpg

you'll see the footprint of the building in the plan.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 02:33 AM   #3195
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Tourism wars: Gaylord’s Potomac River complex challenges Baltimore
JEN DEGREGORIO
Daily Record Business Writer
April 26, 2007 6:29 PM
OXON HILL — Baltimore’s biggest threat.

That is the way a recent audit of the city’s convention business described the Gaylord National, a 2,000-room hotel and convention center rising along the banks of the Potomac River in Prince George’s County.

The behemoth resort complex just south of Washington will not open for another year, but it has already booked 900,000 hotel room nights. With a 20-story hotel and adjoining 470,000 square feet of meeting space, the Gaylord National is the largest hotel construction project on the East Coast.

It also has the distinction of being the centerpiece of National Harbor, a 300-acre, mixed-use project that has become one of the most ballyhooed developments in the mid-Atlantic. When completed, National Harbor will include the Gaylord resort, five other hotels, 2,500 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, four piers and two marinas. A waterfront tourist destination packed with restaurants, shops and entertainment, the development has been described as a swankier version of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

“It’s like a brand new city coming on line all at once,” said Thomas J. Noonan, president and chief executive officer of the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association. “We’re going to lose business to them on occasion. We’re a little concerned.”

Baltimore has already lost five conventions, or 24,500 hotel room nights, to the Gaylord National. Meeting planners for those events cited a lack of hotel rooms located in one place and high room rates as reasons they did not choose Baltimore.

Loyalty to the Gaylord brand also comes into play. The hotel chain’s resorts are known for their flamboyant, theme park-like ambiance. The company is most famous for Opryland in Nashville, Tenn., which includes nine acres of glass-enclosed gardens, rivers and waterfalls.

Gaylord properties encourages patrons to stay on site by offering restaurants, stores and other amenities under the same roof, according to a report by HVS International, a hospitality consulting firm.

“By capturing this spending, Gaylord is able to make a profit on convention business whereas most convention centers operate at a deficit,” said the report, entitled “Measuring the Gaylord Effect.”

“They are very formidable competition,” Noonan said.

Trying to compete

Baltimore has good reason to be concerned, according to Heywood Sanders, a public policy professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio who has studied the convention business.

Gaylord’s entry into other cities has harmed convention centers already established in those markets, he said. The opening of the Gaylord Texan in 2004 in Grapevine, Texas, caused occupancy and pricing at other convention centers to slump “below the performance of the overall market,” according to the HVS International report.

“Gaylord has proven itself to be a very effective competitor for the traditional, city-owned and operated convention facility,” Sanders said.

Baltimore’s worries about the Gaylord National are compounded by the construction of a 757-room Hilton hotel, which is set to open beside the Baltimore Convention Center next summer. The city floated $300 million in bonds to pay for the hotel, which economic development officials said Baltimore needs to prop up its sagging convention business.

The decision to build the hotel came after a bitter debate between the City Council and Baltimore Development Corp., the city’s economic development agency, about whether the city should fund such a project. Critics cited studies showing that convention business has waned nationwide and that a convention center hotel would not be profitable.

Noonan said the promise of the hotel has already helped lure conventions to Baltimore that have never been to the city before, namely the Orthopaedic Trauma Association, booked for 2010, and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, booked for 2011.

But 2008 does not look quite as promising as BACVA officials predicted. In February, BACVA announced that it had booked only 10 groups for meetings in 2008 and nine groups for 2009. That is down from 28 groups in 2005.

The Gaylord National is partly responsible, Noonan said. But BACVA is working on strategies to compete with the resort, such as partnering with other East Coast cities to offer discounts to meeting planners who book convention rotations among the cooperating cities.

Noonan also thinks that the Hilton Convention Center Hotel has an advantage of being located in downtown Baltimore. Visitors to the Gaylord National would have to take a water taxi to get to historic Alexandria, Va. or drive to Washington.

The Gaylord’s overwhelming size and distance from major cities can also be “a real weakness,” Noonan said. “After a while, you’re like, ‘I gotta get out of here.’”

National Harbor

Mary Jo McCulloch, president of the Maryland Hotel & Lodging Association, does not share BACVA’s alarmist view of the Gaylord National. In fact, she thinks the resort will ultimately boost the state’s hospitality business.

“I think it will do a tremendous amount for the industry in Maryland,” McCulloch said. “It will bring people to the state who might have never come. There is a clientele that follows Gaylord.”

McCulloch thinks Washington tourism officials have more to worry about than Baltimore, which is an hour-long drive from the Gaylord National and has its own attractions, such as the Inner Harbor.

Hannah L. Byron, director of the state tourism office, thinks the National Harbor project will provide an important boost for Prince George’s County, which now does not have much of a tourism economy. Byron said the state did not have estimates of the total economic impact of the project, but the Gaylord National alone will employ 2,000 workers and cost nearly $1 billion to develop.

“What’s great from the state’s perspective is that it gives us a nice balance so that we have key economic generators in every region of the state,” Byron said.

“This project has shifted attention back to Maryland from D.C. and Virginia.”
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Old April 27th, 2007, 02:43 AM   #3196
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You may not, but tourists will. (By the way, $60 is considered pretty cheap for a good pair of quality brand name jeans these days.)

I agree more useful shops for Baltimore residents would be great, but try to orient those stores more towards the population center of the city, which is not downtown. DC is doing the same thing, pushing the big box Targets and Home Depots to the Northeast quadrant, next to a Metro Station (Rhode Island Ave/New York Ave) to make it accessible, but away from the main shopping areas near downtown, where less people live. This way the stores can take advantage of being close the population it serves, as well as cheaper land prices away from sky-high downtown rents.

Believe me, I became ecstatic when a Best Buy moved to Wheaton, a couple of miles from where I live, but big box stores have their place, and it's not in a downtown such as Baltimore's.

A healthy downtown retail environment should cater to a wide pallete of incomes, not just high-end. There's no reason more Filene's Basement floorplan's (like the superblock) can't be created for MOR offerings. Don't make it so that those with less have more difficult shopping by having to drive or take inconvenient bus rides to jerkwater locations in town (like Wal-Mart).

$60 is a rip-off. The increased quality is not matched by the incremental increase in cost over $30 jeans.

High-end apparrel is a scam (except sometimes suits), there for people who don't mind flushing money down the toilet because somebody says it's cool or think it's the next best thing.


Nate
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Old April 27th, 2007, 03:23 AM   #3197
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
Tourism wars: Gaylord’s Potomac River complex challenges Baltimore
JEN DEGREGORIO
Daily Record Business Writer
April 26, 2007 6:29 PM
OXON HILL — Baltimore’s biggest threat.

That is the way a recent audit of the city’s convention business described the Gaylord National, a 2,000-room hotel and convention center rising along the banks of the Potomac River in Prince George’s County.

The behemoth resort complex just south of Washington will not open for another year, but it has already booked 900,000 hotel room nights. With a 20-story hotel and adjoining 470,000 square feet of meeting space, the Gaylord National is the largest hotel construction project on the East Coast.

It also has the distinction of being the centerpiece of National Harbor, a 300-acre, mixed-use project that has become one of the most ballyhooed developments in the mid-Atlantic. When completed, National Harbor will include the Gaylord resort, five other hotels, 2,500 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, four piers and two marinas. A waterfront tourist destination packed with restaurants, shops and entertainment, the development has been described as a swankier version of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

“It’s like a brand new city coming on line all at once,” said Thomas J. Noonan, president and chief executive officer of the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association. “We’re going to lose business to them on occasion. We’re a little concerned.”

Baltimore has already lost five conventions, or 24,500 hotel room nights, to the Gaylord National. Meeting planners for those events cited a lack of hotel rooms located in one place and high room rates as reasons they did not choose Baltimore.

Loyalty to the Gaylord brand also comes into play. The hotel chain’s resorts are known for their flamboyant, theme park-like ambiance. The company is most famous for Opryland in Nashville, Tenn., which includes nine acres of glass-enclosed gardens, rivers and waterfalls.

Gaylord properties encourages patrons to stay on site by offering restaurants, stores and other amenities under the same roof, according to a report by HVS International, a hospitality consulting firm.

“By capturing this spending, Gaylord is able to make a profit on convention business whereas most convention centers operate at a deficit,” said the report, entitled “Measuring the Gaylord Effect.”

“They are very formidable competition,” Noonan said.

Trying to compete

Baltimore has good reason to be concerned, according to Heywood Sanders, a public policy professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio who has studied the convention business.

Gaylord’s entry into other cities has harmed convention centers already established in those markets, he said. The opening of the Gaylord Texan in 2004 in Grapevine, Texas, caused occupancy and pricing at other convention centers to slump “below the performance of the overall market,” according to the HVS International report.

“Gaylord has proven itself to be a very effective competitor for the traditional, city-owned and operated convention facility,” Sanders said.

Baltimore’s worries about the Gaylord National are compounded by the construction of a 757-room Hilton hotel, which is set to open beside the Baltimore Convention Center next summer. The city floated $300 million in bonds to pay for the hotel, which economic development officials said Baltimore needs to prop up its sagging convention business.

The decision to build the hotel came after a bitter debate between the City Council and Baltimore Development Corp., the city’s economic development agency, about whether the city should fund such a project. Critics cited studies showing that convention business has waned nationwide and that a convention center hotel would not be profitable.

Noonan said the promise of the hotel has already helped lure conventions to Baltimore that have never been to the city before, namely the Orthopaedic Trauma Association, booked for 2010, and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, booked for 2011.

But 2008 does not look quite as promising as BACVA officials predicted. In February, BACVA announced that it had booked only 10 groups for meetings in 2008 and nine groups for 2009. That is down from 28 groups in 2005.

The Gaylord National is partly responsible, Noonan said. But BACVA is working on strategies to compete with the resort, such as partnering with other East Coast cities to offer discounts to meeting planners who book convention rotations among the cooperating cities.

Noonan also thinks that the Hilton Convention Center Hotel has an advantage of being located in downtown Baltimore. Visitors to the Gaylord National would have to take a water taxi to get to historic Alexandria, Va. or drive to Washington.

The Gaylord’s overwhelming size and distance from major cities can also be “a real weakness,” Noonan said. “After a while, you’re like, ‘I gotta get out of here.’”

National Harbor

Mary Jo McCulloch, president of the Maryland Hotel & Lodging Association, does not share BACVA’s alarmist view of the Gaylord National. In fact, she thinks the resort will ultimately boost the state’s hospitality business.

“I think it will do a tremendous amount for the industry in Maryland,” McCulloch said. “It will bring people to the state who might have never come. There is a clientele that follows Gaylord.”

McCulloch thinks Washington tourism officials have more to worry about than Baltimore, which is an hour-long drive from the Gaylord National and has its own attractions, such as the Inner Harbor.

Hannah L. Byron, director of the state tourism office, thinks the National Harbor project will provide an important boost for Prince George’s County, which now does not have much of a tourism economy. Byron said the state did not have estimates of the total economic impact of the project, but the Gaylord National alone will employ 2,000 workers and cost nearly $1 billion to develop.

“What’s great from the state’s perspective is that it gives us a nice balance so that we have key economic generators in every region of the state,” Byron said.

“This project has shifted attention back to Maryland from D.C. and Virginia.”
Can someone please explain to me why is it that anything built outside of Baltimore is looked at as a challenge? This National Harbor is going to help us as a state. It's going to, as the article said, gives us a nice balance so that we have key economic generators in every region of the state.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 03:38 AM   #3198
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Well, there's only so much convention business to go around. I don't think it's much of a growth industry, esp. with high energy prices and the costs associated with them are usually dispensed when economic conditions are less favorable, IIUC.

Nate
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Old April 27th, 2007, 03:40 AM   #3199
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Back to good ol' Norf Ave

FWIW, that grand house at the SW corner of Calvert and North is for sale, listed at $320,000. It's gutted and stabilized and ready for complete rehab.

Nate
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Old April 27th, 2007, 03:46 AM   #3200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
A healthy downtown retail environment should cater to a wide pallete of incomes, not just high-end. There's no reason more Filene's Basement floorplan's (like the superblock) can't be created for MOR offerings. Don't make it so that those with less have more difficult shopping by having to drive or take inconvenient bus rides to jerkwater locations in town (like Wal-Mart).

$60 is a rip-off. The increased quality is not matched by the incremental increase in cost over $30 jeans.

High-end apparrel is a scam (except sometimes suits), there for people who don't mind flushing money down the toilet because somebody says it's cool or think it's the next best thing.


Nate
Why do you think I said that it wouldn't be smart to put more big boxes downtown? It's NOT the center of Baltimore's population. Put them in places which are far more convenient for more people, as well as in places where land values won't increase prices of goods in the stores themselves. Tourists aren't going to be travelling to Baltimore's future retail district to shop in JC Penney, Home Depot, or Target, believe me. Let's put those stores in places where people will actually use them. Read over what I said again.

It's fabulous that you understand the dynamics of downtown retail growth. It's also fabulous that you recognize the power and value of branding, something which is not only useful in bringing in people to buy expensive clothes and other items, but also in bringing people to cities---for example, Baltimore! If you want a successful retail district, yes you need a variety of stores, but catering to the middle to upper classes is the most successful bet. With no disrespect, you'll have to push your personal feelings about certain types of clothing and pricing aside for the greater good of Baltimore's retail potential in this case.
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