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Old May 3rd, 2007, 11:39 PM   #3321
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Cool pic, pfd. Baltimore looks so green.....
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Old May 4th, 2007, 12:56 AM   #3322
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Very nice pic, indeed.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 01:20 AM   #3323
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Planning commission approves Legg tower
Baltimore Business Journal - 5:49 PM EDT Thursday, May 3, 2007by Daniel J. SernovitzStaff

The Baltimore City Planning Commission voted unanimously Thursday afternoon to back a development plan creating a new signature office tower for city-based money manager Legg Mason Inc.

Members of the commission had no discussion about the plan, which was approved with reservations last month by another city advisory board, except to praise it for the prominence it will add to Baltimore's reputation as an emerging world-class city.


"It's pretty exciting to see what's going on there," commission Chairman Peter E. Auchincloss said. "This is a very important corner of the world for all citizens of the City of Baltimore."

Legg Mason said in February it had signed a long-term lease to move its headquarters from 100 Light Street, a highly visible building in the heart of the city, to a new office tower set for construction in the Harbor East development near Fells Point by the summer of 2009.

Developers H&S Properties Development Corp. and Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse needed to alter their overall plan for the 3.6-acre property, which had already received concept approval from the city, to accommodate Legg Mason. Instead of building a 21-story, 84-unit residential condominium building, the developers now plan to build a 26-story, 550,000-square-foot office tower, of which Legg Mason will take about 400,000 square feet.

The developers also planned to build a 199-room, 24-floor Four Seasons hotel. They still plan to build the hotel, but the tower is now proposed to be 44 stories and will include 494 hotel rooms. Combined, the buildings will include about 73,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, up from 38,000 square feet in the earlier proposals.

The city's Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel voted to approve the project April 13, even though members of the panel said they are concerned about various design components of the building and how it will look to visitors walking along the waterfront promenade that will separate the building from the Patapsco River.

The panel members agreed to approve the plans in order to send them on to various other layers of city government, including the planning commission and city council. In doing so, they noted the developers will need to return to the panel for final approval of the individual buildings, rather than just the plans, before they can begin that phase of construction.

The City Council has not taken up the matter yet.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 04:37 AM   #3324
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WOW the Four Seasons will be 44 stories. It should be a 500+ footer. My guess is 530 feet tall.

Last edited by Baltimoreguy; May 4th, 2007 at 10:22 AM.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 04:51 AM   #3325
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Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
[B]The developers also planned to build a 199-room, 24-floor Four Seasons hotel. They still plan to build the hotel, but the tower is now proposed to be 44 stories and will include 494 hotel rooms. Combined, the buildings will include about 73,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, up from 38,000 square feet in the earlier proposals.
steve, you sure know how to brighten someone's day. 44 stories?????? it's gonna' be a beautiful tower as will the LM tower. simply beautiful.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 05:11 AM   #3326
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Almost 500 rooms

is a decent size hotel. 75,000 sq ft of retail is decent size also. I wonder if the rumor of Tiffany's is true. Paterakis is going to have a convention area in Harbor East/Point also. I see him having about 2,600 rooms once Harbor Point and the Rec Pier is done.


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steve, you sure know how to brighten someone's day. 44 stories?????? it's gonna' be a beautiful tower as will the LM tower. simply beautiful.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 05:17 AM   #3327
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Thats what I heard too, that they wanted to build office condo's. I can only assume they mean to demolish the old retail portion since the office part is almost rented out.

I guess the investment building isin't such a great investment anymore

It sits on a prime spot however, and sits right on one of the highest spots in Baltimore Co., making whatever goes there very visable.
Interesting. From what I have heard, the medical software company in TC has wanted more space. Maybe they are going to remove the retail portion for more office space?? I guess that's good. I guess all the teens would have to go out to Hunt Valley. I can't imagine more of them than there are now.

On the Investment building, I have mused that the only way they'd ever rent that building again would be to strip it out the the steel frame and rebuild. Regardless of what the owner might do short of that, I can't imagine any tenant moving INTO a sick building. The lawyers would be sharpening their knives waiting for the next person to get sick. That building has always been a monumental eyesore. It's ugly and misplaced, on top of being sick. I can foresee that nobody will shed any tears to see it go, but it might be a fight to build something else there if it's tall.

That block of York Rd really needs help though. I have heard that the old Gino's restaurant is perceived by some as historic and the Schmuck house (the bridal shop) dates back to the 1700's so that is probably sacrosanct. Add in the cemetery (with graves to the 1700's) and there isn't much you can build on that block.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 05:34 AM   #3328
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I wish the baltimore business journal would have put a picture of the new 44 story Four Seasons Hotel. I was just in Fort Lauderdale and Miami among other places. Most everything in downtown Miami is highrise residential buildings many very tall, it didn't look like many office towers. They are getting some decent density in Miami.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 06:15 AM   #3329
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Wow so they increased the flrs of the Four Season's to 44? A few months ago it was 36flrs right?
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Old May 4th, 2007, 07:35 AM   #3330
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Yeah, the tower was originally 36 floors at 455 feet. Now they've increased it by eight stories.
Just playing with numbers here, if each of those floors is ten feet (which I'm assuming is customary for luxury condos) from floor to ceiling, that's an additional 80 feet, bringing the total height to 535 feet. With a little bit of a push, we might get a new tallest out of this one. It'll be interested to see since it's already under construction.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 08:36 AM   #3331
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Yeah, the tower was originally 36 floors at 455 feet. Now they've increased it by eight stories.
Just playing with numbers here, if each of those floors is ten feet (which I'm assuming is customary for luxury condos) from floor to ceiling, that's an additional 80 feet, bringing the total height to 535 feet. With a little bit of a push, we might get a new tallest out of this one. It'll be interested to see since it's already under construction.
They have to go for the record!! 535 is only 6 ft taller than Legg, but with the slow pace that 10IH is moving along, this could be the tallest for several years. Let's hope for some outstanding architecture!!
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Old May 4th, 2007, 08:43 AM   #3332
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455 feet divided by 36 stories is about 12.63 feet/floor which is fairly customary. Multiply that by the new 44 stories and you get 556 feet tall!
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Old May 4th, 2007, 09:55 AM   #3333
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the more floors you have the lower the average floor will be especially considering is a hotel I think it will be closer to 530.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 11:47 AM   #3334
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Either way, overall, a very nice bit of news for us.

In other news:

Developers might have to go green, like it or not
Baltimore Business Journal - 6:29 PM EDT Thursday, May 3, 2007by Daniel J. SernovitzStaff
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The Baltimore City Planning Commission voted Thursday to approve a series of environmental legislation packages, including one requiring developers to incorporate green building standards into their projects by the summer of 2010.

As part of a staggered implementation schedule, all city buildings being substantially renovated will need to conform to the environmental standards starting next summer.


Projects receiving city funding and even those supported by tax breaks, tax increment financing, and zoning changes, will need to comply by the summer of 2009, followed by all other renovation and construction projects three years down the road.

The commission also approved two other green-friendly bills. The first would create an Office of Sustainability. The second would rename the existing Commission on Resource Conservation and Recycling, now proposed to be called the Commission on Resource Sustainability. The commission would report on the city's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, develop a comprehensive recycling plan for the city and disseminate environmentally-related information to other city agencies.

The legislation, backed by City Councilman Jim Kraft, will now head to City Council for consideration.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 11:49 AM   #3335
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Growth creates chance for city
State plans incentives to encourage workers to move to Baltimore, commute to bases

By Phillip McGowan
Sun reporter
Originally published May 4, 2007


As real estate brokers report the first trickle of what promises to be a torrent of military employees and contractors pouring into Maryland, the state is assembling a package of incentives to encourage first-time homebuyers and renters to move to Baltimore, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown said yesterday.


State leaders want to make the city, with its affordable housing stock and varied transit options, a bedroom community for an estimated 60,000 defense workers and contractors who are predicted to move to Maryland from across the nation to work mainly in and around Fort Meade and Aberdeen Proving Ground.

"BRAC presents an enormous potential for Baltimore," Brown said of the base closure and realignment process ordered by the Pentagon that will play out between now and 2011. That is a relatively narrow window to accommodate such a surge of new workers, many of whom are highly paid scientists and engineers.

Brown, designated by Gov. Martin O'Malley to oversee state planning for BRAC, did not provide specifics of the incentive plan, which should be in place by fall.

But Russell Thomas, a spokesman for the state Department of Housing and Community Development, said the incentives would be "even more attractive" than current assistance programs, such as those that cover closing costs and down payments for first-time buyers.

The city's housing commissioner, Paul T. Graziano, said he did not know any details of an incentive program to encourage BRAC workers to locate in the city, but said, "I think it's a great idea."

"Obviously, the city of Baltimore is open for business, as we like to say," Graziano said. "We welcome investment. We welcome people moving in. We have the capacity for them, unlike some of the counties."

Anthony McCarthy, a spokesman for Mayor Sheila Dixon, said the mayor's office has been working with Live Baltimore, the nonprofit group that promotes city living, to market the city to military contract workers.

Local and state officials see housing incentives as an important catalyst to revitalize the city, where many neighborhoods remain blighted, filled with homes in need of rehabilitation and vacant lots where dilapidated houses were razed.

But the city is also in the midst of a modest construction boom, especially in waterfront communities such as Canton and near Fort McHenry. Millions of dollars worth of new hotels, retail centers, condos and offices are being built.

About 11,000 housing units are "in the pipeline" in city-sponsored developments such as Uplands and the East Baltimore Development, as well as private projects, Graziano said.

"We have opportunities throughout the city and opportunities in areas that are in close proximity to major highways" convenient to Aberdeen and Fort Meade, he said. "I have no doubt that we can accommodate any influx of people that is a byproduct of BRAC."

Brown, who made his remarks in a speech to the Maryland Association of Realtors, said the city enjoyed a particular advantage in attracting BRAC workers because of its "existing infrastructure."

A key component is the MARC commuter rail system, which has stops in Aberdeen and Odenton, near Fort Meade.

Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold said that he viewed MARC as the most effective mechanism to get workers between their homes and offices, and that officials stand the best opportunity to get federal funding for that transit option.

"The federal dollars are scarce, and we have to be realistic about this, so we have to focus best on where we can secure those dollars," Leopold said.

While Baltimore's housing prices are rising, they tend to be much lower than those in wealthier suburban counties around the city and the even pricier areas near Washington.

Attracting BRAC workers to Baltimore would ease the burden on these surrounding counties, which are reeling after years of rapid growth while the city declined.

In some suburban counties, new housing has been curtailed because of the inability to deliver key services such as police or fire protection, as happened in Prince George's County. Or because of inadequate water supplies, as has been the case in Carroll County.

In both Howard and Anne Arundel counties, developers can't build subdivisions that cater to families with young children unless there is already sufficient school capacity. So they have resorted to building senior housing developments restricted to homeowners 55 or older.
City leaders, by contrast, have said that Baltimore's existing infrastructure can accommodate up to 170,000 new residents.




The city has supported a much larger population in the past - in 1950, it had a population of 950,000 residents. That number is almost 50 percent larger than the current population estimate of 635,000.

"We think it makes ultimate sense, from a development standpoint in the region, to think about people living in the downtown area and commuting to jobs in counties," said David Iannucc, Baltimore County's economic development director. "The city seems especially well-positioned to take advantage of regional growth opportunities."

James C. Richardson, Harford's economic development director, said surveys have shown that incoming workers have expressed interest in a range of living possibilities and that some prefer living in a big city.

"We know very well from our discussions with folks moving in that a certain percentage - not a very large percentage - will want to live in an urban area," he said.

Public and private organizations have tried for years to use incentives to attract homebuyers to Baltimore, with limited success.

In 1999, Baltimore's Abell Foundation sought to attract homeowners through a program that would guarantee that their property values will not decrease.

In recent years at Morgan State University, a sorority has sponsored an initiative to put hundreds of first-time house-hunters in touch with home lenders who can offer no-money-down loans.

Currently, the state has a closing-cost grant for an existing home if it is within 25 miles of the buyer's workplace. It offers qualified buyers grants worth up to 3 percent of their mortgage to help cover closing costs.

Ilene Kessler, president of the Maryland Association of Realtors, said the heavy demand for affordably priced housing is changing how far people are willing to live from where they work and would not deter workers from living in Baltimore and commuting to other counties.

"The idea of community is not what it used to be," she said. "People can live in York, Pa., and work at Fort Meade ... or they can look in Adams County, Pa. So people are looking in other areas."


[email protected]
Sun reporters Eric Siegel, Justin Fenton, Josh Mitchell, Kelly Brewington and Larry Carson contributed to this article.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 01:50 PM   #3336
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What happened to the Four Seasons condos? I suppose they are history huh? I wish they would include some units so that the city can get the property and income taxes from the buyers.

Anyway, Denver just scored a 45 story Four Seasons. It has been in the works almost as long as ours has. It is the tall structure with the mast up top in the foregoround center of this picture. Their's has only 230 rooms, but is has 102 residences. Acording to Emporis, it is 752 feet tall (they must be counting the mast).

http://radar.planetizen.com/node/39218


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Old May 4th, 2007, 02:16 PM   #3337
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I think that tower will look pretty good from here, don't you?

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Old May 4th, 2007, 02:21 PM   #3338
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Are they on your putting green?
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Old May 4th, 2007, 02:34 PM   #3339
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Now we know. It will be 494 feet tall.

New plan for Legg headquarters, green building requirements OK’d
JEN DEGREGORIO, Daily Record Business Writer, May 3, 2007 6:34 PM

The Baltimore Planning Commission Thursday gave its blessing to three major pieces of legislation, two that would advance the construction of Legg Mason’s new headquarters at Inner Harbor East and another that would require green buildings in city-funded projects.

The commission approved amendments to both the urban renewal plan for Inner Harbor East and the planned unit development, or PUD, previously approved for the Four Seasons Hotel project. H&S Properties Development Corp., which is developing the Four Seasons with Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse, asked for the amendments to make room for Legg Mason’s new headquarters.

The original plan for the Four Seasons project included the hotel and a condominium tower, which were to have risen between the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel and the Spinnaker Bay residential community. Thursday’s amendments allow developers to replace the condominium with a 530,000-square-foot office tower for Legg Mason, the financial firm that plans to relocate from its home on Light Street. The amendments would also allow an increase in the height of the Four Seasons from 309 feet to 494 feet.

No community residents spoke in opposition to the new plan. “It’s pretty exciting to see what’s going on over there,” Peter Auchincloss, chairman of the commission, said of the Inner Harbor East area, which is emerging as a new city shopping and residential destination. The commission also approved a City Council bill that would require commercial developers to build certified green buildings if they receive loans, tax credits or other benefits from the city. The approval was contingent upon amendments to the original bill, which was introduced by Councilman James B. Kraft in February.

The amendments would require that by 2010, developers receiving city assistance should have their buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, a national group that rates buildings on their environmental efficiency. Such developers should have a “silver” grade of certification. The amendments would also require by 2010 that privately funded projects have green elements, although the buildings would not need certification.

Auchincloss voiced concern about the bill. He pointed out that the city is poised to approve a different bill requiring housing developers to include affordable units in new projects receiving city assistance. “How many layers of stuff do we want to risk dropping on the economic development community?” Auchincloss asked during a working session held before the official meeting.

Kraft said the council has heard testimony from the development community, which largely supports the legislation. At a retail real estate conference held in Washington in March, Baltimore developer C. William “Bill” Struever spoke to a group of developers in favor of green building.

In an interview Thursday, Owen Rouse, a senior vice president and partner with Columbia-based developer Manekin LLC, said he supported green building but did not think the government should force developers’ hands. Rouse’s company recently built a new headquarters building for itself in accordance with the Green Building Council’s standards.

“I think it ought to be a free-market determination,” Rouse said of green building. Legislation approved by the Planning Commission will return to the City Council for further consideration. Kraft said he expected the full council to vote on the green building legislation this summer. It was unclear yesterday when the council would vote on the Inner Harbor East bills.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 02:41 PM   #3340
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Putting green? I hadn't t hought of that.. brilliant!!! Just an expanded play room for the little south baltimore boy of mine
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