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Old May 24th, 2007, 07:49 AM   #3821
bnk
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Just curious what is BalWash's new handle and do we have a handle on him [i.e. control out of his natural forum] now if he still posts?

I am not a moderator but I would love to watch his progress of the trials and tribulations about learning and respecting other metro areas.

Any hints?

BalWash where are you?
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Old May 24th, 2007, 09:30 AM   #3822
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgunna View Post
Ahem.....

$212 BILLION


I would love to see a breakdown of where this dollar figure came from. Thats a lot of bacon....
Yes I noticed the same thing...that's eqivalent to the entire state budget for about 8 years!!
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Old May 24th, 2007, 03:20 PM   #3823
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnk View Post
Just curious what is BalWash's new handle and do we have a handle on him [i.e. control out of his natural forum] now if he still posts?

I am not a moderator but I would love to watch his progress of the trials and tribulations about learning and respecting other metro areas.

Any hints?

BalWash where are you?
balwash got banned a couple of mo's ago.

Last edited by MasonsInquiries; May 25th, 2007 at 05:51 AM.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 04:25 PM   #3824
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Struever scales back Charles Village plans
Housing slump noted in shift from luxury condos to rentals
By Lorraine Mirabella
Sun reporter
Originally published May 24, 2007
A vision to inject luxury living into Baltimore's Charles Village has foundered amid a slumping housing market.

Instead of spacious condominiums with price tags as high as $700,000, developer Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse is now proposing smaller, market-rate and affordable apartments on a key site in the builder's "College Town" redevelopment project.

Named the Olmsted, the building in the 3200 block of St. Paul St. could end up taller and include about twice the number of units first proposed. The shift would be a marked contrast to the original plan to bring high-end housing and affluent residents to a neighborhood characterized by mostly modest rowhouses and businesses catering to students at nearby Johns Hopkins University.

When it was first unveiled, the plan called for an $83 million, 12-floor building with 107 condominiums, 15,000 square feet of stores, and a parking garage wrapped and hidden by the condos. The Olmsted was to be the last piece in a Struever-led revitalization of several blocks that has included two recently completed projects - Hopkins' Charles Commons student housing, anchored by a Barnes & Noble bookstore, and Village Lofts, 68 condominiums with ground-floor shops, across St. Paul Street.

But yesterday, company president and chief executive C. William Struever acknowledged that the scenario wasn't playing out as he had envisioned. Sales at the Village Lofts, completed about six weeks ago, have been slower than expected, Struever said. And after leveling a block of rowhouses on the west side of the street for the Olmsted, the fenced site has sat idle for months, with no activity and a sign heralding the condos removed. Crosswalks and sidewalks remain unfinished.

Struever blamed the national slowdown in the housing market and rising construction costs. "The market has been changing for about a year, in terms of the for-sale market," Struever said. Late last year, "we were ready to go and close our financing, and we mutually agreed to hold off," he said.

"We mutually agreed, with our partner and lender, to re-look at these things," Struever said.

Officials at Struever's partner, Canyon Johnson Urban Fund II, started by retired basketball star Earvin "Magic" Johnson, said yesterday they would defer to Struever as spokesman.

John McIlwain, a senior fellow for housing at the Urban Land Institute, said developers in many cities are now faced with similar decisions.

"It's easier to transform a neighborhood when the market is very strong, and obviously now we're in a trough," McIlwain said. "But we're in a period where rents are rising, and so the rental market is stronger."

Other developers of Baltimore condo projects have scaled back or delayed their plans in the wake of the slowdown.

Richard W. Naing of RWN Development Group, planning two towers on Guilford Avenue downtown that would be among the tallest in Baltimore, said they will not be built until the condo market picks up, possibly in three to four years. New York-based UrbanAmerica now says its proposed Pratt Street building in the Inner Harbor might have more hotel rooms and fewer condos than first planned. And Philadelphia-based ARCWheeler, taking another look at plans for its Light Street skyscraper, thinks it will keep the loft and condo component below 200 units instead of nearly 300.

In Charles Village, residents and business owners, including some who were skeptical of the viability of a high-end project from the start, worry about the future of a prime plot in the heart of the neighborhood.

"People are upset about the lack of development," said Dana Peterson Moore, president of the Charles Village Civic Association. "They've torn the buildings down and nothing is coming up. It looks bad and people are disappointed."

Stopping work on the streetscape has been disruptive, said Jerry Gordon, owner of Eddie's Market in Charles Village.

"They took out some trees and then all of a sudden everything stopped," Gordon said. "Crosswalks go halfway across the street and there's a big empty lot across the street. It's an unfinished symphony."

Struever said he plans to propose a modestly taller building, perhaps 14 stories, with about 200 rental units, including about 40 to 60 apartments that would qualify as affordable housing. He said the company planned to request tax-increment financing from the city to subsidize the cost of the affordable housing.

"We're saying, let's embrace affordable housing," Struever said. "Today it's the strongest part of the market, but hardly anything is being built for less than $400,000. ... We have a lot of people who make $50,000 or $60,000 and would love to live in the city and can't afford $400,000."

The revised plans would double the amount of retail space to 25,000 to 35,000 square feet, and would add about 60,000 square feet of office space.

It would include a garage of at least 400 spaces. Last year, the city's Board of Estimates authorized the Baltimore Development Corp. to use tax-increment financing and revenue bonds to finance $4.9 million for street improvements and the $15.8 million purchase of a major portion of the parking garage, which will offer much-needed public parking.

He hopes building can get under way by the end of the year and the project would be completed in about a year and a half.

Sandy Sparks, chair of the North Charles Village PUD Design Review Committee, which reviews designs for area projects, applauded the new plan. "The great news ... is that they figured out a way to make the project happen," she said. "We wouldn't want a project started and be half-finished and be a failure."

BDC president M.J. "Jay" Brodie said the revised design and mix of uses at the Olmsted was a necessary move.

"I'm confident with Struever Bros. and Canyon Johnson together and their good architects that there will be a design and a concept that is even better than the previous one," Brodie said.




...Doesn't really look all that scaled back, as much as the components have just been altered.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 04:31 PM   #3825
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There's also ana rticle in the Sun today about Under Armor opening it's first retail store in Westfield Annapolis Mall. The article doesn't mention anything about a Baltimore store, but it does state that Under Armor is looking to open more stores in the area in the future.

Here's the full article: http://www.baltimoresun.com/business...ness-headlines
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Old May 24th, 2007, 06:01 PM   #3826
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With regard to the Olmstead, I would have purchased a condo in the building as it was originally designed. I WOULD NOT have purchased a unit in The Village Lofts. Comparing The Olmstead to The Village Lofts is like comparing apples to peaches. The reason being is that The Village Lofts is a wooden stick built structure. The Olmstead will be more substantial in that it will be constructed of poured concrete and brick. If I am going to pay a premium price for a condominium, I want premium construction.

I think the redesign is even better than what was originally proposed. There will be more density because of the number of units will be increased. There are many condo options in that area now, so the fact that it is going to be apartments is nice. Also, a 14 or 15 story building will be a plus for that area. Everything is between 10 and 12 stories tall there now.

As an aside, I think it was nice that the developers named the structure "The Olmstead". Frederick Law Olmstead who designed Druid Hill, Central, and other city parks in major cities, originally founded the Olmstead Company. The company continued to be operated under his sons.

They came up with the plan to connect many Baltimore parks with linear green ways that contained wide park like medians. Gwyns Falls Parkway connects Gwyns Falls Park to Druid Hill Park. Thirty Third Street connects Wyman Park to Montebello and the old Memorial Stadium site. The Memorial Stadium site was a park before it was a stadium. Loch Raven Boulevard is another example of the green way principle.

I suspect that The Olmstead is named such to honor that vision since it is on 33rd Street.

Last edited by 30 Floors Up; May 24th, 2007 at 07:40 PM.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 09:38 PM   #3827
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 30 Floors Up View Post
I think the redesign is even better than what was originally proposed. There will be more density because of the number of units will be increased. There are many condo options in that area now, so the fact that it is going to be apartments is nice. Also, a 14 or 15 story building will be a plus for that area. Everything is between 10 and 12 stories tall there now.
Agreed. More density, more folks on the street. Plus, SBER is doubling down on the retail in the building, which is good for the neighborhood and the university. Plus, apartments can become condos down the line, if the market calls for it. (Seldom seems to work the other way 'round.)

Last edited by jamie_hunt; May 24th, 2007 at 09:45 PM.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 10:32 PM   #3828
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The Olmstead

I was really sorry to have it confirmed that the Olmstead as originally proposed has been nixed. I thought as much when I first noticed that the renderings that used to hang on the chain link fence where taken down. I thought to myself "that is too good a design for Baltimore" because I really liked the way the building wraped around the corner of 33d and St. Paul. I also thought the same thing about the Icon tower in Canton. What we are getting more of architecturally speaking is more along the lines of the 1st Mariner Building. So when somthing like the Zenith gets actually built, it comes as something of jolt for me. I can't say I am thrilled with the design of 300 E Pratt, 1IH, Legg Mason/4 Seasons or Naign towers either.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 11:58 PM   #3829
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Originally Posted by Hugh Jaramillo View Post
The Olmstead
I was really sorry to have it confirmed that the Olmstead as originally proposed has been nixed. [snip] What we are getting more of architecturally speaking is more along the lines of the 1st Mariner Building. [snip]
Hugh,

Are there drawings of the new Olmsted design around? Or do you suspect the change from fewer, larger condos to more, smaller apartments will result in a lesser design?

Last edited by jamie_hunt; May 25th, 2007 at 03:08 AM.
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Old May 25th, 2007, 12:08 AM   #3830
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I agree w/ 30 floors 100% on this one. The new format is much better for the neighborhood. I didn't see 100 people spending $700K on a condo in a neighborhood among college students when they could live in a condo downtown for the same price among people their own age.
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Old May 25th, 2007, 04:30 AM   #3831
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http://www2.arcproperties.com/reside...y.phtml?pid=19
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Old May 25th, 2007, 04:40 PM   #3832
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The ice cream shop going into Harbor East is a Hagen Daz.
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Old May 25th, 2007, 04:41 PM   #3833
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that banner of L.A. is awesome!!
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Old May 25th, 2007, 04:52 PM   #3834
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Quote:
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That's gotta be one of the cheesiest Web sites for a high-end property ever. It looks like the webbie scaled the skyline pics horizontally about 150 percent, making Balto look like Weebleville Town Center.*
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Old May 25th, 2007, 05:25 PM   #3835
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasonsInquiries View Post
that banner of L.A. is awesome!!


Agreed. I don't know if I have ever seen LA from that perspective.
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Old May 25th, 2007, 05:44 PM   #3836
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamie_hunt View Post
Hugh,

smaller apartments will result in a lesser design?
No I haven't seen a new proposed rendering of what the Olmstead will look like but my fear is that they will dumb down the overall design. I hope not but I do agree that there's probably not a large market for condos in the price range that they where talking about when they proposed the original design in that area right now. I remember in the late 80's when they built the Inn at the Colonnade which is in a better location, that they had trouble selling the condos there too. I also think that coincided with a downturn in the economy. Oh well at least they got rid of those awful townhouses even though now there is just a vacant lot there for the time being.
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Old May 25th, 2007, 07:03 PM   #3837
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Agreed. I don't know if I have ever seen LA from that perspective.
I may be overly cynical, but looks 'shopped to me.
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Old May 25th, 2007, 09:26 PM   #3838
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnk View Post
Just curious what is BalWash's new handle and do we have a handle on him [i.e. control out of his natural forum] now if he still posts?

I am not a moderator but I would love to watch his progress of the trials and tribulations about learning and respecting other metro areas.

Any hints?

BalWash where are you?
He may be going by the name of "Ajoutz". Their posts and location are similar. Scroll down to the "highway over the outer harbor" comment.

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...=476340&page=3

When you can't make a rational argument to defend a position, you simply make things up!

Last edited by 30 Floors Up; May 25th, 2007 at 10:25 PM.
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Old May 25th, 2007, 09:33 PM   #3839
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Lacrosse hall of Fame

Does anyone know if a decision has been made on the location of the Lacrosse Hall of Fame? As I recall there was a proposal to put it in Harbor Point, but the city had to cough up some $. I'd hate to see this go out of the Balt area. The harbor would be an idea site.

Maybe they will make the announcement during this weekend's NCAA playoffs.
This event is going to bring big bucks to the city, it's where it belongs permanently.
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Old May 25th, 2007, 09:37 PM   #3840
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Agreed. Downtown should be fun this weekend. Some tall ships are in town and the lacrosse games are too. Should be lots of people.
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