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Old May 31st, 2007, 05:50 PM   #3921
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Sounds about right. This map gives a good illustration of that. SSA (MetroWest) is top center. "Construction cams" can be found here.
We need a construction cam like this on the legg mason tower. Neat stuff.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 08:14 PM   #3922
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War Has Broken Out!
Baltimore's Examiner Finds a Foothold

Free daily, now a year old, wins over media buyers

By Lisa Snedeker - Media Life
May 31, 2007

Newspaper-wise, Baltimore is like so many American cities, dominated by one paper, the Sun, where once a handful of papers once thrived. As recently as the '80s, there were three, the Sun, the Evening Sun and the Baltimore News-American.

But Baltimore is unique in one important way: The Examiner. Launched a year ago, the Examiner is a free daily paper competing with the Sun, and in some ways it's probably the biggest newspaper story in America.

Free papers have been around, typically small-circulation throw-aways, but the Baltimore Examiner is the first to go head-to-head, printing each day slightly more copies, 236,000, than the Sun's 232,138 on weekdays.

If the Examiner can challenge the Sun, gaining readers and advertisers, it will open the way for other free papers to go head-to-head with established paid dailies across America, and at a time when free dailies are challenging paid dailies around the world.

Now a year old, the Examiner appears to be establishing a firm foothold in Baltimore, despite its much smaller news staff and lingering doubts over whether people are actually reading it. The paper is owned by Denver-based Clarity Media Group, which also owns the Washington Examiner and the San Francisco Examiner.

In its first year, the Examiner has won the support of area media buyers. As it is, buyers love competition, making them open to new publications. But even so, they've welcomed the Examiner and have sent streams of advertisers its way.

“On paper they are doing everything right,” says Erin Borkowski, media director for Trahan Burden & Charles Inc., a full-service agency in Baltimore. “They are offering better rates, better ad formats, and their sales people are very knowledgeable, not just order-takers.”

Examiner ad rates are half or less than the Sun's, and its rate card is streamlined. “They have one rate card, not like the Sun, which has different rates for local and national advertisers,” says Michele Selby, who is an executive vice president at Media Works Ltd. in Owings Mills.

Though the Sun is quick to dismiss the Examiner, the paper is clearly feeling its presence, and it's responding, says Selby. “The Sun has really opened up with selling. They have become more willing to negotiate. That paper has adapted to having a competitor in the market.”

Borkowski agrees. “I think the Sun is definitely feeling the heat. They are trying to do more strategic thinking outside the box, and they are doing things they wouldn’t normally consider.”

What else do media buyers like about the Examiner? Engaging ad formats, such as a strip across the bottom of the front page and third-of-the-page wraps. But more than that they appreciate the lengths the paper will go to get their business.

“They will also guarantee you a position in sports or healthy living or wherever you want,” Selby said. “They are willing to go that extra mile and do what they have to. They are very aggressive, they push the limits." In one example of that, the Examiner ran a big billboard downtown welcoming the Boscov’s department store chain to three area malls in October.

Media buyers also like the Examiner’s distribution to desirable neighborhoods. “They came in head to head with the Sun and cherry-picked the neighborhoods with higher household incomes,” says Selby. Chosen by zip code, those neighborhoods share an average household income of at least $75,000.

That's made the paper attractive to top area retailers, including Macy’s and Boscov’s, and it's also brought in such national chains as Home Depot, Kohl's and JC Penney. Yet buyers say the Examiner still has a hard sell on its part when it comes to readership. The Sun can claim a million readers a week, but the Examiner has a struggle on its hands establishing that anyone is reading it.

It's a struggle all free publications have faced, and one the Examiner will continue to face in Baltimore and wherever else the chain chooses to launch. Advertisers, particularly local advertisers, nurture doubts about publications that are given away, though perhaps less so than in years past.

"The Examiner had a third-party study done that says everyone’s reading it, but when you are out in the market and in the neighborhoods, it doesn’t look like it. There’s a lot of newspapers in driveways,” says Borkowski. “We have a couple of clients not buying into it," she says. "When you are trying to get new clients, everyone seems to be saying, ‘Who is reading it?’"

Selby thinks people are reading the Examiner but perhaps not admitting it. “People say they don’t read it, but it’s like you won’t admit that you watch TV, you won’t admit that you pick that free newspaper up off your driveway,” she says. “We have things in the Examiner that don’t run anywhere else and we were laughing about how many people saw it."

Still, she says, "I think it’s difficult for the Examiner to qualify and quantify who their readers are.” Examiner Publisher Michael Beatty admits the paper's biggest challenge is in proving that it's being distributed and read. "We’re a free paper and we get paid by advertisers so we have to make sure our product is read,” says Beatty, who is the former director of retail sales at the Sun.

As for all those newspaper piling up at the end of suburban driveways, Beatty claims that only about 5 percent aren’t picked up. The important thing, he says, is that it's reaching into neighborhoods in the way the Sun is not.

"We are penetrating deeper. When you drive down a street and see 20-25 percent of people who get a legacy paper, you don’t think about the 80 percent of driveways they are missing," he says. As for the Sun, it's ceding nothing to the Examiner at this point.

“The Sun has more than a million readers every week, and it continues to be the leading source of information for the community,” Linda Geeson, a Sun spokeswoman, tells Media Life. “Our focus is on the success of the Sun. We’re not focusing on the Examiner, we’re focusing on our business.”
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Old June 1st, 2007, 12:46 AM   #3923
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Baltimore is a great venue; probably the best. The problem with Baltimore is not a problem _in_ Baltimore; it's the New Jersey Turnpike. The return trip to New Hampshire after the 2004 final in Baltimore took 13 hours (it's usually about eight), most of it spent fighting holiday traffic on the NJTP. By contrast, heading back from Philly last year was a breeze, since we were on the 'Pike before most of vacation traffic. Bottom line is, there are a lot of fans in NE and NY who won't make the trip to Baltimore. Reportedly, 7000 tickets have already been sold for next year's championship weekend at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA, and NE Patriots coach Bill Belichick (a friend of Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala) is going to help promote the event. Should be a lot of fun (and only a 2 hour drive).
Unless your destination/point of origin is somewhere within the Philadelphia-New York City corridor, I normally bypass the New Jersey Turnpike/I-95 corridor by driving north via Harrisburg and Scranton. While total mileage is a little bit more, you definitely make it up in time and tolls. Plus, the scenery is nicer, and the gas cheaper.

My worst record for a drive from Baltimore to New York City (exit 11 NJTP) outside of The City: 12 hours on Thanksgiving weekend in 1988.

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Old June 1st, 2007, 12:57 AM   #3924
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I know its Baltimore county, but can anybody tell me what the large parking garage behind the AMC movie theater in owings mills is for? It is right next to the highway. Thanks
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Old June 1st, 2007, 01:05 AM   #3925
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Zenith

I want to get back to this building with a question. How do think the views will be from the the building? The Hilton is mammoth, and will not permit any vistas around it. I don't believe anyone can see the Camden Yard complex unless you are at the very top. Perhaps there will be decent views north and east, but the most desireable views are of the Yard and the Harbor.

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Old June 1st, 2007, 05:49 AM   #3926
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Ok, I don't know about the rest of you, but i am pissed. No news on Ten Inner Harbor, No news on Three Hundred East Pratt. What in the world is going on?
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Old June 1st, 2007, 06:09 AM   #3927
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Marketplace at Fell's Point Underway!

I don't know if you guys have noticed yet, but demolition on several buildings have started in Fell's Point to make way for the huge new development. They're really moving on this thing!
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Old June 1st, 2007, 08:50 AM   #3928
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Almost 10 years later, what has really changed?

http://www.citypaper.com/news/story.asp?id=3723
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Old June 1st, 2007, 12:09 PM   #3929
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Ok, I don't know about the rest of you, but i am pissed. No news on Ten Inner Harbor, No news on Three Hundred East Pratt. What in the world is going on?
This may explain a little:

Condo market hit with supply glut

(Chris Ammann/Examiner)
Customers and pedestrian traffic surround the shops of the Village Lofts, built by Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse, the same group who will build The Olmsted development across the street. BALTIMORE (Map, News) - A slowed housing market and excess inventory of condominiums is causing several Baltimore-area developers to rethink their development plans.

“The market is changing, and there is a glut of unsold real estate on the market,” said real estate agent Robin Green of Long & Foster. “Properties are staying on the market longer, and developers are drastically reducing prices and offering incentives to get rid of their inventory. The condo market is taking a big hit right now.”


Recently, developer Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse was forced by depressed market conditions to redesign its plans for luxury condos in the Charles Village area and instead convert the project to smaller, market-rate apartments.

The $83 million project on the 3200 block of St. Paul Street called The Olmsted was to include more than 100 condominiums, 12 floors of residential space, and 15,000 square feet of retail and parking on the lower level. The condos would have cost up to $700,000.


The Icon Tower building, a project planned for Canton, was voted down by Baltimore City Council members due to community concerns about the height of the building and that excess inventory of condos on the market would reduce property values for existing residents.

RWN Development Group has put on hold its plans for twin tower condo buildings in downtown due to the market, and other developers are making similar changes in response to the market.

“The pipeline of buyers has become truncated by regulatory changes in how buyers are qualified for loans,” said Anirban Basu, chief executive officer of the Sage Policy Group. “Many people who would have qualified four years ago no longer qualify, and it is affecting the market, which leaves more product on the market, and developers see that.”

Basu said high-interest adjustable rates and the virtual shutdown of the subprime market have limited the number of lenders for borrowers with checkered credit histories or no history at all. And proposed changes in the lending industry will make homeownership for many Americans a thing of the past.

“It is no longer a buyer’s market, because more stringent lending guidelines are cutting their numbers,” said Ashidda Khalil, director of the Baltimore office of the Neighborhood Assistance Coalition of America. “Developers will no longer find a steady stream of buyers to hawk their inventory to.”

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Old June 1st, 2007, 01:41 PM   #3930
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I know its Baltimore county, but can anybody tell me what the large parking garage behind the AMC movie theater in owings mills is for? It is right next to the highway. Thanks
That is phase 1 of a huge new Transit Orientated Development being constructed. It will contain retail, offices, a hotel, and housing. Should be done in 10 to 15 years.

http://www.choosemaryland.org/assets...wingsMills.pdf

The garage was constructed as a replacement for the metro parking lots so commuters have a place to park. The rest of the development will be built on the old parking lots.

Later phases will include the lots on the other side of I-795.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 02:16 PM   #3931
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I don't generally like to post negative articles here. Also, I think it is in bad taste for a reporter who has taken a buyout to write such a negative column like this as his last one.

Lastly, I don't agree with the final sentence because there is no place on earth where that statement will be true for EVERYONE, and there are many people now who come from Baltimore's distressed areas who can say "the city has been good to me". Having said that, I would like to see more of them as I think everyone would.

I find that 8,063 people murdered since 1977 to be simply astounding. There were about 55,000 Americans killed in the Viet Nam war.


30 years later, city renewal is still a promise unfulfilled
Eric Siegel -- Urban Chronicles
Originally published May 31, 2007

Two Sundays ago, The New York Times ran a travel story calling Baltimore the "forgotten middle child among attention-getting Eastern cities" but noting that a "civic revival ... has given out-of-towners reason to visit."

Two days later, seven people perished and six others were injured in a fire in a rowhouse crammed with people in one of many city neighborhoods untouched by renewal.

The former was the kind of coverage Baltimore didn't get when I moved to the city to work for The Sun in 1977 -- before Harborplace and the National Aquarium; Meyerhoff Symphony Hall; the renovated Hippodrome Theatre; and a host of other projects, big and small, too numerous to mention here.

The latter, sadly, is the kind of tragic event that has occurred too often between now and then. Thirty years is a long time -- in the life of a person and a city.

During the time that I've been in the city, a virtual generation of civic and political leaders has passed away -- Clarence Du Burns, Walter Sondheim Jr., Howard "Pete" Rawlings, Walter Orlinsky, Clarence Blount and, this week, Parren Mitchell.

The city also had its first black mayor in Burns; its first elected black mayor in Kurt Schmoke; and, now, its first woman mayor in Sheila Dixon.

And by electing Martin O'Malley mayor in 1999 and helping him become governor last year, the city defied two pieces of prevailing wisdom: that after William Donald Schaefer became governor in 1986, the city would never have a white mayor; and that no future mayor of the city, white or black, could become governor.

When I came to Baltimore, the city's population, which had already been declining, was an estimated 830,000; today, it is about 640,000.

The year I came to Baltimore was the last one in which the number of homicides in the city -- 171 -- was below 175. Since 1977, 8,063 people have been killed in the city, including 124 slain this year through midday yesterday. Thirty years ago, the city's homicide rate was 20.6 for every 100,000 residents; last year, it was more than twice that, at 42.9 per 100,000 residents.

Other signs are more positive.

Three decades have been time enough to witness the deterioration of the public housing high-rises -- and their subsequent demolition and rebirth as mixed-income rowhouse communities. It has been time enough to see the last gasp of the city's Howard Street retail corridor -- and its nascent revival as part of the west-side renaissance. It has been time enough to see the departure of one NFL team and the arrival of another -- and the tearing down of a stadium and the building of two others. And it has been time enough to watch the collapse of the neighborhoods north of the Johns Hopkins medical complex -- and the near-completion of the first buildings for a planned new community that will cover dozens of acres.

The last 30 years have seen the emergence of several nonprofit groups -- the Abell, Casey, Goldseker and Weinberg foundations -- that have come to play a significant role in the city's efforts at revitalization by funding programs, projects and studies.

A report by one of those groups, the Goldseker Foundation, issued in 1987, produced one of the most enduring descriptions of the city during the time I've been here: "There is rot beneath the glitter."

Two decades later, there is substantially more glitter -- across the Inner Harbor in Locust Point; eastward along the waterfront in Harbor East and Canton and in parts of downtown. And there are projects such as Frankford Estates in Northeast and Clipper Mill in North Baltimore, plus individual rehabs in neighborhoods across the city, which, while not glitzy, are substantial and important. That is no small feat, and it should not be minimized.

But there is still far too much rot. City planners classify nearly a fifth of the city's residential areas as distressed, based on such factors as sales prices and vacancy rates.

The city's poverty rate has been little changed from the late 1970s to today, with nearly one in five families living below the poverty level.

On crime, the city seems to be forever searching for the right strategy, let alone the right results; on education, more time seems to be spent debating who will control the schools than discussing how to improve what goes on in the classroom.

Over 30 years, we seem to have slowly come to the realization that drugs are a medical as well as a criminal problem. But the city hasn't been able to marshal the resources -- for expanded treatment, training, education and housing -- needed to give addicts the help they need and to help ensure we don't get another generation of drug abusers.

Personally, the city has been good to me. But that's partly -- check that, largely -- because I've had the money and good luck to live in a safe and stable neighborhood, where house values have appreciated six-fold over 30 years and where the corners are the locales for telephone pole postings for yard sales, not the province of drug dealers.

Only when people in those distressed areas can make a similar statement -- that the city has been good to them -- can Baltimore be said to have achieved true civic renewal.

Last edited by 30 Floors Up; June 1st, 2007 at 02:28 PM.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 02:48 PM   #3932
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GODD NEWS!

According to last week's BBJ, Ye Olde Peanut Shoppe will be moving from their Mechanic theater location to Charles Plaza. They need to be gone from thier current site by the end of the year.

I remember when this store was located at either Liberty or Park and Lexington Street. Then it moved to the Mechanic Theater site near the subway entrance. Now, Charles Plaza where its neighbors will be the new Super Fresh, Wine Store, and Starbucks.

This store is a Baltimore institution. I have no doubt that George Washington and the Calverts once purchased their nuts from them!

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Old June 1st, 2007, 02:50 PM   #3933
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I want to get back to [the Zenith] with a question. How do think the views will be from the the building? The Hilton is mammoth, and will not permit any vistas around it. I don't believe anyone can see the Camden Yard complex unless you are at the very top. Perhaps there will be decent views north and east, but the most desireable views are of the Yard and the Harbor.
Was wondering the same thing. Took a long look the other night at the O's game. Think the views should generally be pretty good. Probably will be able to see the harbor to the southeast, and Camden Yards is pretty much unobstructed for most residents, since the main mass of the Hilton is along the north side of its lot, running parallel with Pratt Street.

P.S. Eerik -- yeah, the "Scranton Bypass" 83-81-84 is a good day ride. At night on a holiday (Mem. Day), just not sure whether those gas stations on the PA side of the Delaware River will be open. If they aren't, there's a lot 'o off-highway trekking to find one.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 03:18 PM   #3934
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Ooh, Ooh, Ooh - Hot Off The Press - From this week's BBJ

PLANNED SKYSCRAPER BOOSTS OFFICE SPACE AFTER HOUSING SLOWS


Baltimore Business Journal - June 1, 2007 by Daniel J. SernovitzStaff


The planned tower will be built on the former McCormick factory site.

The Philadelphia-based company developing the former McCormick spice factory in downtown Baltimore now hopes to carve out as much as 500,000 square feet of prime office space to land a signature corporate tenant in the proposed 59-story building at Light and Conway streets.

John Voneiff, director of southeast operations for ARC Wheeler LLC, said a softening in the residential market prompted his company to shave the planned residential units in the building to between 150 and 200, down from earlier plans for as many as 285 condominiums. He is now in talks with two major Baltimore-area companies, and has been contacted by a third considering becoming the building's signature tenant.

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Old June 1st, 2007, 03:39 PM   #3935
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Originally Posted by Gsol View Post
I want to get back to this building with a question. How do think the views will be from the the building? The Hilton is mammoth, and will not permit any vistas around it. I don't believe anyone can see the Camden Yard complex unless you are at the very top. Perhaps there will be decent views north and east, but the most desireable views are of the Yard and the Harbor.
a few pages ago someone posted a link to the Zenith's marketing website. They actually had 360 and 180 day and nighttime views from either the penthouse or the roof of the building. Looked great. But, of course, the Hilton isnt blocking the view.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 05:16 PM   #3936
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John Voneiff, director of southeast operations for ARC Wheeler LLC, said a softening in the residential market prompted his company to shave the planned residential units in the building to between 150 and 200, down from earlier plans for as many as 285 condominiums. He is now in talks with two major Baltimore-area companies, and has been contacted by a third considering becoming the building's signature tenant.
Office tenant: bird in hand. Would be interesting to know how they calculate the market for condos three-four years out.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 06:21 PM   #3937
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Perhaps they are clairvoyant? LOL If this thing contains 500,000 square feet of offices, a hotel, 175 condos, parking, and retail, it is going to be one mother of a building. The current Legg Mason tower is just a bit over 500,000 sq. feet.

I noticed that they said "Baltimore Area" companies. I wonder if a suburban firm is thinking about moving downtown? I do know there are law firms on the prowl for new space.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 06:23 PM   #3938
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I don't know if you guys have noticed yet, but demolition on several buildings have started in Fell's Point to make way for the huge new development. They're really moving on this thing!
welcome!
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Old June 1st, 2007, 06:31 PM   #3939
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I don't know if you guys have noticed yet, but demolition on several buildings have started in Fell's Point to make way for the huge new development. They're really moving on this thing!
glad to hear the good news. i never knew that the broadway market originally looked like this. Why did they take off the top of this building to begin with?

Last edited by MasonsInquiries; June 1st, 2007 at 10:37 PM.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 07:54 PM   #3940
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Baltimore is a great venue; probably the best. The problem with Baltimore is not a problem _in_ Baltimore; it's the New Jersey Turnpike. The return trip to New Hampshire after the 2004 final in Baltimore took 13 hours (it's usually about eight), most of it spent fighting holiday traffic on the NJTP. By contrast, heading back from Philly last year was a breeze, since we were on the 'Pike before most of vacation traffic. Bottom line is, there are a lot of fans in NE and NY who won't make the trip to Baltimore. Reportedly, 7000 tickets have already been sold for next year's championship weekend at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA, and NE Patriots coach Bill Belichick (a friend of Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala) is going to help promote the event. Should be a lot of fun (and only a 2 hour drive).
Turnpike doesn't stop Yankees fans from coming down. When they are in town, I see more NY and NJ liscense plates than MD ones. Espically late in the season when the O's are out of it.
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