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Old June 19th, 2007, 03:35 PM   #4341
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Originally Posted by MasonsInquiries View Post
i agree. yep, i would say make it into a hotel. especially considering the area that it's in. but i do have a question concerning THIS parking lot below. i think it's already been established that it's too small for an arena, so what do you guys think the city will do with it? it's in a great location that's halfway between downtown and the "opera district".
It is a great location. If I could take a strong guess, I think I will go with an office building. Not a humungous one, but 9-11 stories.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 04:40 PM   #4342
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It is a great location. If I could take a strong guess, I think I will go with an office building. Not a humungous one, but 9-11 stories.
I actually think it would be a great location for a new NAACP headquarters building (if we could keep them from going to DC). Give the organization a great new building in an up and coming part of the city...seems win-win.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 06:57 PM   #4343
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I'll ask again... unless something of substance and merit is built on that parking lot, why would anyone want to stay in a Sleep Inn in that area? There's nothing there! It's a depressed and dangerous looking part of town, and a Sleep Inn there, with nothing else around it, would go downhill very quickly IMO, and then just end up adding to the problems.

Get a little more creative with the space I say!
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Old June 19th, 2007, 07:16 PM   #4344
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I'll ask again... unless something of substance and merit is built on that parking lot, why would anyone want to stay in a Sleep Inn in that area? There's nothing there! It's a depressed and dangerous looking part of town, and a Sleep Inn there, with nothing else around it, would go downhill very quickly IMO, and then just end up adding to the problems.

Get a little more creative with the space I say!
Actually, it really isn't all that bad there. The Congress Hotel, the old Eastern High School, the old Jewish Community Center, and other apartment complexes have all been redone and are fully leased. Directly behind me when I took that picture of the parking lot and the Mayfair, is Mt. Vernon. The picture was taken from Park Ave.

The Walters Art Gallery isn't far away. The old Greyhound station is now a museum as is the Home Life Insurance building. The M on Madison is about to get underway and they are all ready working on Saint James Place. Maryland General is about to get a major overhaul and expand, and Antique Row is starting to look good again.

Also, the Maryland Historical Society is about to start work on the Howard Street buildings they own just south of Monument Street. When these projects, along with the other projects that are part of this RFP get going, there won't be that many vacant buildings left in that area and there should be a lot more foot traffic.

The thing about this area is that it is at the junction of 4 neighborhoods. The West Side, Seton Hill, Antique Row, and Mt. Vernon all meet there. I expect they will grow together in the next few years as the surface parking lots start to disappear once all the existing buildings are redone.

As for the parking lot in question, I'd bet money it will eventually become housing. It's too close to Mt. Vernon to be anything else.

Last edited by 30 Floors Up; June 19th, 2007 at 07:39 PM.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 09:07 PM   #4345
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Actually, it really isn't all that bad there.

[snip]

The thing about this area is that it is at the junction of 4 neighborhoods. The West Side, Seton Hill, Antique Row, and Mt. Vernon all meet there. I expect they will grow together in the next few years as the surface parking lots start to disappear once all the existing buildings are redone.

As for the parking lot in question, I'd bet money it will eventually become housing. It's too close to Mt. Vernon to be anything else.
Agreed. Hamilton Street in Mt. Vernon/Cathedral Hill is very charming and historic. If it were extended through the empty lot and up past the Mayfair, it would make an excellent east/west link for those neighborhoods.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 02:09 AM   #4346
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There's a crane at the Olmstead site, but it looks tucked away in the corner. Is this new or has it been there a while?

Also, does anybody know any more information about the rehab of the building at the northwest corner of Charles St. and North Ave.?
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Old June 20th, 2007, 03:49 AM   #4347
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There's a crane at the Olmstead site, but it looks tucked away in the corner. Is this new or has it been there a while?

Also, does anybody know any more information about the rehab of the building at the northwest corner of Charles St. and North Ave.?
I just walked by the Olmsted site and didn't notice the crane. They have been using the lot to store equipment and materials for some time now.I'll check it out on the way to work tomorrow.

As for the Charles st. site, it seems like work just stopped there about 3 months ago.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 04:49 AM   #4348
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Good news on 10 Inner Harbor

SunTrust Building sold for $63M
Mass. REIT wins bidding over more than 20 companies
JEN DEGREGORIO
Daily Record Business Writer
June 19, 2007 6:52 PM
The SunTrust Bank building in downtown Baltimore has been sold to a Massachusetts company for nearly $63 million, adding to a flurry of recent commercial real estate investment that observers said is transforming the city’s office market.

Franklin Street Properties Corp., a real estate investment trust based in Wakefield, Mass., was one of more than 20 investors competing to purchase the 25-story office building at 120 E. Baltimore St., which sold last week. That is twice the number of bidders typically involved in such a sales offering, said Robert “Bo” Cashman, a broker with CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., the company that represented the seller, the Maryland State Pension and Retirement System.

Not only that, but all of the contenders were based in cities outside of Baltimore and would have been first-time buyers in the city, he said.

“Any investment over $60 million is a very large investment, especially in a market the size of Baltimore,” Cashman said. “I think obviously there’s been a lot of pent-up demand for high-quality real estate investments, and I think Baltimore has continued to be viewed as attractive.”

Investors have been spending their money on Baltimore office buildings at a frenzied pace this year compared to last. The sale of 10 top- and middle-tier buildings downtown had a combined value of $303 million since January, compared to just $185 million worth of sales during all of 2006, according to CB Richard Ellis.

Downtown building sales this year included 10 and 231 E. Baltimore St., the Mercantile Bank & Trust building at 2 Hopkins Plaza and 500 E. Pratt St., among other properties.

Officials with Franklin Street Properties did not return phone calls seeking comment Tuesday. But the company is apparently attracted to what it perceives as a Baltimore renaissance, according to a statement it released to announce the purchase.

“The city of Baltimore is in the midst of a broad-based renewal with new downtown housing, two new biotech campuses, expansion at all three of its downtown hospitals and new high-quality retail development, while continuing focus on its unique harbor and waterfront areas,” the statement said.

At a little less than $192 per square foot, the 327,000-square-foot SunTrust building sold for a typical price for Baltimore’s top-tier office properties located away from the Inner Harbor, according Robert Manekin, senior vice president in the Baltimore office of the Staubach Co.

A Canadian investment firm, IPC US REIT, announced in February that it would pay $73.5 million, or about $262 per square foot, for 500 E. Pratt St. But the high price was generated largely by the 12-story building’s location just across from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and its relatively young age. The office tower was built only three years ago.

“The price is appropriate for an A building in a B-plus location,” Manekin said of the SunTrust sale.

John Voneiff, a partner with Philadelphia-based development company ARCWheeler LLC, said Baltimore’s strengthening office market inspired his company to retool plans for a more-than-650-foot skyscraper it wants to build along the Inner Harbor at 414 Light St.

The company originally wanted to construct a largely residential tower, with 300 condominiums, a hotel and ground-floor retail. But ARCWheeler is slashing the number of condominium units to make room for as much as 550,000 square feet of office space, he said. The hotel and ground-floor retail would stay, along with fewer than 200 condominiums.

“We changed our minds after … studying Baltimore City, and now we think it’s one of the last great office sites,” Voneiff said of 414 Light St., which was once home to a McCormick spice plant.

The direct vacancy rate in downtown office buildings dropped to 10 percent during the first quarter of this year, down from 12.5 percent at the end of 2004, according to data from Delta Associates, a company that tracks city office markets.

ARCWheeler has received “numerous” phone calls from “big-name” companies from as far away as New York and Washington interested in opening offices in a new building overlooking Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, according to Voneiff.
“It seems to us collectively that Baltimore is primed for Class A tenants,” he said. “The bottom line from ARCWheeler’s standpoint is we’re looking at our project as a one-time opportunity.”
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Old June 20th, 2007, 05:13 AM   #4349
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Originally Posted by Huck View Post
I just walked by the Olmsted site and didn't notice the crane. They have been using the lot to store equipment and materials for some time now.I'll check it out on the way to work tomorrow.

As for the Charles st. site, it seems like work just stopped there about 3 months ago.
Hm, I could have sworn I saw a small crane tucked away in the northwest corner of the property. Perhaps I am mistaken.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 05:19 AM   #4350
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If 10IH is having so much success attracting office tenants, wouldn't it make sense for 300EP to examine this option as well? I mean, in my opinion, the two sites are equally primed for a high profile office tenant.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 06:06 AM   #4351
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Quote:
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If 10IH is having so much success attracting office tenants, wouldn't it make sense for 300EP to examine this option as well? I mean, in my opinion, the two sites are equally primed for a high profile office tenant.
I would think 300EP even more so.

With the story of BCC defering maintaince on its downtown building, maybe they are getting more serious of selling off (or leasing out the land). That would be a prime spot only 1 block off the water.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 09:25 AM   #4352
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If 10IH is having so much success attracting office tenants, wouldn't it make sense for 300EP to examine this option as well? I mean, in my opinion, the two sites are equally primed for a high profile office tenant.
A large amount of space is going to come on the market when the new Legg Mason tower is completed in 2009. So between 10IH and the old Legg Building, close to 1,000,000 sqft will be coming on line. The office market would have to heat up big time for 300E Pratt to have a large office component as well. We don't want to get overbuilt.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 11:59 AM   #4353
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Also, you can't forget about Westport's main tower. Even more office space. Also, didn't Naing have some office space in his Baltimore tower projects? What about 1 Light Street's hopes of an office portion? And on, and on, and on......
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Old June 20th, 2007, 01:29 PM   #4354
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fanofterps View Post
SunTrust Building sold for $63M
Mass. REIT wins bidding over more than 20 companies
JEN DEGREGORIO
Daily Record Business Writer
June 19, 2007 6:52 PM
The SunTrust Bank building in downtown Baltimore has been sold to a Massachusetts company for nearly $63 million, adding to a flurry of recent commercial real estate investment that observers said is transforming the city’s office market.

Franklin Street Properties Corp., a real estate investment trust based in Wakefield, Mass., was one of more than 20 investors competing to purchase the 25-story office building at 120 E. Baltimore St., which sold last week. That is twice the number of bidders typically involved in such a sales offering, said Robert “Bo” Cashman, a broker with CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., the company that represented the seller, the Maryland State Pension and Retirement System.

Not only that, but all of the contenders were based in cities outside of Baltimore and would have been first-time buyers in the city, he said.

“Any investment over $60 million is a very large investment, especially in a market the size of Baltimore,” Cashman said. “I think obviously there’s been a lot of pent-up demand for high-quality real estate investments, and I think Baltimore has continued to be viewed as attractive.”

Investors have been spending their money on Baltimore office buildings at a frenzied pace this year compared to last. The sale of 10 top- and middle-tier buildings downtown had a combined value of $303 million since January, compared to just $185 million worth of sales during all of 2006, according to CB Richard Ellis.

Downtown building sales this year included 10 and 231 E. Baltimore St., the Mercantile Bank & Trust building at 2 Hopkins Plaza and 500 E. Pratt St., among other properties.

Officials with Franklin Street Properties did not return phone calls seeking comment Tuesday. But the company is apparently attracted to what it perceives as a Baltimore renaissance, according to a statement it released to announce the purchase.

“The city of Baltimore is in the midst of a broad-based renewal with new downtown housing, two new biotech campuses, expansion at all three of its downtown hospitals and new high-quality retail development, while continuing focus on its unique harbor and waterfront areas,” the statement said.

At a little less than $192 per square foot, the 327,000-square-foot SunTrust building sold for a typical price for Baltimore’s top-tier office properties located away from the Inner Harbor, according Robert Manekin, senior vice president in the Baltimore office of the Staubach Co.

A Canadian investment firm, IPC US REIT, announced in February that it would pay $73.5 million, or about $262 per square foot, for 500 E. Pratt St. But the high price was generated largely by the 12-story building’s location just across from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and its relatively young age. The office tower was built only three years ago.

“The price is appropriate for an A building in a B-plus location,” Manekin said of the SunTrust sale.

John Voneiff, a partner with Philadelphia-based development company ARCWheeler LLC, said Baltimore’s strengthening office market inspired his company to retool plans for a more-than-650-foot skyscraper it wants to build along the Inner Harbor at 414 Light St.

The company originally wanted to construct a largely residential tower, with 300 condominiums, a hotel and ground-floor retail. But ARCWheeler is slashing the number of condominium units to make room for as much as 550,000 square feet of office space, he said. The hotel and ground-floor retail would stay, along with fewer than 200 condominiums.

“We changed our minds after … studying Baltimore City, and now we think it’s one of the last great office sites,” Voneiff said of 414 Light St., which was once home to a McCormick spice plant.

The direct vacancy rate in downtown office buildings dropped to 10 percent during the first quarter of this year, down from 12.5 percent at the end of 2004, according to data from Delta Associates, a company that tracks city office markets.

ARCWheeler has received “numerous” phone calls from “big-name” companies from as far away as New York and Washington interested in opening offices in a new building overlooking Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, according to Voneiff.
“It seems to us collectively that Baltimore is primed for Class A tenants,” he said. “The bottom line from ARCWheeler’s standpoint is we’re looking at our project as a one-time opportunity.”
This is excellent news. Numerous phone calls? Yes, this tower is surely a go. It's going to be much higher than we anticipate.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 04:24 PM   #4355
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for the record....
the glass skin has begun to be installed at silo point. it looks gooooooood!!!
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Old June 20th, 2007, 04:43 PM   #4356
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It's about time. I guess we'll finally get to see what Silo Point will look like. I always had a hard time picturing from those primitive renderings.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 04:50 PM   #4357
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Good points about office space, guys. Whenever we hear news of 10IH, I have a tendency to forget about all the other projects in the city.

The retail slated for 10IH was a spa, two restaurants....do we know of anything else?
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Old June 20th, 2007, 05:03 PM   #4358
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grocery store
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Old June 20th, 2007, 05:05 PM   #4359
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Developer Toby Bozzuto stands on UB parking lot that would be site of the Fitzgerald apartments.


UB seeks luxury housing
Midtown garage, apartments planned
By Lorraine Mirabella
Sun reporter
Originally published June 20, 2007

Hoping to enliven midtown Baltimore with new residences and shops while providing much needed parking for the University of Baltimore, the university and a private developer are proposing a $75 million luxury apartment project at West Mount Royal Avenue and West Oliver Street.

The Fitzgerald would have approximately 280 market-rate units and 14,000 square feet of street-level retail and wrap around an 1,100-space garage that could be used by students, faculty and the public, said Toby Bozzuto, executive vice president of Bozzuto Development Co.

The project in the Midtown-Belvedere neighborhood would be the first step in a larger vision to enhance the area around the university through redevelopment, Peter Toran, vice president of planning and university relations, said yesterday. Leasing what is now a parking lot would also generate revenue for UB, he said.

"We are really looking for projects to create a college-town corridor that connects the train station with Bolton Hill, and connects Charles Street to the Station North Arts District," Toran said. "We are looking to bring economic vitality to the middle of Baltimore, and when you add residences and retail and controlled urban density, we have the ability to transform this area."

The university is seeking approval from the chancellor of the University System of Maryland to lease the 4.23-acre property, now used as a surface parking lot, to Bozzuto, which would develop and own the five- to seven-story project. The project also is subject to approval by the state Board of Public Works, Toran said.

The developer is scheduled to present preliminary plans to a city design panel tomorrow.

The university chose Bozzuto, in partnership with PMI Parking, two years ago through a competitive bidding process and has been negotiating the land lease. If approved by the university system's chancellor, the project could go before the Board of Public Works next month, Toran said.

Bozzuto, whose company developed Spinnaker Bay apartments at Harbor East, said he views the project's location between UB and Maryland Institute College of Art, with a combined enrollment of 8,000 to 9,000, as ideal. It's also just blocks from Penn Station and next to light rail.

"It's a true transit-oriented development," he said. "It's a massive investment in this neighborhood."

At a time when the for-sale housing market has been sluggish, apartment rentals are strong, he said. He hopes to break ground on the Fitzgerald next spring and complete the project in two years.

"We imagine graduate students and young professionals, and we think it will have a diverse group of people renting," Bozzuto said. "We're very bullish on Baltimore. We'd like to have the highest rents in this neighborhood."

Currently, apartment rents in the neighborhood range from $1,200 to $2,000, he said.

Downtown Baltimore's apartment market has been strong, with property owners reporting full occupancy and as little as one-day turnover in tenants in many of the buildings, said Kirby Fowler, president of the Downtown Partnership.

"All types of rental properties are doing well in downtown right now, from the west side to the Inner Harbor to the city center," Fowler said.

Projects expected to open this year include the 191-unit Zenith apartment tower, at Pratt and Paca streets near Camden Yards, the 183-unit renovated Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. building at 39 W. Lexington St. on the west side, and the 33-unit Abell Building at Baltimore and Eutaw streets. Hundreds more apartments are planned in projects from Mount Vernon to the west side to the Inner Harbor.

And not far from the proposed Fitzgerald project, in a section of midtown bordered by Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Howard and Dolphin streets and Madison Avenue, developers are working on plans for an $800 million project of offices, shops, a hotel and mixed-income housing to replace state-owned office buildings.

In the midtown area, "It would be a good bet to invest in the creation of apartments," Fowler said. "There should be significant demand given the proximity to Penn Station, the University of Baltimore and MICA as well as the cultural district. I can't imagine there won't be a strong apartment market emerging in that location."

Though no retailers have yet been signed up, the developers are hoping to bring in restaurants, cafes, coffee shops or a health spa, Bozzuto said.

Toran said the university's plans for redevelopment in the neighborhood include erecting an academic building on a university-owned parking lot at the corner of North Charles and Mount Royal. The university is also exploring possibilities for acquiring parcels along Oliver Street for mixed-use redevelopment such as residential and retail.

"The idea would be to use the university as a way to anchor and revitalize midtown and make the UB midtown area a vibrant, mixed-use, college town corridor," Toran said.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 05:51 PM   #4360
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterSmith View Post

Developer Toby Bozzuto stands on UB parking lot that would be site of the Fitzgerald apartments.


UB seeks luxury housing
Midtown garage, apartments planned
By Lorraine Mirabella
Sun reporter
Originally published June 20, 2007
glad to finally hear about this project. i thought it faded off into the abiss or somewhere........

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