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Old February 1st, 2007, 06:22 PM   #421
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quabex View Post
there was once the plan to build an "outer beltway". it would circle the city like the current one, but it would be further out in the 'burbs. part of it is built and stands as route 100 from ellicott city to glen burnie. the plan has since been scrapped.
Go here for any of your historical highway needs for Maryland and Virginia. Extreamly well documented.

Not only was there an outer beltway, which would of crossed 83 at essentially Swann Rd., there was an outer-outer highway the cross county connecter, in the monkton Rd. area. Neither of these roads really ever got beyond the extreamly preliminary phase. When designed they would of been in, and still is, an almost totally rural area. There were also plans for an more extensive freeway system in eastern Baltimore County, what is now 695 in eastern Baltimore County is actually 3 seperate highways stitched together.

Last edited by Maudibjr; February 1st, 2007 at 07:27 PM. Reason: added info
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Old February 1st, 2007, 07:07 PM   #422
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I like the scale of the new model. Seems like a great height for the area. Too rough for me to have an opinion on the design, though.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 08:47 PM   #423
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I like the scale of the new model. Seems like a great height for the area. Too rough for me to have an opinion on the design, though.
I guess I'll chime in too. I like the fact that it has a lot of glass, at least I'm assuming the blue areas are glass. I also like the fact that it will look really slender when viewed from federal hill.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 10:44 PM   #424
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i had no idea that the block of 300 east pratt street was this narrow.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 11:15 PM   #425
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I not sure how close this rendering to the actual lot this really is. 300 e. pratt st. is square and this looks to be rectangular from the rendering. I don't believe that the building is going to be as thin as it looks.
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Old February 1st, 2007, 11:53 PM   #426
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I agree
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 12:08 AM   #427
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It's ok.
I believe as rendered it will still be taller than Legg Mason. I'd guess around 560 ft. tall.
But remember, the developers recently said the tower would be 52 floors, not 50.

We may see a final design tipping 600 ft. tall when all is said and done. IMO.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 12:10 AM   #428
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The lot is actually rectangular; don't think it's more than 100-125' on the side facing the harbor. So from that perspective, the diagram is (relatively) correct. I am not a huge fan of the design, though it is leaps and bounds ahead of the Ocean City-Meets One Light St. proposal floated earlier. I would like to see a more elegant, class curtain facade over the entire building, perhaps with some unusually articulated edges.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 12:19 AM   #429
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http://www.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en...t=k&iwloc=addr


I think the rendering is correct.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 12:32 AM   #430
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Has anybody posted this new design on the main forum proposal page yet? It needs to be seen. I'd love to hear people's comments.

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Old February 2nd, 2007, 12:43 AM   #431
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I think what matters most, as I've harped on before, is what's going on at the base. What kind of a streetscape will it present?

How pedestrian friendly is it?

How conducive to retail is it?

How aesthetically pleasing are the building materials?

Where are service ramps, parking, etc.

The bottom few floors of a building really define the street character, street life and viability and how people will interact with the area more than anything else.

the upper levels matter aesthically from a distance and have very different implications of "quality" or "good" architecture and skyline.

My opinion will be heavily defined by the base.


If it's anything like the other Pratt St buildings with their Lombard St backsides, I'm not in favor. Even the Gallery/Renaissance ,which I like, is kinda barren on the back. Lombard needs life and civility.

Nate
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 01:07 AM   #432
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On a seperate note, "3 Prime Renovated Commercial Buildings in Downtown Baltimore City" just sold on the 300 block of N. Howard Street.

http://alexcooper.com/realestateauctions/howard322.html
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 01:08 AM   #433
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Exactly. Just like the pdf report by the downtown partnership just released said. They said that 300 east pratt should have significant retail and street scaping that welcomes people and promotes a continuous flow all the way to Lombard as well.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 01:09 AM   #434
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffyhorse View Post
On a seperate note, "3 Prime Renovated Commercial Buildings in Downtown Baltimore City" just sold on the 300 block of N. Howard Street.

http://alexcooper.com/realestateauctions/howard322.html
hmm... very interesting.......
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 01:24 AM   #435
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For 300 East Pratt, I think i would also like to see more of a pedestrian environment along Commerce and South Street, in addition to Pratt Street. I really don't want to see the rest of the CBD walled off from the inner harbor. Hopfully they will some street level retail and help spread some vitality northwards.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 01:36 AM   #436
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That rendering is disappointing. I love the glass but I wanted to see something with a crown. The former One Light Street proposal is something I'd love to see built. The height is a little disappointing too. One thing that bothers me about that picture is how the buildings seem so far set back off the street. We need vendors to help counter that open space.

Hopefully Legg stays. I'm hoping that wasn't the news at the last BDC meeting and that it was in fact a company looking to move here.

An outer beltway through the Monkton area would have been interesting. Would it have been a waste or would that area be vastly different than it is today? Definitely an interesting point for discussion. I think the goals right now should be mass transit, expanding the beltway all the way around to five lanes and expansion of 95 and 295.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 02:09 AM   #437
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The beltway can't be expanded to 5 lanes. Not enough space.

Nate
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 02:30 AM   #438
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I should also add that 83 should be a huge goal. Not 83 up in the Monkton area, as I think a way to discourage sprawl is to not upgrade roadways far from main cities. However, I think 83 S from the beltway into downtown could definitely be upgraded. Traffic is very heavy through there in the morning and there is definitely room to expand.

I know someone awhile back talked of getting rid of 83 and then just developing that area. I think that's a good idea except the highway should stay but just be lowered to ground level instead of elevated. That would be a massive project obviously and will probably never happen, but it would be a great way to redevelop a huge swatch of the city.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 02:32 AM   #439
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Some areas 5 lanes already exist and through those areas many more lanes could be added. The problem is there are some areas of the beltway where there are 3 lanes now and adding 2 seems very difficult. One area that comes to mind is through Catonsville because of all the residences so close to the beltway. I think you could still do it but it certainly would be a tight squeeze. The Triple bridges at I-70 neeeeeeeds to be completely reconstructed and would be a huge obstacle.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 03:08 AM   #440
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Quote:
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Hopefully Legg stays. I'm hoping that wasn't the news at the last BDC meeting and that it was in fact a company looking to move here.
Unless it's for some of the lab space in either biopark, no national company will move to Baltimore anytime soon. The parking costs are through the roof, and taxes aren't so friendly for the less-than-superior amenities that the city can offer. Sure, we have the dining and shopping experience down, but when it comes to transit connectivity, proximity to large sources of capital and talent, etc., we're not that great, and not really important from a national or global standpoint. The problem for us is that Legg Mason may have outgrown the city of Baltimore. There's not enough parking at that building, the building's floorplates aren't terribly large, and the lease is expensive for a location in a second-tier city. Throwing money at the company as an investive to stay isn't, on its own, going to justify a long term presence here.

That being said, it's important to note that Legg Mason doesn't have space lined up for a new corporate headquarters. It has five floors of the New York Times building, which is nearly fully leased. Five floors isn't enough space for a headquarters of several hundred -- if not thousand -- unless the company's board and executives worked out of NY and everyone else stayed in a remote location. That's the second problem -- a company would pay for a New York headquarters if it could reduce the inconveniences of being remotely connected to a financial center; a remote (either Owings Mills, or NJ) location would uproot a lot of jobs while creating logistical headaches for the company -- as well as the prospect of high attrition. Legg Mason grew to become what it is because it has good, loyal management that has stuck around.

The company could also move to the suburbs -- but where? Sure, they have land in Owings Mills, but nothing's been developed on it, and it would take at least 2 years to have any buildings of considerable size constructed there. Legg's downtown lease expires in a little over a year, I believe. Do you know of any headquarters-style office building in Baltimore County (I'm assuming that's where the company would go, as most of the executives live in Roland Park, Mt. Washington, or in the County, and wouldn't want to commute to Annapolis or D.C.) with several hundred thousand quare feet ready for lease? If the numbers in the Maryland Daily Record article are correct, Legg Mason has 1,300 employees downtown, exclusive of another 1,200 Smith Barney brokers. A company would need AT LEAST 400k square feet to accommodate 1,300 employees in a headquarters location -- and probably more for other needs. Most office space under development in the County is in the 100-200k sf range.

Finally, a force that would keep Legg downtown is the fact that it would be nearby related companies and alumni, including those now at Stifel Nicholaus, Smith Barney, and some of the smaller investment banks operating out of the 100 Light St. building (there are a handful). If there's a center for this industry in Maryland, it's still Baltimore, even though it's relatively weak. Keep in mind that the downtown area is much more accessible to interns and newly-hired analysts than far-out locations beyond the Beltway. A company that wants to be around for the new generation of its workforce has to be accessible to that workforce. That means proximity to the Northeast corridor, nearness to cultural and entertainment attractions, etc. The new housing downtown could only help. I think the Downtown Partnership could present compelling reasons for retention at this point, and I think the reasons are already compelling from Legg Mason's standpoint. The costs of moving are high, even though the costs of staying in a city like Baltimore are still too high.

Keep in mind that the NJ suburbs recently tried to woo Cigna away from Philly, with tax breaks and other incentives. Cigna looked "seriously," as they put it, at the offer, but declined, citing the very reasons I mentioned above. T. Rowe offered a similar justification for maintaining its downtown campus.

So, what Legg can (and reasonably should) expect to ask for is (a) better parking; and (b) a direct grant/loan to offset the pricey lease they signed. I think you'll also see an aggreement on the part of the city/state to pay for a part of any future building/equipment upgrades Legg will need to complete in the next ten years to modernize trading floors and office space. This will help improve building efficency and compensate for smaller than usual floorplates. Most office space gets a retrofit every 10-15 years, and we're getting close to the finish of one cycle, as the last renovation occured at the time of Legg's move-in, in 1997.

I'd really like to hear what the business-minded among you think about all this...
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