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Old July 19th, 2007, 06:28 PM   #4921
Tricia_Lvs_Baltimore
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I kind of saw him getting the boot looming on the horizon. I figured that it was just a matter of time.

But anyway, have you guys seen Money magazine's top 100 places to live? Maryland had five communities on the list.
  • Eldersburg at no. 56
  • Olney at no. 17
  • Elkridge at no. 42
  • Catonsville at no. 49
  • Crofton at no. 72.

Catonsville at 49?? This is good news. I never realized they had it this good.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 06:50 PM   #4922
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tricia_Lvs_Baltimore View Post
I kind of saw him getting the boot looming on the horizon. I figured that it was just a matter of time.

But anyway, have you guys seen Money magazine's top 100 places to live? Maryland had five communities on the list.
  • Eldersburg at no. 56
  • Olney at no. 17
  • Elkridge at no. 42
  • Catonsville at no. 49
  • Crofton at no. 72.

Catonsville at 49?? This is good news. I never realized they had it this good.
This list is bullshit every year. How can anyone define what the "best" place to live is?
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Old July 19th, 2007, 08:16 PM   #4923
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I'm really suprised there isnt more talk about Hamm getting the boot. Long overdue in my opinion.
Me too, I never really believed that he was up to the task. Last weekend in my neighbourhood of Guilford, there where 3 house breakins on Saturday morning no less and one of the houses had been broken into about a month before! On Wednesday our car had the drivers side window smashed in and the GPS taken. This happened during the day at the parking lot just north of Penn Station on Lanvale Street. Last night apparently also in Guilford several cars where spray painted. This is getting out of control and Mayor Dixon isn't doing much to help. Although to her credit this started during the later part of the O'Malley administration, so I think to blame her is unfair. I doubt whether the interim guy is going to do any better. I think they need someone from the outside that can really shake up the entire Baltimore City Police Department. The State's Attonrey's office isn't really keeping the scum off of the streets either.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 08:28 PM   #4924
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Originally Posted by Hugh Jaramillo View Post
Me too, I never really believed that he was up to the task. Last weekend in my neighbourhood of Guilford, there where 3 house breakins on Saturday morning no less and one of the houses had been broken into about a month before! On Wednesday our car had the drivers side window smashed in and the GPS taken. This happened during the day at the parking lot just north of Penn Station on Lanvale Street. Last night apparently also in Guilford several cars where spray painted. This is getting out of control and Mayor Dixon isn't doing much to help. Although to her credit this started during the later part of the O'Malley administration, so I think to blame her is unfair. I doubt whether the interim guy is going to do any better. I think they need someone from the outside that can really shake up the entire Baltimore City Police Department. The State's Attonrey's office isn't really keeping the scum off of the streets either.


My girlfriends roomate was robbed at gunpoint in front of her house a few weeks back. Then last week there was a shooting the next block over. This is in Oakenshawe...

I'd say i'm fortunate. In the last ten years I've had one car stolen...thats it.


Crime, schools, or drugs?

Crime speaks for itself
33% graduation rate
1/10 city residents are hooked on a narcotic
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Old July 19th, 2007, 08:58 PM   #4925
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Fight or flight? One unanticipated outcome of increased development is that people may have too much invested to flee, and so will fight. Which may explain this trend sweeping the nation.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 09:35 PM   #4926
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Silo Point

Yes it does look like they have started on the top floors. Still a little confused to why it took so long, but I guess thats why I'm not in construction. (Although it could be a separate financing plan)

Thanks Jpreston
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Old July 19th, 2007, 09:37 PM   #4927
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I think they need someone from the outside that can really shake up the entire Baltimore City Police Department.
Yes, I agree with this. A lot of people may not agree with me when I say this, but Ed Norris was actually the answer to this city's drug problems. He did a hell of a job. The guy who came behind him, Kevin Clark, didn't do a bad job either.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 09:54 PM   #4928
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Norris was a bum. He spent every afternoon drinking with his posse in Little Havanna (when he wasn't stealing from the Widows and Orphans fun). The next commissioner search should include an extensive background check. Heck, the last 3 Comissioners wouldn't even qualify for a security clearance because they each filed for bankruptcy before they took office. Heck, they didn't even know that Clark was married to two women at the same time.

I don't get Silo Point. Who would want to spend all that money on a condo immediately adjacent to a 24 hour a day active railroad yard. All those cars coupling and decoupling makes a helluva racket. Plus the structure isn't on direct waterfront so there are no guarantees that someone won't come along later and block your view. You also have all that truck traffic to deal with.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 09:58 PM   #4929
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Locust Point project wins preliminary approval from city architecture panel

A city review panel approved preliminary architecture designs for a nine-acre development in Locust Point Thursday, but wanted to see more detail before giving a final approval.

The architecture plans for the site -- slated to bring 250 apartments, a grocery store, an office building and two parking garages to the area just off Key Highway -- first went before the Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel (UDARP) two weeks ago. The panelists praised the progress made since that last meeting, but still wanted to see more detailed design plans and also recommended some additional changes.


Panelists suggested adding a more noticeable entrance to the office building, landscaping changes in an open space on the site, and taller trees to hide the parking garage that sits above Key Highway.

The site is the former home of Chesapeake Paperboard Co.

"I think it's another step forward toward final approval," said Mark Sapperstein, the developer. "We just need to nip and tuck these issues and we're there."

Sapperstein said workers will begin compacting the ground on the property Friday to prepare it for the foundation. He said construction is still scheduled to begin in September.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 09:59 PM   #4930
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This is exciting....amirite guys?

Locust Point project wins preliminary approval from city architecture panel
Baltimore Business Journal - 2:08 PM EDT Thursday, July 19, 2007by Will SkowronskiStaff Reporter
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A city review panel approved preliminary architecture designs for a nine-acre development in Locust Point Thursday, but wanted to see more detail before giving a final approval.

The architecture plans for the site -- slated to bring 250 apartments, a grocery store, an office building and two parking garages to the area just off Key Highway -- first went before the Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel (UDARP) two weeks ago. The panelists praised the progress made since that last meeting, but still wanted to see more detailed design plans and also recommended some additional changes.


Panelists suggested adding a more noticeable entrance to the office building, landscaping changes in an open space on the site, and taller trees to hide the parking garage that sits above Key Highway.

The site is the former home of Chesapeake Paperboard Co.

"I think it's another step forward toward final approval," said Mark Sapperstein, the developer. "We just need to nip and tuck these issues and we're there."

Sapperstein said workers will begin compacting the ground on the property Friday to prepare it for the foundation. He said construction is still scheduled to begin in September.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 10:01 PM   #4931
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Originally Posted by DemolitionDave View Post
Norris was a bum. He spent every afternoon drinking with his posse in Little Havanna (when he wasn't stealing from the Widows and Orphans fun). The next commissioner search should include an extensive background check. Heck, the last 3 Comissioners wouldn't even qualify for a security clearance because they each filed for bankruptcy before they took office. Heck, they didn't even know that Clark was married to two women at the same time.

I don't get Silo Point. Who would want to spend all that money on a condo immediately adjacent to a 24 hour a day active railroad yard. All those cars coupling and decoupling makes a helluva racket. Plus the structure isn't on direct waterfront so there are no guarantees that someone won't come along later and block your view. You also have all that truck traffic to deal with.

Norris and Clark filed for bankruptcy?

Clark was married to two women at the same time?
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Old July 19th, 2007, 10:18 PM   #4932
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Originally Posted by DemolitionDave View Post
I don't get Silo Point. Who would want to spend all that money on a condo immediately adjacent to a 24 hour a day active railroad yard. All those cars coupling and decoupling makes a helluva racket. Plus the structure isn't on direct waterfront so there are no guarantees that someone won't come along later and block your view. You also have all that truck traffic to deal with.
Hmmm. Noise can't be any worse than for the folks living in Locust Point rowhouses. Also, can't see the Maryland Port Administration giving up the maritime real estate, which should ensure the view for some time to come.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 10:19 PM   #4933
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Sapperstein said workers will begin compacting the ground on the property Friday to prepare it for the foundation. He said construction is still scheduled to begin in September.

o/\o
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Old July 19th, 2007, 10:57 PM   #4934
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Noise is far worse that close to the source. I don't think it is that far of a reach to see that that land could be sold for private development. There aren't any piers there except the one where the crack ship is berthed.
If they do use it for maritime purposes then they will have to put in some sort of unloading system which will block the view anyway. I am looking down on it as I type. If you don't own direct waterfront then there are no guarantees.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 11:22 PM   #4935
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Council committee gives OK to Harbor East developers
Baltimore Business Journal - 3:43 PM EDT Thursday, July 19, 2007by Daniel J. SernovitzStaff

A committee of Baltimore City Council voted unanimously Thursday morning for a multimillion-dollar financial incentives package supporting the construction of a new office tower for money manager Legg Mason Inc.

Members of the taxation and finance committee asked some probing questions about the $33 million package, which focuses on tax breaks for a 1,200-vehicle parking garage and a 500,000-square-office building, but said they supported the project's benefits to the city. Thursday's vote moves the financing package one step closer to final approval by the council but will still need to be formally adopted by the city's spending board before it becomes official.


Baltimore Development Corp. President M.J. "Jay" Brodie told the committee the tax breaks will result in the retention of 600 city jobs as well as the addition of more than 400 new jobs being transferred from Legg Mason's Owings Mills operations center. Brodie has suggested that without the financing the project would not be built and Legg Mason (NYSE: LM) would be prompted to move out of the city in search of lower property taxes and other benefits.

Brodie also told the committee members the $33 million in tax breaks will generate about $162.3 million in new taxes once the office tower and a second Four Seasons hotel and condominium building are constructed at the site.

"That is the apple-to-apple comparison," Brodie told the committee. "What's in front of the committee, in our view at BDC, is a good deal for the city."

The project is being developed by H&S Properties Development Corp. and Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse. Legg Mason has signed a 15-year lease for about 325,000 square feet at the project. In records filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Legg Mason disclosed it is paying about $11 million in base rent, which comes to $34.15 per square foot.

Michael S. Beatty, president of H&S, said Legg Mason is actually paying about $27.50 per square foot triple net, which means it is responsible for other costs such as utilities that bring the rent up to about $40 per square foot. Even at $34.15, the rent would be among the highest office rent in the city.

Beatty said to meet city requirements the developers are working on an agreement to bring on a minority investment group for 30 percent of the project. Beatty declined to disclose the members of that group because he said he has not yet asked them whether they want their identities to be revealed. He said the developers have also pledged to meet or exceed city minority business requirements for the construction part of the project.

The city and the developers will still need to work out several agreements in order to be eligible for the tax package, including the disclosure of its equity owners, minority participation, a traffic impact agreement with city transportation officials, and a cost sharing agreement that will give the city a portion of the project's profits.

"This is not, in any remote sense, a blank check," Brodie said.

The city's transportation department, in its review of the proposal, noted several key intersections around the project will move to failing standards, meaning the time motorists spend waiting to pass through the intersection will increase to unacceptable levels. The department estimates the project will result in 503 more vehicles on the road during morning rush hour and about 377 more cars on the road during the afternoon rush hour.

"That will have ... a dramatic impact," said Councilwoman Helen L. Holton, who chairs the committee. "Already people complain about Pratt Street and President Street going toward Harbor East."


Many of the intersections leading into Harbor East, including several on President Street, are already failing and will be made worse with the extra traffic, the department's review said. The department made several recommendations including one that the developers cut down on the number of parking spaces it provides at Harbor East and arrange to have workers brought to Legg Mason from an off-site location such as the Eden Street Garage.

William M. Driscoll, government affairs officer for the transportation department, said his department is trying to work out an agreement with the developers to resolve the traffic problems and he expects a deal will be struck within the next two months.

Councilman Keiffer Mitchell abstained from the vote. Mitchell cited a conflict of interest because he has retained Colliers Pinkard President David Gillece to serve on the finance committee for his mayoral campaign. Gillece and Colliers Pinkard helped Legg Mason draft its 15-year lease for space at Harbor East and has also been retained to handle office leasing for Harbor East.

Mitchell, who had expressed reservations about the incentives package when it was first announced, said following the meeting he believes the deal, and its potential to create new jobs for Baltimore, is in the best interest of the city.

The legislation is scheduled for second reader, or a second public hearing, on Aug. 13.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 11:26 PM   #4936
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I am looking down on it as I type.
Me, too. (click "aerial image" tab). Only this image doesn't show the new townhouses at full-buildout right next to the berm that's next to the rail yards.

At any rate, caveat emptor for anyone buying anywhere.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 11:46 PM   #4937
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I am across the water at the Anchorage
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Old July 20th, 2007, 05:04 AM   #4938
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Me too, I never really believed that he was up to the task. Last weekend in my neighbourhood of Guilford, there where 3 house breakins on Saturday morning no less and one of the houses had been broken into about a month before! On Wednesday our car had the drivers side window smashed in and the GPS taken. This happened during the day at the parking lot just north of Penn Station on Lanvale Street. Last night apparently also in Guilford several cars where spray painted. This is getting out of control and Mayor Dixon isn't doing much to help. Although to her credit this started during the later part of the O'Malley administration, so I think to blame her is unfair. I doubt whether the interim guy is going to do any better. I think they need someone from the outside that can really shake up the entire Baltimore City Police Department. The State's Attonrey's office isn't really keeping the scum off of the streets either.
Unfortunately I don't think that any single commissioner will be able to change much. This cycle of crime and gangs has been on the way for a while, earlier in some cities than here, and has more to do with social factors other than police. I don't think there's any plan that will have a cop follow every thug 24X7. When you're in politics, however, whoever's on duty when the s**t hits the fan takes the fall.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 07:17 AM   #4939
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I still don't understand why the BDC thinks it needs to give Legg Mason a $33 million incentive.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 12:10 PM   #4940
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Keep the best, redevelop the rest
New incentives sought to preserve the city’s historic buildings

STEVEN OVERLY
Daily Record Business Writer
July 19, 2007 6:01 PM
Programs offering income-tax breaks and other financial incentives to owners of properties with historic or architectural value are being considered by the city and nonprofit organizations that want to retain Baltimore’s “character” amidst vast economic development.

As skyscraping condominium complexes shoot up along the waterfront and development spreads from the city center, officials don’t want to see decades-old rowhouses and, in some cases, century-old commercial buildings demolished.

Downtown Partnership of Baltimore Inc., a nonprofit organization monitoring city development, released a report this week detailing two potential programs that officials said should generate interest in historic preservation and help streamline the city’s current processes.

“Downtowns of cities have been changing forever,” said Kirby
Fowler, president of Downtown Partnership. “We just want to make sure some of our history is reflected in there.”

Baltimore now seeks to entice historic property owners to renovate
properties by offering tax breaks on the renovation costs, Fowler said. These programs do not prevent demolition, however, an option that can prove less costly and thus more attractive to property owners.

The report names several landmark sites in the city that aren’t protected from demolition, including the Hippodrome Theater, the Bank of America Building at 10 Light St., the Stewart’s Building and the Masonic Temple, which is now the Tremont Grand.

Historic designation requires the property owner to relinquish some of his or her property rights, including the ability to demolish it or make drastic changes, so the report acknowledges that some reimbursement is necessary.

“You want to reward people for doing something that benefits the public interest, but which they might not have otherwise done,” said Joseph Cronyn, the report’s author and a partner at Lipman, Frizzell & Mitchell LLC, a Columbia-based real estate consulting firm.

But appealing to all historic property owners is a difficult task, he said, because families, nonprofit organizations and major corporations, all of which may own historic property, respond to different incentives. So Cronyn examined several incentive-based programs nationwide, highlighting two in the report that he said could be implemented successfully n Baltimore.

“What we were trying to avoid was a solution that might work well in theory, but from a practical point of view didn’t give you the results that you wanted,” Cronyn said.

The first program calls for nonprofit or government organizations to hold easements on a property, thus usurping an owner’s right to alter or tear down the property without permission. In return, those property rights are assigned a monetary value and the owner receives a federal income-tax break for that amount, Cronyn said.

Historic preservation through easements has garnered a lot of attention from the Internal Revenue Service in recent years because some appraisers were inflating the value of property rights, said Tom Mayes, the deputy general counsel at the Washington-based National Trust for Historic Preservation. Regardless, it has been implemented successfully throughout the country, he said.

But organizations not driven by income, such as nonprofits, might not be motivated by tax breaks, Cronyn said, so the report also suggests that Baltimore begin a program allowing property owners to sell or transfer development rights.

This program would allow the owner of a historic property to sell the right to build a larger structure to a property owner in an area of the city where increased development is desired.

“A lot of the downtown ownership is institutions who aren’t profit-driven, so why would an income tax break affect their decision-making?” Cronyn said. “This is an attempt at having a variety of tools that [in the] long term make some difference.”

But transfers of development rights depend on market demand, Cronyn said, meaning the program won’t always prove effective.

Fowler added that such a program would require the Baltimore City Council to pass legislation permitting transfers of development rights and designating areas where more development is desired. He is scheduled to meet soon with the city’s Commission for Historic and Architectural Preservation to discuss the report’s recommendations.


Baltimore's landmark Bank of America building is not protected from demolition.
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