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Old July 23rd, 2007, 07:57 PM   #5021
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You do realize that Dubai is the Emirate with the least amount of oil, and that everything built there is because of tourism, shipping, and shopping, right?
And the tourists, shoppers and shippers who patronize Dubai didn't make their money by price gauging the American consumer?
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 09:19 PM   #5022
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You do realize that Dubai is the Emirate with the least amount of oil, and that everything built there is because of tourism, shipping, and shopping, right?
Dubai will be running out of oil in the very near future. However, they are filthy rich due to this oil supply. To keep their economy from collapsing, they are building the world's largest tourist destination at a rapid pace with the billions they have already made from oil.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 10:55 PM   #5023
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Originally Posted by probaltimore View Post
Traveling down Guilford the other day I noticed for sale signs on the parking lot across from hammerjacks. Isn't this the Naing towers site? For sale signs are also on the sale one block south at Saratoga St.

Anyone have any further word on the project? Delayed or scaled down is one thing, but maybe this overly grand project has fallen through.
The Naing tower is between Davis and Guilford Street, in the middle of the block, to be built in place of the white parking garage and hammerjacks. However, I was wondering about that for-sale sign.

I wouldn't say the project has fallen through at all. Naing has definitely been busy in the city, buying up a lot of property, and renovating several of the properties. Just like with 300 Pratt and 10 IH, the huge projects just take time and are more sensitive to the over-riding economic forces.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 11:40 PM   #5024
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he's gonna' do wonders with that brexton hotel. that building has been vacant for years!
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Old July 24th, 2007, 12:57 AM   #5025
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I just saw an hour long program on Baltimore on Discovery HD Theater. It was one in a series of programs on the American City. They had some insane aerials of Baltimore and really sang the city's praises. They ran the original "BELIEVE" commercial too. O'Malley, Levinson, Schaeffer, Ripkin and a few others were interviewed (including some woman who is supposedly the mother of jazz in Baltimore). I wish I could find the video online because the shots of the city were so ridiculously cool.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 01:49 AM   #5026
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Looking at one of my maps from 1860 the Naing site is right ontop of a former gasworks.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 05:38 AM   #5027
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Originally Posted by modestproposal View Post
And the tourists, shoppers and shippers who patronize Dubai didn't make their money by price gauging the American consumer?
Oil prices are set largely by supply and demand on a global level. Dubai has been successful largely because it is a secular, tolerant state in the islamic world where most places still live like it's the 12 century. People go there and take their money to breathe a little looser atmosphere.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 05:43 AM   #5028
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Originally Posted by modestproposal View Post
I just saw an hour long program on Baltimore on Discovery HD Theater. It was one in a series of programs on the American City. They had some insane aerials of Baltimore and really sang the city's praises. They ran the original "BELIEVE" commercial too. O'Malley, Levinson, Schaeffer, Ripkin and a few others were interviewed (including some woman who is supposedly the mother of jazz in Baltimore). I wish I could find the video online because the shots of the city were so ridiculously cool.
I wish that the History Channel would do one of their Underground City shows here. They have shown underground speakeasies in Portland, Freemason tunnels in Boston, abandoned subways in NYC, and virtual underground cities in Turkey and Naples. I think they could come up half a show just on our railroad tunnels.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 05:44 AM   #5029
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Originally Posted by 30 Floors Up View Post
Retail Rumors:

I ran into someone who works in the Verizon building this weekend. He told me that he heard that the following stores may be opening in the new retail space.

1. Edgars, the pool hall, is now staying and expanding.

2. Joseph Banks and Legal Seafood may be relocating their Downtown stores to the Verizon site. (Looks like the current Legal Seafood site has a leasing sign above it)

3. L.L. Bean!
Interesting. It seems like Joseph Banks and LL Bean would have to battle to the death...too many preps in the same building.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 09:18 AM   #5030
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Three weeks ago, when the elevator doors opened I was greeted by 5 goons who told me that "This is a private floor - please leave.” Come to find out, someone from the United Arab Emirates has rented the entire top floor of the hotel for 3 F*C&ING MONTHS! So for 3 months, I have to settle for 31st floor photographs.
I saw who I presume is the same guy coming out of the Marriott earlier this summer. He was an older gentleman with several helpers assisting him in getting into his car. It was on an afternoon that I was snapping some photos, and I was asked to please not take any photos of the man or his car. I guessed he was a Saudi prince or something.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 09:24 AM   #5031
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I wish that the History Channel would do one of their Underground City shows here. They have shown underground speakeasies in Portland, Freemason tunnels in Boston, abandoned subways in NYC, and virtual underground cities in Turkey and Naples. I think they could come up half a show just on our railroad tunnels.
I love that show and watch it every chance I get. I've also always wished they'd do a Baltimore episode. Every time they give hints about the next place they're going to profile, I always think they're talking about Baltimore.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 02:17 PM   #5032
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Originally Posted by MasonsInquiries View Post
he's gonna' do wonders with that brexton hotel. that building has been vacant for years!
Two new large signs have appeared advertising 1st floor retail opportunities. I assume they are on the hunt for a coffee/snack shop operator.

Construction/Designer people are crawling through the building these days. Looks like this project may actually be a go!
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Old July 24th, 2007, 02:25 PM   #5033
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Originally Posted by PeterSmith View Post
I saw who I presume is the same guy coming out of the Marriott earlier this summer. He was an older gentleman with several helpers assisting him in getting into his car. It was on an afternoon that I was snapping some photos, and I was asked to please not take any photos of the man or his car. I guessed he was a Saudi prince or something.
Damn. You could have been rich if you snapped the photo and sold it to the Abu Dhabi Enquirer!

Last edited by 30 Floors Up; July 24th, 2007 at 02:42 PM.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 03:53 PM   #5034
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modestproposal View Post
I just saw an hour long program on Baltimore on Discovery HD Theater. It was one in a series of programs on the American City. They had some insane aerials of Baltimore and really sang the city's praises. They ran the original "BELIEVE" commercial too. O'Malley, Levinson, Schaeffer, Ripkin and a few others were interviewed (including some woman who is supposedly the mother of jazz in Baltimore). I wish I could find the video online because the shots of the city were so ridiculously cool.
http://dhd.discovery.com/tv-schedule...198.107712.0.0

I'd like to order it, but I guess it's not possible right now.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 10:32 PM   #5035
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Marketplace in Fell's Point

Hey guys, I emailed David Holmes regarding this project and asked when they are going to actually start construction. He responded the same day and said:

"Thanks for your email and interest in our project. With the demo almost behind us, we will start the design phase which is a lengthy process, but an important part. We'll be making our rounds to all the community groups this fall as we begin that process. I'm going to also add you to our email list. Thanks again for your interest. - Dave Holmes"

Then Dan Winner replied:

"We appreciate your support. We are currently working with the various city agencies regarding the public markets, open space improvements and the structured parking. They are very time consuming tasks. In addition, we are proceeding with schematic design and programming for the project as well as interviewing potential joint venture partners.

Thanks,

Dan Winner"

I was kinda hoping that construction would start immediately but I guess they haven't gotten there design-wise yet.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 05:20 AM   #5036
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I'm not all that familiar with this project, so I don't want to judge it too harshly...but when did it become so common for the demolition to precede the design phase?
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Old July 25th, 2007, 06:22 AM   #5037
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modestproposal View Post
Every time I fill up my gas tank I think of that building and throw up a little in my mouth. The amount of money we throw away on gas is disgusting.

Edit: I think 300 E Pratt is going to be a new tallest.

A huge chunk of the oil money used to come back to the US in the investments. It still does but not as much. Once you freeze people's accounts and investments, they're obviously going to look elsewhere for opportunities. Hence, people from that part of the world are investing more in Europe and, of course, in their own countries.

Maybe that should be a consideration next time a certain group of people are needlessly targetted or the wrong country is invaded.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 07:58 AM   #5038
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Hilton selects Veteran to run Convention Center

http://www.baltimoresun.com/business...,5112974.story

Quote:
Norman, who has worked for Hilton for 20 years, has been general manager of the Hilton Los Angeles/Glendale Hotel for the past three years. Previously she was general manager of the Doubletree Guest Suites-Tampa in Florida from 1996 to 2004 and assistant general manager at the Doubletree Guest Suites-New York City-Times Square
I have stayed at the doubletree, didn't do much while there, but it was a very enjoyable experience and the hotel was very nice.

Quote:
"Linda was very charismatic and enthused about coming to Baltimore," Van Sant said. "She did a lot of her own research and understood what this hotel means to the region."
Sounds like a great hire!
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Old July 25th, 2007, 02:41 PM   #5039
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Uplands project picks up steam
Philadelphia firm will lead team that builds 1,100 homes

By Jill Rosen | Sun reporter
July 25, 2007
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A vast housing development long planned for Southwest Baltimore and called the city's most significant project in 50 years will pass a milestone today as officials announce that a Philadelphia-based firm will lead the $200 million effort to reshape the Uplands community.

Officials told The Sun yesterday that Mayor Sheila Dixon will reveal Pennrose Properties -- joined by a team of some of the city's most prolific builders -- as Baltimore's choice to turn nearly 100 acres near the Baltimore County line into 1,100 new apartments, houses and condominiums.


City leaders say the project, in the works for nearly five years, will transform the sleepy western edge of the Edmondson Avenue corridor and provide a chance to bolster the city's tax base by attracting, among others, military families heading to Maryland as part of the federal base realignment.

"I think it will be perhaps the most historic new neighborhood built in this city in the last 50 years," Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano said yesterday.

"It's a huge, huge opportunity to the city to provide a housing product that homebuyers are looking for. This is a product that will compete in every way with the strongest markets and communities throughout the metropolitan area."

The Pennrose team includes the Bethesda-based homebuilder EYA and Uplands Partners -- a coalition of Ambridge LLC led by Baltimore's Anthony Ambridge, Banks Contracting Company, Doracon Development headed by Ronald H. Lipscomb, Harrison Development, the Cryor Group and former Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry.

Part of what gave the Pennrose team the edge over the other two competing teams was its strong minority equity component, Graziano said.

Uplands Partners will have a 32 percent interest in the project, and minority partners Cryor Group will have 1.5 percent. Curry will also have 1.5 percent.

"This is significant participation and with credible, experienced developers," Graziano said. "These are not folks who are just getting into the business."

Other teams vying for the job included the St. Louis-based McCormack Baron Salazar and Uplands Revitalization LLC, a group made up of Bank of America Community Development Corp., Bozzuto Group, Blair McDaniels LLC and Phoenix Development Partners.



5 to 7 years
Pennrose development officer Patrick Wagner said he hopes to begin construction late next year. He anticipates it will be a five- to seven-year project -- the company's biggest.
"It's huge for our company," he said. "This is the most important opportunity we've had in the Baltimore market. ... It's a large enough piece of land to provide you the opportunity to really do some things that are different and really have an impact."

The master plan -- which Wagner said the firm expects to stick to -- calls for 1,100 new housing units, about 800 of which will be for-sale affordable and market-rate homes. The rest will be rentals. An assortment of house styles will include small-lot singles, rowhouses and duplexes, grand four-plex "mansionettes," and rental and for-sale multifamily buildings of higher density along Edmondson Avenue.

Pennrose is involved with two other significant Baltimore projects. The company is leading the redevelopment of the former Freedom Village/Claremont Homes site into 467 affordable and market-rate homes and apartments. It is also a subdeveloper for a residential portion of the East Baltimore biotechnology park.

Dixon, who is scheduled to announce the development team this morning, said in a statement yesterday that the Uplands project will have a reverberating impact throughout Baltimore.

"This development will turn the Uplands neighborhood around," she said. "I am also excited because of what this development project means for Baltimore City. It is another example of how we continue to attract major developers to build communities that will help move Baltimore forward for years to come."



Sources of delay
Two unresolved lawsuits are part of what has delayed the Uplands project. In a class action suit filed in 2003 against the city and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, former tenants of the Uplands Apartments want a guarantee that some of the new housing units will be inexpensive enough to give them a chance to return.

The city and the Legal Aid Bureau have been trying to negotiate a settlement for about two years, and Graziano and a Legal Aid attorney said yesterday that the parties are close to an agreement.

"I think things will be concluded shortly," said Legal Aid attorney Gregory Countess.

Additionally, seven property owners with shops on a 3-acre parcel known as "the Triangle," bordered by Old Frederick Road and Edmondson and Swann avenues, are fighting the city's condemnation of their businesses. A trial date is set for September.


The business owners contend that the city cannot seize their properties because they are neither blighted nor needed to curb the spread of blight -- one of which must be the case for the city to seize the property.

Now that the city has chosen a development team, it will negotiate a sale price for the land. Meanwhile, Graziano said the city has started to clear some environmental hazards from the site and hopes to soon resume the demolition of the Uplands Apartments and buy more of the properties it needs in the Triangle.

"We lost some time over the last two to three years, but moving forward we can move a number of these tasks down the field at the same time," the commissioner said.



Church displaced
By 2010 the city expects to take over the site of New Psalmist Baptist Church. The city is paying the church $14.2 million to move its 7,000-member congregation to a city-owned parcel in the Seton Business Park in Northwest Baltimore.
The city plans to approve tax increment financing bonds, or a TIF, to help finance the project. With a TIF, a developer can use expected additional property tax revenues from a project to pay off the debt.

Some who live nearby applauded the choice of developer and are eager to get the project going.

"I've been waiting a long time on this process -- it's been going on forever, it seems," said Bill Eberhart, president of Historic Franklintown.

"I think this is going to be one of the best things that's happened in West Baltimore in years. I think it will help the whole west side."
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Old July 25th, 2007, 04:18 PM   #5040
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Uplands project picks up steam
Philadelphia firm will lead team that builds 1,100 homes
It's about time. I hope the final site plan is available soon.
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