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Old February 3rd, 2007, 06:17 AM   #501
tonyBmore
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Congrats on the house sale and pending move, WG. I've had my house in Locust Point on the market for three weeks now and my wife is starting to freak.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 06:22 AM   #502
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Quabex I think the rubber sidewalks are right in front of 300 E. Pratt St. They are pretty cool.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 06:30 AM   #503
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Hmm....

Looking at the site plan on Google Earth,which admittedly has perspective distortions, it appears One Light St has about 40% more of a footprint than the current Legg building.

Measuring the walls of Legg I generated about 23,700 SF. I got 33,000 SF for One Light. (I realize that interior footprints are less.) If the building had a large parking garage underneath and above, with some hotel or retail or residential, the building could be so tall as to tower above the buildings between One Light and the harbor that there would be plenty of views for executives.

Since everybody only wants Class A space anyway, perhaps lots of new smaller companies can come fill the 400,000 space of the current tower. It would certainly suppress office expansion for awhile, but that's fine. We'd would have fixed the biggest whole in the CBD with what we really need: a large corporate headquarters building, with fantastic height and architecture adjacent to the old Bank of Baltimore building and Willie Don!

Nate
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 08:55 AM   #504
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Yeah, I guess theoretically you could get 33,000, but there's an alley in the rear of the lot that you wouldn't be able to build over and the city would require some building setback from the sidewalk, I think. I still don't see the rationale for a huge class A tower there, however, as the Bank of America building has over 100,000 square feet of vacant space within it. And the Wachovia building on the other side of Baltimore street, according to CoStar, has about 36,000 square feet of vacant office space, most of which is contiguous. Keep in mind there's over 180,000 sf of contiguous vacant space nearby in 750 E. Pratt, about 50,000 in One Charles Center, and lots of chunks of space in 250 W. Pratt. 100 E. Pratt even has two fully vacant floors.

The big problem is that an investor needs to make the decision to take on debt to build the structure if he can determine the present value of the future stream of rents generated by tenants in the tower. Right now, interest rates and construction costs, plus the price of oil, are all rising. When you discount a stream of future revenues, all of those factors will depress the present value of the anticipated rents. Moreover, the effect of adding such a large office building in a relatively shallow market, where only a dozen or so trophy class A+ buildings exist, woud depress lease rates. Our class A inventory is low, so any addition to it tends to be magnified a lot more and can cause perceptible changes in lease rates. If Legg Mason wanted to build such a facility, they knew that it wouldn't be a promising money-making venture given these economics; same with a third-party builder. You could argue for a publicly subsidized tower. Probably a bad idea also, as it would compete with private investment in the city's office buildings--important assets that generate plenty of tax revenue. Why interfere with the market value of other buildings -- possibly to your own detriment -- in the interest of another tower?

The best solution is to let the market drive office construction, and to pave the way for the owner of 100 Light Street to construct a parking garage adjacent to the site. Loans for periodic building upgrades are reasonable and customary, as well.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 03:33 PM   #505
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I just always hoped that a new tall tower would rise at the One Light Street address. Something at least 700 ft. tall there. Perhaps with a beautiful new tall tower there, the other vacant space in other buildings could be converted into something else to help the absorbtion. That's happening now with some towers. IMHO. I think it would be nice for every tower to have at least maybe a 100 to 150 room hotel in side their building. It would be something that could encourage extended stay for business deals. Residential sounds nice too. Adding a little retail as well wouldn't hurt. Maybe a combined effort by all the empty/unused space downtown and surrounding neighborhoods would help create more of a connective energy through out the city and encourage building newer towers as "new" center pieces.
My 2 1/2 cents.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 04:46 PM   #506
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I'm pretty much in agreement with you there b-is-best.

I kind of threw it out there based on your observations of a tightening office market, and added a bit of wishful thinking based on a few bits of fact. I really don't think there's going to be a new office tower until a company majorly expands or a large one moves to town.

I'm still skeptical of the whole parking scenario. I want numbers and comparative analysis, damn it! No more unnecessary gargares, esp. with tax money!

Nate
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 04:53 PM   #507
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Our best chance of construction

is if the Downtown Partnership prediction that we are going to need 7,400 residential units over the next 5 years is correct. I really want Four Seasons, Harbor Point Condo's/Apts, Cordish Tower, 300 East Pratt, Naiag Tower and 10 Inner Harbor to get rolling in 2007-2009. Having 10000-15,000 more people living downtown would help the office market.



Quote:
Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
I'm pretty much in agreement with you there b-is-best.

I kind of threw it out there based on your observations of a tightening office market, and added a bit of wishful thinking based on a few bits of fact. I really don't think there's going to be a new office tower until a company majorly expands or a large one moves to town.

I'm still skeptical of the whole parking scenario. I want numbers and comparative analysis, damn it! No more unnecessary gargares, esp. with tax money!

Nate
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 04:57 PM   #508
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
I'm still skeptical of the whole parking scenario. I want numbers and comparative analysis, damn it! No more unnecessary gargares, esp. with tax money!

Nate
Amen, brother.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 05:12 PM   #509
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
If one wants crowns, I say One Light St's gotta have one, no matter what. Anything less would be a travesty.

Nate
i agree. this site deserves a crown. it's truly in the heart of EVERYTHING. i swear nate, if we get another "hat" at one light street, i'm gonna' freakin' lose my mind!!!


LOL
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 05:29 PM   #510
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I think what will happen in the near future is that once the residential population density of downtown reaches a certain threshold, downtown will essentially be in the residents control. Not, the Downtown Partnership, not the GBfrickenC, or whomever else. Bad designs and ugly unnecessary parking garages will be a thing of the past and streetscaping and business codes and housing code enforcement will be greatly improved.

Downtown will then be "owned" by the residents and we'll have the workforce that will attract large companies here.

Nate
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 05:59 PM   #511
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Now, I'm off to Gwynns Falls Park to do some work for the day, after taking some sick time this morning...do some admin...drink coffee...on your tax dollar...answer some phone calls.....a place where there isn't, hasn't been, and NEVER WILL BE A FREAKIN HIGHWAY RUNNING THROUGH IT!

Nate
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 06:29 PM   #512
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
I think what will happen in the near future is that once the residential population density of downtown reaches a certain threshold, downtown will essentially be in the residents control. Not, the Downtown Partnership, not the GBfrickenC, or whomever else. Bad designs and ugly unnecessary parking garages will be a thing of the past and streetscaping and business codes and housing code enforcement will be greatly improved.

Downtown will then be "owned" by the residents and we'll have the workforce that will attract large companies here.

Nate
Yup. The concern I have is that a lot of stuff is about to hit the market in the next 6-9 months, including the Water St condo, the Zenith, the Gas and Electric Building, the Vue (that's mostly pre-sold, right), 1209, Village Lofts, and the Station North Townhomes. Aside from the Olmstead, which I still believe will break ground, do you know of any other central/downtown housing that will be ready for 2008/09 delivery? We have a glut of projects ready now, but what's the next phase of development? Sure, the inner harbor towers are being designed, but they're at least 12 months from a groundbreaking. What until then?
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 06:40 PM   #513
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Greektown Development?
Canton's Crossing?
Westport?
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 07:31 PM   #514
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Legg Mason---Baltimore Plans?

Here's my take on Legg Mason:

They acquired CitiGroup to gain a NY presence. with that presence, and their new space in NY, that will function as their "face" in the financial world.

The Baltimore office(s) in Owings Mill and Downtown are the wild card. The downtown office currently acts as their "face"/headquarters, but with that presence shifting to NY, there is no need for highly visible and expensive space in the city.

they have 2 years left on their lease and a lot of land in owings mills. do the math and you have them building new buildings into a campus just like t rowe has out there and moving when the lease is up.

it's sad when you think about it, but legg doesn't have much to gain by staying in the city. DP and BDC can do all they can to keep them, but if they have their heart set on a great corporate campus in OM, then i think its hard to swing them to stay. when they say they are commited to baltimore, it seems to me like they are saying they're commited tothe baltimore region. all they jobs would stay here...they'd just shift to owings mills.

i PRAY that they stay and that they could build some new space, but the reality really isn't looking good when you think about it.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 07:40 PM   #515
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I think there might be enough development going on to fill the gap between the batch just finished up, and the batch hopefully beginning in the next year. I'm not sure how much longer until the Eden St. apartments are ready, but you might be able to add those to the list of housing ready to hit the market in the coming months as well. I wouldn't be surprised if the Bolton Yards project broke ground sometime in the near future, and from what I've been told by Patrick Turner, the Westport development hopes to complete its first stages by 2009, which I would imagine would be residential. Canton Crossing's next mission is an office tower, right? There are new homes being built in Greektown, but I would be surprised if the KSI project started sooner than later.
I think a lot of the development that will take place in the next year or so will be related to the city's biotech parks and hospitals.

I feel we will probably see a new round of proposals once the current projects finish up and the next generation gets underway.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 07:52 PM   #516
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Why doesn't Legg Mason just move into the new Canton Crossing Office building? That's about 450,000 sq/ft right? Should be done by the time the lease expires.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 08:00 PM   #517
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Harbor Point Apartments/Condo's

I've been told Struever is suppose to start on 320 units in Harbor Point this year. I also heard they will start on 150-160 units in Greektown this spring. Four Seasons should start this spring/summer.
Cordish Tower, West Port, 10 Inner Harbor, 300 East Pratt looks like 2008/2009 start dates.


Quote:
Originally Posted by baltimoreisbest View Post
Yup. The concern I have is that a lot of stuff is about to hit the market in the next 6-9 months, including the Water St condo, the Zenith, the Gas and Electric Building, the Vue (that's mostly pre-sold, right), 1209, Village Lofts, and the Station North Townhomes. Aside from the Olmstead, which I still believe will break ground, do you know of any other central/downtown housing that will be ready for 2008/09 delivery? We have a glut of projects ready now, but what's the next phase of development? Sure, the inner harbor towers are being designed, but they're at least 12 months from a groundbreaking. What until then?
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 08:13 PM   #518
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fanofterps View Post
I've been told Struever is suppose to start on 320 units in Harbor Point this year. I also heard they will start on 150-160 units in Greektown this spring. Four Seasons should start this spring/summer.
Cordish Tower, West Port, 10 Inner Harbor, 300 East Pratt looks like 2008/2009 start dates.
........& i really believe the naing towers will also start sometime in '08/'09.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 08:15 PM   #519
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I think what b-is-best was refering to, was more like downtown proper--or that's at least what I was refering to. Because that can have an effect more directly with the big business climate by the appearance and management of downtown. Many of the downtownies will be working at the very companies located there, which should strengthen the ties to the City. They'll make downtown a place no company would ever want to leave!

The high paying residents of downtown will take an interest and want control over their backyard and will make sure it keeps an appearance conducive to liveability, and by extension, hopefully business operations. Fed Hill has control of it's hood (if not along Key). Mt. Vernon has now done the same, they just need more homeowners/condo owners to really get the job done.

As much as people bitch about parking shortages and want more garages, I bet they would be more reticent to have one build right next door to them.

Looks like we'll have to wait to see who moves first, Cityscape, 300 E. Pratt, Cordish, 10 IH, or Naing's, or dark shadows (1 Light).

Back to coffee, I mean work....
Nate
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 08:59 PM   #520
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About Owings Mills. Yes, it's cheaper, and affords space for corporate campuses. But, on the other hand, it's remote, it's still plagued with traffic problems, and it might not be such a draw for young workers, which companies desperately need to hang on to. It's far from the Northeast Corridor, which is immeasurably important if you're in the financial services industry. Business travel on the Acela is extremely important, and if you're going to have an office in the Northeast, you'd be smart to have it between 0-15 minutes of a major train station such as ours. You note that T. Rowe built an Owings Mills campus. Look on the company's website to see what work is done there .... and you'll see, mostly back office stuff. The brokers who make the company money sit at 100 E. Pratt. The executives work at 100 E. Pratt. T. Rowe doesn't have to be "charitable" to the city to keep its employees here. They knew that, in the end, it was worth the cost. I can't see why Legg Mason would employ a completely different calculus. And to prove I'm not BSing, this is the reason why Stifel Nicolaus didn't decide to take a cheap chunk of space in Towson when it was searching for space for its brokers and capital markets division. It took a costlier lease at One South Street for the reasons stated above, and because the floors were already configured for the usues SN is planning. The city loan notwithstanding, the company recognized the value of being downtown.

New York is an important operation for Legg Mason, but let's clear one thing up: Legg Mason did not "acquire" a part of Citigroup to gain a New York presence. In the end, the deal propelled the company to global prominence as an asset manager, allowing it to withdraw from the much more crowded brokerage business. If the deal was influenced in any way by geography, the compelling reason would be the REACH of the asset management business, making Legg Mason a truly global company. It's a matter of who owns the assets, and less a concern where the company has an office.

Baltimore will always a second-tier downtown, and will face the reality that it's not a huge draw. But then again, companies will recognize the value of being downtown because it remains a strategic location. This could change if ownership of any Baltimore company changes, because then the geography of control becomes an important matter. But as long as Legg Mason's principal players live in the area and demand the services that our proximity to the NEC and other businesses provides, we'll do ok. Never stellar. But we'll manage.

By the way, all the sources I've read suggest that Citigroup is seeking to retain a downtown location for its brokerage, which manages a lot of money. For a company to maintain a downtown non-headquarters operation demonstrates that we've still got something important here that other locations don't have.

Adn finally, Canton Crossing is mostly leased. There may be 60,000 sf left, but most of the building is accounted for. It delivered with one of the quickest leasing rates in the city's recent history. I don't doubt that Legg Mason would consider a location there, or in an adjacent location, because of the free parking. But constructing such a facility would take a minimum of 2-3 years, more time than the company has.
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