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Old February 18th, 2007, 08:48 PM   #1061
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The Baja website is still up and running, and even names today as one of the teen nights.
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Old February 18th, 2007, 09:03 PM   #1062
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^Darn, scratch that off my list of tonight's potential activities!

Nate
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Old February 18th, 2007, 10:48 PM   #1063
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BalWash View Post
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Originally Posted by BalWash View Post
Hell yeah. This is extremely good news. Thank god Anny Runnel is smarter than HoCo and MoCo.

Holy crap this is such good news.
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Design teams to present proposals for Pratt Street
Metro Digest
Originally published February 16, 2007


Four design teams vying for the right to redesign Baltimore's Pratt Street will present their preliminary concept plans at a free public forum.

The session is to be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday in Room 327 of the Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St.

Graphic representations of the plans will be available for inspection.

Each team will have 30 minutes to talk and then will answer questions for 10 minutes.

Written comments will be accepted.

Teams competing are Ayers Saint Gross of Baltimore; EDSA of Columbia; Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects of Washington; and Hargreaves Associates of Cambridge, Mass.

Baltimore Development Corp., Downtown Partnership and the city's planning and transportation departments are sponsoring the contest, designed to reinvigorate a 16-block stretch of Pratt Street from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard east to President Street.
Hell yeah. This is extremely good news. Thank god Anny Runnel is smarter than HoCo and MoCo.

Holy crap this is such good news.
Believe it or not this is one of many hidden/secret reasons why that NOVA person along with some of the other Northern Virginia people oppose extending the Green Line Subway to BWI.

Forget about all of that other tired excuses NOVA made in other threads about its wasted money to build the Green Line Subway to BWI. He/She among other NOVA'ians don't want Maryland(BWI) to attract Businesses from Virginia(Dulles). They want Virginia to be the end all for Business/Economic/Revenue Growth and Maryland to be the forgotten state that is Anti-Business/Economic/Revenue Growth.
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Old February 18th, 2007, 10:53 PM   #1064
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Hell yeah. This is extremely good news. Thank god Anny Runnel is smarter than HoCo and MoCo.

Holy crap this is such good news.
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This will be fantastic for growth in this part of the state. Smack dab in the middle of the Balt/Wash metroplex. As long as planners and developers can keep the density high to save land, this is a great vision for growth in MD. The state should make it easier for businesses to locate operations near the airport so that this type of project will be a sure success. I don't know what the current laws around the airport are, but things such as creating a TOD-like enterprise zone around the airport in the area targeted for growth could be an option. This would lower taxes for businesses, especially small and fast-growing businesses, and raise density restrictions on numbers of new residences and building heights. If the county and even the state can harness this type of targeted planning for the BRAC issue, that would be even better.
If Dulles can atract Large Masses of Mixed-Use Office/Retail/Residential Growth then the skies the limit for BWI, we just need the right Lawmakers to make it happen.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 01:48 AM   #1065
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Next on the menu: Baltimore
Lemongrass, Tsunami owners head north with cuisine, atmosphere

By KATIE ARCIERI, Staff Writer
On Valentine's Day, just after 5 p.m., Jody Danek and Gavin Buckley strode through the doors of Lemongrass, a popular Thai restaurant they own on inner West Street in Annapolis.

They were hard to miss: Mr. Danek, 38, sported gold highlights in his hair, and a black jacket accented by a blue-striped tie from Spain; Mr. Buckley, 44, was neatly dressed in a black jacket, his hair a fashionable mess.

Their image matches the chic restaurants they've opened on West Street over the past few years: Lemongrass, with minimalist decor; Tsunami, which serves up sushi and chopsticks at a stainless steel bar; and Metropolitan, popular for its upscale American fare and rooftop dining.

In addition to helping revitalize the once crime-ridden West Street, these restaurants have added glamour to the Annapolis dining scene and been successful to boot.

"You feel good when all your restaurants are full and you're like, 'OK, we picked three concepts that people like,'" said Mr. Buckley, an Australian native who still maintains the accent.

And now the pair is hoping to replicate their success in Baltimore.

Along with Tsunami Master Sushi Chef Stanley Hsu, they plan to open a 250-seat Lemongrass restaurant and a 180-seat Tsunami in May, about three blocks from the Inner Harbor.

Tsunami and Lemongrass will be tenants of the Tack Factory, a 40,000-square-foot warehouse, and former tack factory, on Bank Street.

They will stay open until 2 a.m.

The move will mark the third and largest Lemongrass restaurant. In addition to its 50-seat West Street location, the 70-seat Lemongrass Too opened last fall at Gateway Village in Parole. The Baltimore Tsunami will be the second location; its West Street site has 100 seats.

Other Tack Factory tenants include a personal training center, offering Pilates and massage, and an upscale hair salon.

Metropolitan is their highest grossing restaurant on West Street. Mr. Buckley said he and Mr. Danek are seeking a waterfront location in Baltimore for the concept.

Lemongrass and Tsunami built up a strong following on West Street with its Greenwich Village vibe, but it's Baltimore that could really put those restaurants on the map.

"We're believers in Baltimore," said Mr. Danek. "I've always felt Baltimore was the big city."

In addition to drawing young professionals and empty nesters, the two restaurants will play key roles in redeveloping the Tack Factory and the surrounding area of Baltimore, said Jim O'Hare, a partner with Bank Street Holdings LLC, which was set up to purchase the warehouse early last year.

"It's become less blue collar and less industrial and more white collar and service oriented," said Mr. O'Hare, who approached the two men last year. "What you're seeing is that there's really been a reverse of the flight out of the city. Now, people are coming back to live downtown."

Lemongrass and Tsunami are entering Charm City at a time when the dining scene has seen a resurgence of new restaurant concepts, said Licia Spinelli, vice president of marketing for the Restaurant Association of Maryland.

"The dining choices have just been growing and growing," she said. "The audience has also been growing."

While the new Lemongrass and Tsunami will focus on providing quality food, they also will be big on atmosphere.

Featuring cutting-edge decor, the Lemongrass setup in Baltimore includes a long bar and a 20-foot high Buddha statue, meditating in a large pond. As with the West Street location, servers will wear jeans and their signature brown T-shirts with a "KA POW!" patch. Ka Pow is Thai for basil, Mr. Danek said.

Past the Buddha will be a 100-seat mezzanine, with its own bar for private parties and "overflow" customers.

An interior courtyard, complete with natural-colored pod chairs where customers can relax and sip a cocktail, leads to the double doors of Tsunami and club music.

A U-shaped stainless steel bar and white tiles will make up the decor here. Sushi will be served until 1 a.m., catering to the late-night "industry" crowd, but open to everyone. Mr. Buckley said there also will be an oyster bar.

Jane and Marty Snider, Annapolis residents since 1972, braved the weather to celebrate Valentine's Day at Metropolitan on West Street.

They have watched the city's menu options change from traditional items of crab cakes and rockfish to more creative and flavorful dishes offered up by new restaurants such as Metropolitan, Tsunami and Lemongrass.

The couple particularly enjoy the "small plates" at Metropolitan, saying they like the freshness and quality.

The Sniders plan to visit the Baltimore Lemongrass and Tsunami.

"I think it's wonderful," said Mrs. Snider, a pomegranate martini before her. "They are young men who have really helped transform the restaurant scene in Annapolis. They have vision."
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Old February 19th, 2007, 04:56 AM   #1066
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City must OK Legg's new tower
Process could set back firm's Harbor East HQ
Baltimore Business Journal - February 16, 2007by Daniel J. SernovitzStaff

Courtesy of Legg Mason Inc.
A rendering of Legg Mason’s new headquarters building at Harbor East.
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The developers of the $550 million Harbor East project will need to seek new approvals from Baltimore City to build the proposed office tower for money manager Legg Mason Inc., possibly delaying the project.

Harbor East's Baltimore developers, H&S Properties Development Corp. and Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse Inc., received several layers of approvals to build a pair of 20-plus-story residential towers, to include a Four Seasons Hotel, at the Aliceanna Street property in 2005. Robert M. Quilter, an architect with the Baltimore City Department of Planning, said the developers have not submitted new plans to reflect the office tower they have promised to deliver to Legg Mason by summer 2009.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 04:58 AM   #1067
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Harbor East braces for Legg's arrival
Baltimore Business Journal - February 16, 2007by Julekha DashStaff


Legg Mason Inc.'s decision to move to Harbor East will boost business for the area's retailers and restaurants, but also pose a challenge for developers and city officials who say they need to address transportation and traffic issues that will arise from the influx of 1,000 more workers.

Michael Beatty, president at H&S Properties Development Corp., said the Harbor East developer is working with the city to improve the area's traffic flow. One plan is to redirect some traffic from President Street to Central Avenue for motorists heading north on Interstate 83.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 05:02 AM   #1068
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Steve

Thanks for your response.

The naysayers in the community are stirring up their neighbors with
disinformation about the project. We definitely need letters of support,
and for as many people as possible to attend the hearing and speak in favor
of the Icon. Can you help us out?

Thanks again for your support.

Marco
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Old February 19th, 2007, 05:23 AM   #1069
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Well, Legg and the City new this was going to happen.

Now that I think about it, that massive underground garage could mess up future subway plans for the area....still don't how they will build that thing.

Nate
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Old February 19th, 2007, 05:42 AM   #1070
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What would happen to the existing Arena site if a new stadium is built? Apartments? Although I know the space is prohibitive, and that new construction would leave us without a functional arena for several years, my wish would be to retain an arena on the West Side, without destroying more historic buildings in the process. I just feel that, as the east side of town garners most of the attention in new development, moving a key attraction from the West Side will leave the area with one less piece of nightlife. Are there any (mostly vacant and not historically significant) properties around the U of Md that would be suitable for a stadium site?
I agree. Furthermore, I still think they ought to put a new arena where the old one is. It's got the city's best transit service, central location, oodles of garages within a few blocks that are empty at night and the West Side needs it. If they demolished the garage and used the surface lots on the block and cantilevered out over the street, the site would work. Unfortunately, I'm not part of the decision process or funding trail, so I guess nobody appreciates by transcendent logic, but anyway, that's my opinion.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 05:53 AM   #1071
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Well, Legg and the City new this was going to happen.

Now that I think about it, that massive underground garage could mess up future subway plans for the area....still don't how they will build that thing.

Nate
I didn't think there were any subway plans for this area. The only one on the books now is an extension of the existing subway to the north. When you thing about it, it would be chancy building anything underground on that site. Being so close to the waterfront, an Isabel re-run could fill a subway tunnel up pretty quickly. The Market Center stop was pretty close last time.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 05:58 AM   #1072
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Not enough people plan a head.

Nate
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Old February 19th, 2007, 06:31 AM   #1073
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I dropped a friend off at the downtown extended stay Marriott. 1 Light Street is embarsasing. Why won't Clark just sell the damn site? Something grand has to go there. Also, get ird of the Thomas building.
On another note, I have a few questions:

1) where is Bank Street? I can are the sign in my head, but can't remember in which neighborhood its in.

2) what is it gonna take to get some quality retail in the cbd?
I know the mechanic center is on its way, but what about stand alones?
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Old February 19th, 2007, 09:02 AM   #1074
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As noted by the Downtown Partnership's report, good retail follows high densities of employment or residences. You will notice relatively high storefront vacancies along Charles Street in Mount Vernon (about 15% I am told) and a lack of retail within the CBD get somewhat better, but never finally "resolve" themselves because of several fundamental problems:

- Downtown only has about 100,000 employees and change. This is significantly smaller than Pittsburgh (140,000) and Philadelphia (> 250,000). In the CBD, the number of employees is about 30,000...roughly the same for Mount Vernon, although spread over a larger geographic area. CBD offices have relatively high vacancies, and until recently, the area didn't have many hotels.

- Nate's issue -- transit. It's an inconvenient place to go shopping unless you're already there.

Of course, increasing the residential population from it's current 37,000 or whatever to 50 or even 60k will help dramatically. Filling up existing office space will help as well...and there's a lot of empty stuff sitting around. 7 St. Paul, Charles Center South, One Charles Center, 10 Light Street, 1 South Street, and a bunch of other buildings have more than 10,000 sf each of vacant space. I think all of these also have more than 30,000 square feet of vacant space, with the possible exception of Charles Center South. Hospital expansions might bring up downtown employment by 2-3,000. Fillign the Legg Mason building with primarily non-city tenants migrating into our CBD could produce as many as 1,500 new jobs. The bio park at U of MD will produce a couple thousand. I don't know how many new jobs the convention center hotel will bring, but I'm assuming it's a couple hundred. If we aimed to have 120,000 employees downtown in the next 5 or so years -- a very doable figure, we could support a couple more restaurants, coffee places, perhaps even another bookstore. We also need to pay attention to the ratio of employees in high skilled vs low skilled industries. Of course, a bulk of that increase is going to have to come from hospitality services, but if we set a 70/30 benchmark for unskilled vs. skilled labor, an addition of 6,000 highly skilled jobs might get us towards the overall goal for increase. BTW, I pulled that ratio out of thin air, but I think it makes sense, given the composition fo Baltimore's industries. And 6,000 jobs is a relatively easy number if we get several thousand hospital/research jobs between UMD and Mercy, the rest coming from the net effect of in-migrations and expansions.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 09:37 AM   #1075
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Bank St is in Fells Point.

If they can keep the Thomas building and still build a really good skyscraper, I'd be happy to see that, I do like the building. But I was already prepared for it to go since the original Clarke plan.

Nate
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Old February 19th, 2007, 09:38 AM   #1076
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I contend there are other issues at play, which are fortunately diminishing, as far as retail is concerned downtown including building code violations and racial prejudice. The tide is getting better. Overall better than when I first moved into town in 2001.

Nate
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Old February 19th, 2007, 04:24 PM   #1077
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Thanks for those responses to my questions. Could you explain your comment regarding retail in the cbd?
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Old February 19th, 2007, 06:44 PM   #1078
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^Not sure whether you were directing that at me or B-is-Best, but I will add that the biggest problem is that Baltimore has a lack of large footprint buildings--the very asset needed for large retail. The age of the City has a lot to do with that, but new developments are working toward eliminating that road block. Lockwood Place has some large footprints, hence BestBuy and Filene's Basement. The smaller stores often need a nearby anchor to aggregate toward to be successfull because that will gaurantee more foot traffic.

DT Partnership has been working to make sure building codes are enforced. Unsightly buldings (have) cause(d) a spiral of decline. I forget the relationship between building inspectors and the housing authority, but they have been culprits the last 50+ years for the City's decline by not keeping up with enforcements.

Plus, often retailers, esp. big businesses are conservative and risk averse and see Baltimore as too black and therefore, not where the money is, or it's where the problems are. It's anecedotal, but take a look. Even in areas where black incomes are high, the amenities there are disproportionately lacking compared to similar or less income white areas. Comparative analysis have been done on the matter where conclusions have been made stating what just did. Again, I read so many studies (well puruse, at least), I can't remember which, and I don't necessarily endorse the conclusions always--but I think this issue is a factor.

100,000 downtown employment is pretty respectable, not great, but considering our limited transit for a metro region this size, it's pretty darn good. It's in a relativley compact area, too. So I see NO reason why we can't support large retail this very instant, EXCEPT the fact that there may not be enough people at night yet to generate the needed sales, so more residential should be in the pipeline. Parking downtown at night is no biggie, so if a nearby inner-city resident doesn't feel like taking the MTA, parking is not an excuse. If we had it, they would come. Do you know how much I HATE going to the Co. to shop?!

Apologies if this post was difficult to read, my arm is really hurting this morning and affecting my typing and editing.

Nate
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Old February 19th, 2007, 08:26 PM   #1079
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Very interesting indeed. I will have to read more about adam. thank you.

If you have any questions about my campaign please send me a private message here or go to my web site to find out more information:
www.AdamMeister.com still under construction.

Yes I am the TechBalt.com guy but I can not find my old login information.

Meister in the 11th in 2007!
Passion for the 11th District!
www.AdamMeister.com

Last edited by adammeisterin2007; February 19th, 2007 at 08:32 PM. Reason: add info
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Old February 19th, 2007, 08:30 PM   #1080
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The City of Baltimore owns over 10,000 empty properties (maybe over 20k). When I am elected to City Council I will fight to get the City to sell every single one of them. The revenue generated from the sales and future property tax revenue will allow us to drop the property tax rate to County Levels. Less boarded up houses and more occupied houses will improve quality of life in terms of image, less trash, and less places for drug dealers to stash at and occupy.

-----

LOWER PROPERTY TAXES NOW!
www.AdamMeister.com

Last edited by adammeisterin2007; February 19th, 2007 at 08:35 PM. Reason: add more info
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