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Old February 19th, 2007, 08:47 PM   #1081
wada_guy
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Today's Good News
1. The 3rd crane of the Hilton is rising. It's blue.

2. The Furniture Craft building on Fallsway is being gutted for a hotel. All the windows have been removed.

3. Naing's Saratoga Court (opposite end of the block from the historic warehouse, it the gray apartment building) is getting retail on the first floor where there is now a parking garage. They have the fences up and are working hard on this project now.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 10:10 PM   #1082
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adammeisterin2007 View Post
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.....
I've had this idea in my head for years now and wondered why the city does not do everything in its power to get these buildings and blocks back in the hands of tax paying owners. Mayors come and mayors go, however, nothing seems to happen. I see your point in this but do you have any insight into just why the city has never moved on this? Nothing is worse for a neighborhood than dead houses. A century ago, Baltimore was noteworthy for its extremely high percentage of people living in houses they owned. In fact the whole row-house and ground rent system helped this to happen. When people own, they are invested in the city and their own street. This issue is one of those things, along with education, that trumps all other development efforts. Good luck on your campaign.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 12:04 AM   #1083
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I think the Project 5000 program has helped quite a bit.YES, I'm aware it is not perfect or great, but I think it was and is a much needed step in the proper direction. Many houses sat idle with absentee owners with liens on them and the City worked to acquire properties to package for individual sale and group rehab by developers. I think this was one of O'Malley's more successfull iniatives. The legal issues involved in doing this have slowed the process more than most would like, but this is not a problem that could or can be solved overnight.

Nate
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Old February 20th, 2007, 12:45 AM   #1084
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I really hope they don't choose such a low capacity for a new arena. That would really be a disaster.

I completely agree that the Hilton is a waste of space. Something more dense could have been built there, or something like an arena or that goes along with the sports complexes. Then the tall Westin building could have gone up for the convention center with 10 IH then eventually rising over that. It would have really solidified the Light Street area.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 01:12 AM   #1085
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wada_guy View Post
Today's Good News
1. The 3rd crane of the Hilton is rising. It's blue.

2. The Furniture Craft building on Fallsway is being gutted for a hotel. All the windows have been removed.

3. Naing's Saratoga Court (opposite end of the block from the historic warehouse, it the gray apartment building) is getting retail on the first floor where there is now a parking garage. They have the fences up and are working hard on this project now.
The first is a foregone conclusion, except that it's blue

Yeah, I saw the Furncraft building...It's exciting to see development in Oldtown. That could be another great neighborhood near downtown. We could really link up with Hopkins. Eventually we can get rid of the post WWII projects and have a continuous walking city from JHH to downtown and Mt. Vernon! We don't need to have the impound lot and all that around there!

Thirdly, it does sure look like Naing is serious and moving forward. I think we've passed the parking bonanza tide a little bit, because during the conversion of that building, the developers went out of their way to create parking on the first and basement levels. Naing, correctly points out that that sucks out street life and notes there's plenty of parking nearby to satisfy the residents needs. He wants to build a bigger garage on the property of the old garage/Hammerjacks site with ground level retail. You're going to need some a good amount of parking for a 60 story building. I think he's got the right idea here. We just need to make sure the tower gets build, and not just the garage!

Nate
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Old February 20th, 2007, 02:29 AM   #1086
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Just found this. Its about ARCWheeler redeveloping the B&O Building. Anybody have more info on this one?

http://www.arcwheeler.com/projects/baltimore.php
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Old February 20th, 2007, 02:34 AM   #1087
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal_A View Post
Just found this. Its about ARCWheeler redeveloping the B&O Building. Anybody have more info on this one?

http://www.arcwheeler.com/projects/baltimore.php
Strange that they would put the Baltimore incarnation of the "10" Hotel brand not in "10" Inner Harbor when "10" Inner Harbor is supposed to have a boutique hotel. Hmm.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 02:44 AM   #1088
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adammeisterin2007 View Post
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. [/url]
I applaud you running for public office. Its one thing to piss and moan about the state of things. Its something altogether different to do something about it.

But my question to you is simply, sell them to whom? I mean its really easy to say that, but do you know 10,000 folks looking to buy homes in the neighborhoods where most of the vacants sit?
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Old February 20th, 2007, 02:46 AM   #1089
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What streets does

the B&O Museum border?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HAudidoody View Post
Strange that they would put the Baltimore incarnation of the "10" Hotel brand not in "10" Inner Harbor when "10" Inner Harbor is supposed to have a boutique hotel. Hmm.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 04:24 AM   #1090
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My sentiments exactly, Haudi.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 05:18 AM   #1091
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The hotel at the B&O is stated as the "first" 10 boutique hotel. The rendering for 10 Inner Harbor states that it's boutique hotel represents Baltimore's and the brands "second".
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Old February 20th, 2007, 05:22 AM   #1092
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fanofterps View Post
the B&O Museum border?
The B&O museum is at Pratt and Poppleton, but this Arcwheeler project is the old B&O office building that sits at Charles and Fayette.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 05:31 AM   #1093
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrill View Post
The hotel at the B&O is stated as the "first" 10 boutique hotel. The rendering for 10 Inner Harbor states that it's boutique hotel represents Baltimore's and the brands "second".
I thought that was in reference to "10" Rittenhouse Square in Philly. Perhaps I'm looking at the wrong thing? Either way, it's not a big deal, I'm sure. Maybe they're lining up a different tenant for 10 IH, although that would be odd.

10 Inner Harbor will be ARCWheeler's second "10" brand project where mixed-use elements located on significant parks or waterfronts include luxury condominiums, high-end retail, celebrity restaurants, destination spa and a boutique hotel.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 05:43 AM   #1094
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A redeveloped B&O building might not be a bad thing. The building is something like 65% leased, and does not make sufficient use of ground retail to make the block vibrant. It's an absolutely stunning piece of architecture... it could also encourage some tenants to relocate to class A buildings nearby -- particlarly, One Charles Center. What's going on with the Mechanic, by the way? I know David Brown is doing his bit of work on the structure, but has there been any word of late about what we'll actually see come of the project?
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Old February 20th, 2007, 06:26 AM   #1095
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Condos planned for downtown's Saval Foods building

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Developer Larry Silverstein and his Union Box Co. have been tentatively picked to turn the former Saval Foods Corp. building on East Lombard Street in downtown Baltimore's Jonestown district into a condominium building with as many as 40 residential units.

The Baltimore Development Corp.'s project committee picked Silverstein, who has developed several other properties in the city, over another proposal to buy the city-owned building submitted by another team which included David S. Brown Enterprises LTD. The building is at 1000 E. Lombard St.

"It was a competitive process, and this appears to be the best available option," said project committee member Frank Gallagher, also managing director for Stifel Nicolaus. "This is an important bridge community between a lot of important areas."

A & R Development, the team backed by David S. Brown, had offered the city $200,000 for the property and had planned to build a 30-unit apartment building with retail space on the ground floor. Silverstein offered the city $500,000 for the site and proposed to build a seven-story condominium building, also with ground floor retail.

The project committee voted unanimously Monday afternoon to back Silverstein's plan, sending it on to the full BDC board of directors for their scheduled meeting on Thursday. The BDC is a pseudo-governmental body which acts as the city's economic development arm.

If the BDC's board approves the measure, it will then be forwarded to the city's Board of Estimates for formal approval.
An article from the BBJ
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Old February 20th, 2007, 07:09 AM   #1096
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baltimoreisbest View Post
A redeveloped B&O building might not be a bad thing. The building is something like 65% leased, and does not make sufficient use of ground retail to make the block vibrant. It's an absolutely stunning piece of architecture... it could also encourage some tenants to relocate to class A buildings nearby -- particlarly, One Charles Center. What's going on with the Mechanic, by the way? I know David Brown is doing his bit of work on the structure, but has there been any word of late about what we'll actually see come of the project?
I've never been in that building before. Is it possible to utilitize the lower floors as large foot print retail, thereby providing better retail opportunities and lowering the vacancy rate of the building as a whole while making it more attractive to tenants? I know it's on a hill....

Nate
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Old February 20th, 2007, 01:39 PM   #1097
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The Oliver Carr Co. of Washington who "renovated" the B&O Building 15 years ago did a great job of stripping a lot of the architecture elements from the structure and selling them for salvage. Beautiful doors, brass hardware, stained glass windows, and even the boardroom paneling were sold. Shame on them. The original building functioned well for over 90 years. The "renovated" building, 15. Progress huh?

A look at how the mighty have fallen
Back Story: Frederick N. Rasmussen

From the Baltimore Sun
September 16, 2006

A Wednesday-morning crowd stood in the grand lobby of the venerable Beaux Arts-style B&O Building at Baltimore and Charles streets, taking in the grandeur of its marble staircases, cobalt-blue stained-glass windows and vaulted ceilings illuminated by small white lights bursting from plaster rosettes.

They sipped white sparkling grape juice from plastic champagne flutes while noshing on light hors d'oeuvres and pieces of cake trimmed in B&O royal blue-colored icing.

Plenty of railroad memorabilia was present, including a miniature B&O freight train that endlessly chased itself around a circle of track on a small layout installed for the occasion.

Among the guests present toasting the building on its 100th birthday were a number of veteran B&O employees who had worked in the 13-story building during its halcyon days as the railroad's corporate and operating headquarters.

Just a few blocks north, while M.J. "Jay" Brodie, president of the Baltimore Development Corp., and Dave Shackelford, B&O Railroad Museum curator, were extolling the building's historic significance and preservation, workers were busily preparing the historic Rochambeau apartments, also built in 1906, for demolition that is expected to begin sometime today.

The Maryland Court of Appeals refused to hear an appeal by preservationists Tuesday, and once this final obstacle standing in the way of the Archdiocese Of Baltimore's plans to demolish the building and install a prayer garden on the site had been removed, officials didn't waste a moment in bringing in equipment and manpower needed to destroy this fine building.

Being an architectural preservationist (or just having an interest in old buildings) can be a heart-breaking pursuit, especially when a Rochambeau falls or you walk into the B&O Building and realize that its $20 million restoration in the early 1980s by the Oliver T. Carr Co., a Washington real estate firm, was less than successful and remains so.

Early on, the restoration effort earned the scorn of preservationists because many original components, such as Circassian walnut and English oak paneling, was sold off along with mahogany office doors whose distinctive and elegant bronze escutcheons were embossed "B&O."

Woodwork from the third-floor president's suite and adjoining boardroom and private dining room was removed along with Circassian walnut from other offices, according to James D. Dilts, a Baltimore author and architectural historian.

"Some was reinstalled in a ninth-floor conference room and in a ground-floor jewelry store. The University of Maryland University Club at Paca and Redwood streets got some," Dilts said yesterday. "The Counselor's Library in the Baltimore County Courthouse has some of the woodwork from the B&O Building."

The original heavy bronze front doors that faced Charles Street have resurfaced in the Hard Rock Cafe in the Inner Harbor, while other woodwork and details have been dispersed to the four winds.

The marble floor in the lobby remains hidden under a nondescript rug, and the marble floors on the building's upper floors have been removed. Decorative marble grilles from the building's bank of 10 elevators were jettisoned during the restoration, and the chandelier suspended from the lobby ceiling is clearly not original to the room.


And there are other lingering leftovers from the restoration that still annoy a quarter-century later, such as the window replacements that contain fewer mullions than the originals. The explanation at the time was that the new windows allowed more light into the building for office workers.

The B&O Building opened at midnight Sept. 12, 1906, when more than 5,000 electric lights "burst into fire and presented a grand spectacle," reported The Sun. Designed by Parker & Thomas in the shape of an H, the building at 2 N. Charles St. replaced the railroad's former office building on the northwest corner of Baltimore and Calvert streets, which had been destroyed in the Great Fire of 1904.

"The exterior of the new building is dignified, impressive and monumental in design, with sufficient carving and ornamental work to greatly enhance its beauty," reported The Sun. The building's features included pneumatic tube service, a filtered water supply, steam vacuum heating ("air filtered and washed," reported the newspaper), and two safety vaults.

Two large "toilet rooms" on each floor with Italian marble floors and white tiles were fitted out with "mahogany wardrobes" and had hot and cold water and ice-cold filtered water."

"This building was viewed as an emblem of the resurgence of Baltimore after the fire and was one of the first high-rises. It also showed that the city was determined to rebuild," Dilts said. Oscar G. Murray, the B&O president, chose to move into his office suite Sept. 13.

"The structure is 13 stories high; President Murray started in the railroad service January 13, 1872; he was elected the thirteenth president of the road; and today is the thirteenth day of the month," reported The Sun. "Many successful ... events of President Murray's career are linked to the number 13."

The newspaper also noted that his office was No. 13 and his phone number was the same. Perhaps one of the most compelling features of the building's exterior is the statuary over its main entrance. Mercury and an allegorical feature cradling a locomotive represent transportation and commerce.

"It predates the statuary at Grand Central Terminal in New York and was designed by John Evans & Co. of Boston," Dilts said. "The architects were top-shelf guys, and what they designed was a very cosmopolitan and stately building as it sits there," said Walter G. Schamu, a Baltimore architect and architectural historian.

Last edited by wada_guy; February 20th, 2007 at 01:47 PM.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 03:16 PM   #1098
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Opportunity in Legg Move

Opportunity in Legg move
When money manager leaves downtown building, prime office space will open up
By June Arney
sun reporter
Originally published February 20, 2007
The high-profile office space that will come available at 100 Light Street when money manager Legg Mason Inc. moves to Harbor East in 2009 presents an unusual chance to lure new companies to Baltimore. But it also could put pressure on downtown's traditional core as it competes with newer areas such as Harbor East, experts say.

Legg announced last week that it would leave the landmark 1970s skyscraper - the first private office tower built in the Inner Harbor - and consolidate nearly all its 1,000 Baltimore area employees in a new 24-story office tower that will bear its name in the H&S Properties Development Corp. waterfront project at Harbor East. Legg currently leases 23 floors in the 35-story Light Street building.





It's not often that such a large amount of prime real estate becomes available in a signature building in a downtown setting.

"It's an opportunity," said M.J. "Jay" Brodie, president of the Baltimore Development Corp., the city's economic development arm. "It's some nice space in an excellent building to offer that would not otherwise be available."

But Richard P. Clinch, director of economic research with the University of Baltimore's Jacob France Institute, said that even as the traditional business district is expanding with the development at Harbor East, there is a downside.

"You're hollowing out what is the traditional downtown," he said. "It's hard for the owners of the existing building, because it's always harder to fill yesterday's space than today's space. In many ways, Harbor East has built up a better downtown than downtown."

Given the new commercial space in Harbor East and the 2.5 million square feet of office and retail space that developer Patrick Turner plans for Westport, downtown space has competition, he said.

"The price of the Legg Mason space is going to have to fall," Clinch said. "Your old, traditional downtown office space is no longer the top address. That might be good for the city. As the price falls, people will move in who might have been in Columbia."

David Gillece, president of Colliers Pinkard, which manages the Legg property, said downtown is in far better shape to absorb the space than it was a decade ago, especially as older Class B buildings have been converted to other uses.

"I'm way less concerned than I would have been 10 years ago," Gillece said. "The answer now is that the properties that are being left are being converted to other uses."

A number of older downtown buildings have been turned into hotels or residences, including the Hampton Inn in the old USF&G Insurance Building at Redwood and Calvert streets and the conversion of the Jefferson Building on North Charles Street into apartments. Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.'s former Charles Center building is being converted to apartments.

"The best news for Baltimore is the signal from Legg to not just stick around for the next 18 years but to make an investment and a visible investment in Baltimore," Gillece said. "Those are the kinds of moments that cities dream about."

In addition, two other former parts of Legg that sublet from their former parent also are moving. Stockbroker Smith Barney, which Citigroup acquired from Legg as part of a swap, will depart for Harbor East in May. The financial institution has signed a lease for 42,000 square feet, said Michael S. Beatty, president of H&S Properties. That office, at 800 Aliceanna St., will occupy the same block as a seven-screen multiplex cinema and a health club.

And a division bought by Stifel Nicolaus & Co. of St. Louis said in November that it would move to the 1 South Street building.

The types of companies that might find the Legg Mason building appealing range from Internet software developers to advertising and marketing companies, law firms and sports products companies, said Richard Kadzis, a corporate real estate industry analyst in Atlanta with CoreNet Global, an association for corporate real estate and related professionals.

"These are the type of companies that are attracting young, creative people," he said. "That young and restless generation likes the creative environment downtown."

And the space offers appealing infrastructure with public transit and nearby airport access, along with ballparks, hospitals and cultural attractions, he said.

With vacancy rates low nationally - in the 13 percent range for the first time since 2000 - Baltimore could benefit from having space in a prime location available, Kadzis said.

The Legg building, which opened in 1973, has floor plans that are smaller than those typical in offices being built today, Brodie said. Its floors are about 14,500 square feet rather than the 20,000 to 25,000 square feet that have become standard.

The space might therefore lend itself to multiple users rather than a single user who might not want to have employees on more than one floor, Brodie said.

Christian S. Johansson, president and chief executive of the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, a public-private partnership that markets the region, said a delicate balance exists between having too much space and having enough to absorb the opportunities that come along.

"It's a premier property," he said. "It's going to attract a lot of excitement. I think there will be a number of companies that will put it on their list for consideration."

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Old February 20th, 2007, 03:52 PM   #1099
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Concerning theexact height of the Marriott Inner Harbor East Hotel:

"its closer to 365'

Peter A Fillat AIA, LEED"


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Old February 20th, 2007, 03:58 PM   #1100
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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
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Courtesy of Legg Mason Inc.
A rendering of Legg Mason’s new headquarters building at Harbor East.
View Larger 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.


"They're going to have to come back for modifications, because as I see it, they were approved residentially," Quilter said.

That process could jeopardize the developers' plans to break ground on Legg Mason's new headquarters building this spring, Quilter said.

Legg said Feb. 13 that it plans to move 1,000 employees to the new tower, including 700 from 100 Light St. in the city's central business district, by 2009.

H&S Properties President Michael S. Beatty said he intends to work with the city on the changes, and he said it should be a relatively straightforward review process. He noted the project was designed as a retail, residential and office development, and there have been other modifications along the way. Beatty noted that at the mixed-use Harbor Point project, located southeast of Harbor East at the former Allied Signal chrome plant, the developers changed one of their plans from a 500,000-square-foot office building to a 210,000-square-foot condominium building.

"When you look at it and say more office and more development, it's very misleading," he said.

Quilter said he learned of the plans through news accounts and that he has neither heard from the developers nor seen any documents from them indicating they intend to divert from previously approved plans. Without any specific details, Quilter said, the developers will, at the least, need to seek approval from the city's Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel to change one of the two residential towers to an office use for Legg.

Such a change, he said, would mean they will also need to come up with a revised traffic study demonstrating how much more traffic the offices will generate than the 84 condominium units previously planned for the site. Quilter said the developers might also need to get new approvals from other agencies within the city, including the planning commission.

The developers might be able to stay on track, Quilter said, if they file new plans quickly. He said they could start working on the foundation of the new building this spring, regardless of whether they have gotten all their approvals yet. They would then have to hope they have gotten all of their approvals by the time that foundation work is done, so they could start construction on the building without any delays.

Beatty said he expected the city would want to review changes to the plan, and he is looking forward to working with city officials to address whatever concerns come up as a result. But he does not think swapping the condominium building for the office building will have a substantial impact on traffic in the area.

"We clearly will go back and work with the city on modifications," he said.

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
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Courtesy of Legg Mason Inc.
A rendering of Legg Mason’s new headquarters building at Harbor East.
View Larger According to a 2005 city planning commission staff report on the project, the developers have permission to build two towers at the property. The first tower is a 549,600-square-foot building to include a 199-room Four Seasons hotel, 40 condominium units and retail space on the ground floor. The second one was to be a 255,400-square-foot residential building with 84 condominium units.

Beatty said the 84-unit condominium building was scrapped in favor of the Legg Mason tower.


Beatty also said the new tower is to include 550,000 square feet of space, of which Legg has agreed to take 400,000 square feet. That size would appear to exceed the 255,400-square-foot maximum the planning commission and the developers agreed to with the project's approval.

Beatty said his firm and Struever Bros. decided to rework their plans for the condominium building and delay a scheduled July 2006 groundbreaking for the project after Legg Mason approached them last summer about possibly moving to Harbor East. Groundbreaking is now scheduled for this spring.

"We had a building, basically, that was virtually 100 percent designed and we were ready to go, and then this phenomenal office tenant came along," said Beatty, who noted he had no plans to build an office tower at the site before he was approached by officials at Legg.

In addition to the city issues, the developers have been working with state and federal environmental agencies since late 2005 for permission to build an underground parking garage at the site. Maryland Department of the Environment spokeswoman Julie Oberg said the developers applied for what is called a dewatering permit that would have allowed them to install a two-story garage below the surface level.

The permit has not yet been issued, Oberg said, because MDE, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and others have expressed concerns about some of the details of the plan.

Oberg was unable to provide more detail as of presstime, but she said the developer will need to satisfy those concerns and hold a public hearing before the state environmental department can issue a permit for the work.

Beatty said with the Legg Mason deal those plans have changed, and the developers now plan to build a five-story garage. To reflect the change, he said, they now are planning to install a permanent, 80-foot-deep slurry wall beneath the surface and reaching down toward the bedrock beneath the surface. A slurry wall is a type of wall that keeps water from seeping into building materials and causing their collapse.

Beatty said with the two-story version the developers planned a more temporary "dewatering" method in which they would have pumped water out of the site in order to start construction of the garage. He said he believes the environmental officials will favor the slurry wall to the dewatering method.
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