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Old February 23rd, 2007, 07:18 AM   #1241
getontrac
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How dare they get rid of the Mechanic!

If they do, it's another parcel to redevelop. Do they have an economic justification for redeveloping the property? Do they have a market to build tall right at the moment? A few years down the line, yes, I feel sure. But, maybe not now. Do they stall their retail concept?

I wouldn't mind a short mid-rise there. They've already got parking beneath. Totally redesigning the streetscape around the Mechanic sit would do untold wonders to that intersection.

Brutalism be gone!

Nate
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 10:02 AM   #1242
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Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
How dare they get rid of the Mechanic!

If they do, it's another parcel to redevelop. Do they have an economic justification for redeveloping the property? Do they have a market to build tall right at the moment? A few years down the line, yes, I feel sure. But, maybe not now. Do they stall their retail concept?

I wouldn't mind a short mid-rise there. They've already got parking beneath. Totally redesigning the streetscape around the Mechanic sit would do untold wonders to that intersection.

Brutalism be gone!

Nate
Not only is the Mechanic itself brutalist, the same could be said for that whole vast plaza...just drab grey with that fountain in the middle. The Mercantile building and that companion low-rise (accross from the arena) look cold and forbidding as well.

I'd be for ripping out the Mechanic and replacing with a tower, and getting rid of that other low-rise and re-doing the whole square, like they are doing with Charles Plaza now.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 11:45 AM   #1243
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Lacrosse museum seeks site at harbor
$25 million center would need money from city and state
By Jill Rosen
Sun reporter
Originally published February 23, 2007


U.S. Lacrosse wants to leave its cramped North Baltimore home for a new $25 million headquarters and sports complex at the Inner Harbor - a prominent site that the organization hopes would give the growing sport more stature.


The organization's leaders want to build the National Lacrosse Center on the waterfront near Fells Point rather than move it out of Maryland. But officials said yesterday that it cannot happen without nearly $8 million in aid from the state and subsidies from the city.

"I feel very strongly that our organization stay here - I think it makes sense to be here," said U.S. Lacrosse Executive Director Steve Stenersen. "If the stars align, this will be a wonderful site."

U.S. Lacrosse, a national organization that has leased space for about a decade near the Johns Hopkins University, wants to be among the first to move into Harbor Point, a fledgling development on the once-contaminated site of a former chromium plant.

A move to Harbor Point, the largest undeveloped tract along the Inner Harbor, would enable the nonprofit to expand from 12,000 square feet to about 42,000 square feet.

It would be able to hire more people, bolster the Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame, and build a conference and training center where coaches from across the country could come to learn. There would be room for a 3,000-seat arena for exhibition matches and clinics for local schoolchildren.

All of this would be happening on a site that juts into the Inner Harbor - steps from some of Baltimore's most popular tourist attractions and biggest hotels.

"This is the fastest-growing sport in the country, yet most people don't even know we exist," Stenersen said. "That's part of our challenge - raising public awareness of our sport."

U.S. Lacrosse estimates that a move to Harbor Point would cost at least $25 million. It is asking the state for two $3.75 million grants - one in the next fiscal year, the other in 2009. The organization would raise the rest privately.

Clarence Bishop, acting deputy secretary of Maryland's Department of Business and Economic Development, said the state will consider the request.

"It's certainly something we should embrace and look at seriously," he said, adding that being able to boast a sport's governing body is "a big deal" for a city or state. "It's a pretty interesting proposal. The question that has to be asked is whether or not it's the highest and best use for the site they're interested in."

Days ago, Baltimore Development Corp. President M.J. "Jay" Brodie sent a letter to Gov. Martin O'Malley urging him to find money in the budget for the proposed lacrosse center. "State support is vital," Brodie wrote. "Without it ... there is a real chance the National Lacrosse Center will move outside of Maryland. We must not let this happen! Can we count on your support?"

U.S. Lacrosse would also need subsidies from Baltimore - possibly in the form of tax breaks, Stenersen said.

The project seems to have support from city officials.

Andy Frank, deputy mayor for neighborhoods and economic development, said that having the lacrosse organization and its Hall of Fame at Harbor Point would be a great attraction for the city but officials will have to see whether a subsidy makes financial sense.

"We'd love to position ourselves as being the lacrosse capital of the world," he said. "If in fact there was a justification for closing a [financial] gap, I would imagine we'd look favorably at that."

City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's spokesman, Shaun E. Adamec, said: "U.S. Lacrosse is an important part of the city's heritage, and she is certainly in support of any assistance the city can offer to ensure that they remain that way."

The last time Baltimore played host to the NCAA Division I lacrosse championship, in 2004, it brought in an estimated $15 million, with 40,000 people in town for the event, according to the Baltimore Area Convention & Visitors Association.

When the championships return this Memorial Day, BACVA Executive Director Thomas J. Noonan expects even more attendees, more booked hotel rooms and more money coming into the city. He says that having the lacrosse center so close to downtown would help the city land more of those tournaments.

"It would help us long term in bringing those matches," he said. "Baltimore will become known as the natural home of lacrosse. That's the message that would come across."
The lacrosse organization is growing as fast as the sport it advocates. In 1998, when several lacrosse associations merged to form the group, it had a dozen employees, an annual budget of just over $1 million and 20,000 members.





Now it is 215,000 members strong, with an $11 million budget and 50 employees - all bursting at the seams of their cramped offices on University Parkway.

A site at Harbor Point wouldn't be ready for at least a few years.

Lawrence J. White, development director for Struever Bros., Eccles & Rouse, the company developing the former AlliedSignal chromium plant along with John Paterakis Sr.'s H&S Properties, said yesterday that the firm plans to break ground for the first office building in May.

That building, for Morgan Stanley, is expected to be completed by the spring of 2009. The sprawling $725 million project eventually is to include nearly 2 million square feet of offices, homes, hotels and retail space.

The U.S. Lacrosse portion of the project would come in the second or third phase - after condominiums, apartments, parking garages and other offices are built. Its playing fields would fit into the area's other outdoor amenities - such as a mile-long promenade along the water's edge, a big, grassy park and an ice rink.

"It's a world-class site," Stenersen said. "We'd be moving to an area of the city that's just on fire."

Stenersen said that if he's unable to get a financial commitment from the state and the city within 90 days, the organization would have to look at other sites - possibly outside Maryland.

Harbor Point, he said, is what he really wants, his first choice.

"It is fitting for this quintessential Maryland sport to have its home in downtown Maryland," said Downtown Partnership President Kirby Fowler. "Lacrosse is in Maryland's blood."



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All for a city that just lost it's very own MLL team.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 11:54 AM   #1244
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Panel OKs high-rise in Canton
Planning Commission endorses 23-story tower over objections from area residents

By Laura McCandlish
sun reporter
Originally published February 23, 2007
The Baltimore Planning Commission gave its blessing last night to a waterfront high-rise proposed in Canton - a 23-story condominium/retail project that has alarmed community leaders who fear the tower will obstruct harbor views and bring traffic and overdevelopment to the thriving neighborhood.
The 4-1 vote endorsing the plan came at a crowded public meeting in the city planning office, where commission members and city planners said the Icon tower would expand Baltimore's tax base as a waterfront destination that could promote citywide economic development.


The vote included approval of a master plan for Canton's Boston-Lakewood section, amending height restrictions and development limits for the waterfront site.

Though absent from the meeting, City Councilman James B. Kraft, who represents Canton, and Mayor Sheila Dixon sent messages of opposition to the major land-use amendments that Dixon had introduced in her last days as City Council president.

"We were encouraged to think big, to come up with something that would really complete the transformation of the Lighthouse Point site," said Marco Greenberg, vice president of Cignal Corp., the tower's developer. "The goals of the Boston-Lakewood planning process became the goals of this project."

The 240-foot glassy tower would spring up on what is now a Lighthouse Point parking lot, creating 160 condos on top of a five-story parking garage and about 30,000 square feet of Main Street-like retail space for shops and restaurants.

No additional office space would be created at Lighthouse Point, a factor that would limit the influx of traffic on Boston Street, city planners said.

The amendments would also permit Cignal Corp. to widen the waterfront promenade by 10 feet in front of the tower.

The recommendations - which need City Council approval - would grant Cignal what is called a "major amendment" to Lighthouse Point's "planned unit development." That would allow the company to build more than the city had originally allotted to the site's original developer in the 1980s.

For nearly two years, longtime Canton residents have decried the proposed tower as a "sore thumb." It would violate historic development plans, obscure waterfront views and worsen the heavy traffic of Boston Street, they said. They also wondered whether condominiums would sell in a cooling housing market.

"I think the city planning department has failed us," said Pat Gillease, a Canton Square resident since 1987 and president of her homeowners' association. "I've yet to see anything in writing to acknowledge our concerns. They've stacked the deck against the homeowners."

The public outcry prompted Cignal Corp. to scale back its plans, cutting out a 150-room hotel and townhouses, and reducing the tower's originally proposed height by 55 feet.

But Icon fans outnumbered opponents at the commission meeting. Young professionals crave more waterfront development there, said Dana Ellenberger, 25, a structural engineer trying to purchase a rowhouse in Canton.

Baltimore needs more of these visual markers to truly restore its place among the great cities, said Leigh Ratiner, a resident and president of the Northshore at Canton townhouse community.

"It is a city, not Canton, a blighted city on the verge of a Renaissance," Ratiner told the city officials. "And that city will only gain respect through development of a skyline. From Rio de Janeiro to Hong Kong, it's the skyline that makes the city."

The project would increase the city's tax base by nearly $2.5 million a year, said City Councilwoman Rochelle "Rikki" Spector, the council's commission representative.

Only commission member Shirley Williams, a Canton resident and deputy city public works director, voted in opposition.

City planners have recommended another major building on the Tindeco parking lot, which adjoins the Lighthouse Point site. But the Tindeco site's developers claimed unfair treatment last night, saying the commission was "spot zoning" for the Icon project.



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Old February 23rd, 2007, 11:56 AM   #1245
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US Lacrosse wants to make a fast break to Harbor Point
JEN DEGREGORIO
Daily Record Business Writer
February 23, 2007
US Lacrosse is eyeing Baltimore’s Harbor Point, a mixed-used project planned for the site where AlliedSignal Inc. once operated a chromium plant, as the new home for its national headquarters and museum.

The sport’s governing body wants to build a $25 million National Lacrosse Center to house its administrative offices, the U.S. Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame, a 2,500-seat field and an education center for coaches and players.

US Lacrosse has outgrown its current 12,000-square-foot facility at 113 W. University Parkway, adjacent to the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus, said Steve Stenerson, the organization’s executive director.

The National Lacrosse Center would have to be about 42,000 square feet to accommodate the growing organization, which has about 50 employees and more than 220,000 members around the country, Stenerson said.

Harbor Point, with its panoramic water views and proximity to a re-emerging part of Baltimore, would be a perfect spot for such a facility, he said.

“It seems like the city center of Baltimore is actually shifting,” Stenerson said. “The success of Harbor East is just incredible.”

Baltimore developers Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse and H&S Properties Development Corp. plan to break ground this summer on Harbor Point, a sprawling development between Fells Point and Inner Harbor East. The project’s first phase would include a 275,000-square-foot office building, a 160-unit condominium tower and a 275-unit apartment tower, said H&S President Michael S. Beatty. All told, the $720 million Harbor Point project could include two hotels, a public park and more than 1.5 million square feet of residential and commercial space.

The National Lacrosse Center would come in the project’s second phase. But US Lacrosse, which is still negotiating with the developers, first needs a grant and other funding from the city and state before it can commit to Harbor Point, Stenerson said. US Lacrosse also plans to launch a funding campaign that would seek donations from lacrosse enthusiasts around the country.

“We’re looking for the state or city to provide a significant chunk of that $25 million,” Stenerson said. “We’re very much engrossed in those discussions both in Annapolis and in Baltimore City.”

It is unclear how much money the city or state would chip in. M.J. “Jay” Brodie, president of the Baltimore Development Corp., did not return phone calls Thursday seeking comment.

“Our goal is for this to be a city and state resource, as well as a national resource,” Stenerson said. “We see it as a vibrant location that could combine national games and events with local games and events.”

US Lacrosse has been searching for a new home for about 18 months. The organization wants to stay in Baltimore, but would consider moving outside the state.

“We’re a very national organization and we have a very national board of directors,” Stenerson said.

However, the organization, which was founded in 1998, has loyalty to Maryland, he said.

Beatty said scoring US Lacrosse as a resident at Harbor Point would be a big win for his project and the city’s economic future.

“The center is a great public use, and it’s a great thing for Maryland and Baltimore,” he said.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 11:59 AM   #1246
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World Trade Center nearly half empty
(Chris Ammann/Baltimore Examiner)
An unoccupied floor of the World Trade Center in Baltimore boasts a view of the Inner Harbor. Printer Friendly | PDF | Email | digg
Rita Chappelle, The Examiner
Read more by Rita Chappelle
Feb 23, 2007 3:00 AM (1 hr 56 mins ago)
Current rank: # 79 of 17,287 articles

BALTIMORE - Once the crown jewel in Maryland’s economic development projects, the World Trade Center in Baltimore's Inner Harbor sits nearly 50 percent vacant as it struggles to attract and retain tenants.


“Since we recently decided not to sell the property we have not formulated any plans yet for marketing it,” said Erin Henson, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Transportation, which owns the site. “We hope to put a marketing strategy in place within the next 60 to 90 days.”

In 1977, the World Trade Center opened with much fanfare and high expectations that it would connect Maryland businesses to the global economy and be leased predominantly to international firms doing business with the state or operating out of the Port of Baltimore. But today, the site houses more law firms and temporary agencies than international companies, and even those numbers are dwindling.

“Clearly, the World Trade Center has not met its goals,” said local economist Anirban Basu, chairman and chief executive officer of the Sage Policy Group.

With more than 300,000 square feet of space and 31 floors with sweeping views of the Inner Harbor, the tower has yet to be the international business magnet officials had promised in its 30 years in existence.

“Is Baltimore as globally connected as it should be? The answer to that is no. Other markets like Cincinnati have more of a global presence than Baltimore, and part of that problem is due to the lack of nonstop international flights from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to Europe. If Baltimore can successfully market itself as an international place to do business, then tenancy rates will increase,” said Basu.

MDOT will be looking to the state’s newly appointed secretary of Business and Economic Development, David Edgerely, to help with marketing the site.

“We know we have to map out a game plan to position, develop and market the building, and we are in the very early stages of that process,” Henson said.

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An unoccupied floor of the World Trade Center in Baltimore boasts a view of the Inner Harbor.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 02:05 PM   #1247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
Panel OKs high-rise in Canton
Planning Commission endorses 23-story tower over objections from area residents

By Laura McCandlish
sun reporter
Originally published February 23, 2007
i bet fellow Cantonian & City Councilman James B. Kraft is PISSED about this.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 04:28 PM   #1248
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Glad to hear about the Icon. Here's another rendering that I don't recall seeing before. Is the development on the right of the rendering already in existence? If so, what is it?

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Old February 23rd, 2007, 04:43 PM   #1249
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And the quote of the year goes to...

Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenW View Post


But Icon fans outnumbered opponents at the commission meeting. Young professionals crave more waterfront development there, said Dana Ellenberger, 25, a structural engineer trying to purchase a rowhouse in Canton.

Baltimore needs more of these visual markers to truly restore its place among the great cities, said Leigh Ratiner, a resident and president of the Northshore at Canton townhouse community.

"It is a city, not Canton, a blighted city on the verge of a Renaissance," Ratiner told the city officials. "And that city will only gain respect through development of a skyline. From Rio de Janeiro to Hong Kong, it's the skyline that makes the city."
Did anybody else notice the above, sounds like something some of us would say? Were any of you there?

It's quotes like these that give me goose bumps. Somebody understands the importance of development and highrise buildings. They're like a first impression.

The NIMBYs have reigned for too long, getting their voice heard above all others. A revolution is coming!
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Last edited by Silver Springer; February 23rd, 2007 at 04:49 PM.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 04:50 PM   #1250
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How far will the ICON tower be from 1st Mariner Tower?

At the rate we're going we could end up with 3 skylines!
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 04:53 PM   #1251
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How far will the ICON tower be from 1st Mariner Tower?

At the rate we're going we could end up with 3 skylines!
Or you could say one long one.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 05:49 PM   #1252
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Baltimore and Maryland needs to do what it can to keep US Lacrosse here. I understand lacorosse isnt a WIDLY popular sport, but its ours. MLL left the city for Towson and then left the area all together for Washington (which couldnt give two shits about lacrosse...not like Baltimore does)

A museum and adminitrative offices would be a great addition to Harbor Point.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 05:56 PM   #1253
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
World Trade Center nearly half empty

“Since we recently decided not to sell the property we have not formulated any plans yet for marketing it,” said Erin Henson, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Transportation, which owns the site. “We hope to put a marketing strategy in place within the next 60 to 90 days.”
I was wondering what happened to that sale.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 05:59 PM   #1254
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Springer View Post
Did anybody else notice the above, sounds like something some of us would say? Were any of you there?

It's quotes like these that give me goose bumps. Somebody understands the importance of development and highrise buildings. They're like a first impression.

The NIMBYs have reigned for too long, getting their voice heard above all others. A revolution is coming!
HaHa I was going to say the same thing. I think StevenW drove up from SC!
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 06:09 PM   #1255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waj0527 View Post
Baltimore and Maryland needs to do what it can to keep US Lacrosse here. I understand lacorosse isnt a WIDLY popular sport, but its ours. MLL left the city for Towson and then left the area all together for Washington (which couldnt give two shits about lacrosse...not like Baltimore does)

A museum and adminitrative offices would be a great addition to Harbor Point.
I agree. From the article the city seems tentative on this matter. They should jump at this opportunity. Any other city would be glad to snatch the museum. I wouldn't be surpised to another location to bid for this. The Lacross museum is not asking for much committment. The payoff to the city would be enormous.

People came up with the support to save the Senator, which still does not have long-term financial security. That civic pride needs to support this endeavor. This museum would be another gem for the inner harbor area. Lacross is gaining rapidly, the museum would attact visitors to the city in its own right. This will payoff in additional hotel stays and support for businesses in the area.

Please don't let this opportunit slip away.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 06:18 PM   #1256
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Quote:
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Glad to hear about the Icon. Here's another rendering that I don't recall seeing before. Is the development on the right of the rendering already in existence? If so, what is it?

the development on the right isn't there yet. it's going to be a 2-story building. i think this is the retail component of the ICON project.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 06:21 PM   #1257
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Still no banner for Baltimore?
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 06:24 PM   #1258
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Quote:
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I agree. From the article the city seems tentative on this matter. They should jump at this opportunity. Any other city would be glad to snatch the museum. I wouldn't be surpised to another location to bid for this. The Lacross museum is not asking for much committment. The payoff to the city would be enormous.

People came up with the support to save the Senator, which still does not have long-term financial security. That civic pride needs to support this endeavor. This museum would be another gem for the inner harbor area. Lacross is gaining rapidly, the museum would attact visitors to the city in its own right. This will payoff in additional hotel stays and support for businesses in the area.

Please don't let this opportunit slip away.
Yeah, better watch out for NY, NJ, or NoVa cause I'm sure theyd jump on the opportunity too. Baltimore = Lacrosse.

Not only do we have the championships this year, we've also got the kick-off weekend featuring Hopkins, Syracuse, Princeton, and Virginia.. with a weekend like that, there're sure to be some people here trying to entice the powers that be to move out of MD.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 09:32 PM   #1259
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Quote:
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the development on the right isn't there yet. it's going to be a 2-story building. i think this is the retail component of the ICON project.
Pretty sure that's the shopping center with the Blockbuster that most certainly already exists. It has the lighthouse at the end of the row that you can see in the background. Maybe they are going to update the facade on the end, but that still seems kinda strange because they are redoing parts of that shopping center right now.
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 09:36 PM   #1260
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Harbor Point Office Space

We live in a free society and capitalistic where developers can develop, provided they comply with zoning, environment, and planning ( ). But I sure which the City had the power to delay the Harbor Point office construction of some 275,000 SF.

Given our not-too-tight vacancy rate downtown, I'd hate to see more downward pressure on prices and viability of place on otherwise quality office spcace. The fact that Ehrlich MDOT messed up the WTC management doesn't help either.

From a planners perspective, I think he/she would say "let's wait" on HP. The suburban metantality is one of new next thing, new strip malls supercede old ones leaving them to rot. The new ones were built not because there was unmet demand, but because the "new" factor would be attractive. The developer would make money, and syphon-off the profits of older, but still fully functional malls.

Commercial retail space tends to follow this patter, although housing markets do the same with different results, where popular areas get built up with new space before renovation of old space in abandoned neighborhoods that then spreads to the weak areas as the market tightens in the hot areas.

I think it works in housing and (my contention) it doesn't work in commercial/retail is that housing is always headed up because of the perpetual growth we've experienced. The economy doesn't have this, and excess commercial space can cause more problems, esp. with places like downtowns, which are more unique and singular in a given metro area.

Anyway, I reitterate my Detroit, Renaissance Center example....

Nate
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