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Old March 7th, 2007, 05:45 AM   #1641
waj0527
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I really appriciate UMB's aggresive improvement strategy.

That studen t center was in serious need of updating. Did the rendering look any good? Was it progressive a la MICA's Brown Center or is it more brick?

Was a new plaza included?
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Old March 7th, 2007, 05:50 AM   #1642
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It pretty much is, but I just ignore ignorance.
Well don't look in the mirror.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 05:51 AM   #1643
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That's bull
Oh is that right Mouth Of Mud.............
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Old March 7th, 2007, 06:13 AM   #1644
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I think Baltimore would be well-served and would gain us more notoriety if Sheppard Pratt expanded in NoVa, or possibly extend further south in N. Carolina and create a giant regional presence, like Johns Hopkins.

Nate
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Old March 7th, 2007, 06:56 AM   #1645
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^The HST is a 110-115 year old shallow structure built through soft earth, with brick/stone arches constructed with primitive engineering techniques compared to today. If it is abandoned, without regular maintenence, it will eventually collapse. The B&P tunnels are much worse at this moment.Nate
Thats a big if. I have heard of no plans for CSX to abandon the property. They simply do not have a better NE route.

The tunnel was finished in 1895. It was built though loose sand and hard clay and is supported by 5-8 rings of bricks. Remember it survived the tunnel fire with reletively little damage. The bottom of the tunnel is concreate. While not easy it has become common for RR to lower the bottom of tunnels to increase height for more freight it could be done here.

If the state feels that losing a direct through line to its major port will cause to much economic pain they could help fund a rebuilding. This has happened in several states, Mass with the Hoosac tunnel and Pa with the old Pensy mainline.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 07:27 AM   #1646
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Legg's move to harbor gives water taxi time for dry run
Baltimore Business Journal - March 2, 2007
by Stephanie Wentworth
Staff

Christopher Myers | Contributor
Cameron Kane says the water taxi wants to expand its commuter service.
View Larger

Baltimore's well-known water taxi is trying to build a seasonal commuter service in anticipation of Legg Mason's move to Harbor East in 2009.

But creating a profitable commuter haul on top of its tourist business will take government funding, said Cameron Kane, owner of Ed Kane's Water Taxi. Kane is working with city officials to garner support for a commuter service that has attracted only a few patrons in the past. She plans to increase her fleet and expand service before Legg moves nearly 1,000 jobs to a 24-story office tower next to the harbor.

"We're getting ready for the needs of the waterfront," she said.

That's not a process that can be done overnight, Kane said. The taxi company is trying to build a transit infrastructure. To do that, Kane said she would need three more boats a year for the next three years. A midsize water taxi that seats 84 passengers costs $300,000.

With more boats and money to pay for additional captains, Kane said the water taxi would run commuter routes more frequently.

The taxi started offering a commuter boat from Canton to Tide Point three years ago. But the service only mustered four regular customers -- and one of them moved away, Kane said.

The often-empty commuter boat left Canton every morning at 8 a.m. last year. Each trip to Tide Point cost the company $300 per day for fuel, staff salaries, insurance and maintenance expenses. The handful of regular commuters paid $80 a year for a "frequent floater" pass and then paid an additional $3 per trip for their morning commutes.

The federal government allotted $180 million to subsidize water-based transit in 2007. Most of that money goes to large ferry operations like the ones in San Francisco and Seattle.

But $30 million is reserved for smaller projects, like the water taxi. The budget is expected to swell 7 percent to 10 percent next year, said transit expert Barry Goodman, president of the Goodman Corp., a Houston consulting firm.
I work in Tide Point and I lived in Fells Point for a while. I tried taking the water taxi but to be honest it wasn't convenient at all. It either left too early or too late and it would take this totally circuitous route around the harbor from Fells...stopping at both the inner harbor and Harborview of all places (as if those people take public transportation...they practically gated themselves in) anyway, it was really inconvenient and took a half-hour to get there. Let's face it, it's no ferry. it's basically a glorified tour boat. More boats would definitely help. More importantly they should rearrange their schedule and routes to better serve commuters. It will never gain popularity as a real method of dependable transportation in its current state.

Last edited by MountVEE; March 7th, 2007 at 07:40 AM.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 07:29 AM   #1647
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Can't lower floor of HST!

Subway tunnel cuts below it at Baltimore! I also believe the HST veers off Howard St slightly near Symphony Center where development sits atop.

They certainly have no plans to abandon the property until they get that cross-harbor tunnel. Then, they've got no reason to keep the freight inferior HST and Belt Line, they've no customers there anymore that I know of. That Belt land is better used as redevelopment and TOD for alignments of new transit lines.

Nate
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Old March 7th, 2007, 07:31 AM   #1648
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I think Baltimore would be well-served and would gain us more notoriety if Sheppard Pratt expanded in NoVa, or possibly extend further south in N. Carolina and create a giant regional presence, like Johns Hopkins.

Nate
Now what can NOVA, NC, and ATL give Baltimore in return???????????????
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Old March 7th, 2007, 07:38 AM   #1649
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I work in Tide Point and I lived in Fells Point for a while. I tried taking the water taxi but to be honest it wasn't convenient at all. It either left too early or too late and it would take this totally circuitous route around the harbor from Fells...stopping at both the inner harbor and Harborview of all places (as if those people take public transportation...they practically gated themselves in) anyway, it was really inconvenient and took a half-hour to get there. Let's face it, it's no ferry. it's basically a tourist-driven tour boat.
My townhouse is at Harborview and I do take the water taxi (during warmer months) when going to Fells Point and Little Italy, or sometimes on the return trip from the Inner Harbor pavillions after walking over there. It's easier than dealing with traffic and parking. I don't work by the water, so I cannot use it to commute. BTW, we don't have a gate. It was promised, but I've been here going on six years and it's still not here.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 08:00 AM   #1650
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Now what can NOVA, NC, and ATL give Baltimore in return???????????????
I'm pretty sure he was joking around just to incite some sort of crazed rant in response from you.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 08:40 AM   #1651
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Developments I'm curious about:

Greektown KSI team and all...

Canton Crossing Condos/apartments office building...

One Light Street..., yeah, I know.

BCCC site with it's high-rise proposal...


Anything new on 300 East Pratt Street...

The whole, "New Arena Rumor Thingy"...

Has there already been a proposal?
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Old March 7th, 2007, 12:01 PM   #1652
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Well, perhaps proposal was an inaccurate word. More like suggestion.
They were basicaly "shopping" the idea. And they had some very possitive feedback about it. Usually, some developer jumps on that opportunity as an invitation of some sort. Plus, I really like the idea of a high-rise on that spot intergrating the BCCC there as well, obviously.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 12:02 PM   #1653
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City girds for slowdown
Surplus expected to shrink as revenues decline

By John Fritze
Sun reporter
Originally published March 7, 2007

Baltimore's rosy finances, which have allowed the city to spend millions of extra dollars on school construction and children's programs, appear to be slowing down, an indication that the softer real estate market is catching up with City Hall.

The city is projecting a $7.8 million surplus for the current fiscal year, a significant drop from the $61 million surplus expected about the corresponding time last year.

Property tax revenue is coming in slightly below estimates, and other real estate taxes, such as recordation and transfer taxes, are also expected to decline.

Though the numbers indicate that the city is still on a strong financial footing, any drop in revenues will almost certainly play into this year's discussion about reducing the property tax rate, Maryland's highest. Revenue declines might also have implications for this year's election as Mayor Sheila Dixon drafts her administration's first budget.

"Things have leveled off. But I think what's important to note is that we have billions now in the pipeline, and it's really keeping the momentum going," Dixon said, referring to a number of major development projects under way. "We've got to do more, cutting back on city government and dealing with the overtime and the Police Department."

At a budget presentation to a City Council committee this week, Raymond S. Wacks, the city's budget chief, said Baltimore expects to collect about $104.9 million in recordation and transfer taxes in the current fiscal year, about $11.8 million less than in the previous year. Property tax revenue, which the city estimates will bring in about $590 million this fiscal year, would climb nearly 7 percent.

"We've been living these past couple of years through the best of times," said Wacks, who has been warning for more than a year that the real estate boom that was boosting the city's coffers would not last forever.

"One of the main drivers of our surplus has disappeared; that's the transfer tax. The others, while they're still there, are coming in at a lower level than they did in the past few years."

Revenue from Baltimore's local income tax appears to be exceeding earlier expectations and might be higher than in the previous fiscal year. Wacks attributes that in part to capital gains realized by real estate investors. The city projects $227 million in income tax revenue, up from $225.5 million the year before.

Several council members expressed skepticism that the city will post only a $7.8 million surplus and noted that the finance department sets its expectations low to be fiscally conservative.

A separate analysis prepared by the City Council staff found that the city has collected nearly $50 million more in taxes than it had at the corresponding point the year before.

"I respect their opinions and their analysis, but I feel they're being a little bit on the conservative side," said City Council Vice President Robert W. Curran. "I would hope there would be more than $7 million to deal with after-school programs, children's programs and one-time capital improvements."

Either way, the council appears to be gearing up for another showdown on police spending, a repeat of what has occurred in the past several years because the department has vastly exceeded its overtime budget. The finance department estimates that the police will spend $17.5 million to $23.8 million more than expected on overtime. The city had budgeted about $8.7 million for police overtime for the entire year.

Police officials have argued in the past that the money is needed to step up enforcement in high-crime areas, especially given the department's high vacancy rate. Others contend that because the department is consistently over its budget, the need for extra money should be anticipated.

"It just doesn't sit well with me," said City Councilman Bernard C. "Jack" Young, the budget committee's chairman. "I have not seen the crime drop in my district."

In April, Mayor Martin O'Malley announced that the city would realize a $61 million surplus and that the extra money would be spent on school construction and renovation, and on after-school programs.

This year, Dixon made no commitment to a 2-cent reduction in the property tax rate, which O'Malley had promised would be made every year for five years. Instead, Dixon created a panel to recommend more significant tax reductions. Because that panel's recommendations are not due until after the Sept. 11 primary election, it is unclear whether the tax rate would be cut in next year's budget.



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Old March 7th, 2007, 12:18 PM   #1654
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MountVEE View Post
I work in Tide Point and I lived in Fells Point for a while. I tried taking the water taxi but to be honest it wasn't convenient at all. It either left too early or too late and it would take this totally circuitous route around the harbor from Fells...stopping at both the inner harbor and Harborview of all places (as if those people take public transportation...they practically gated themselves in) anyway, it was really inconvenient and took a half-hour to get there. Let's face it, it's no ferry. it's basically a glorified tour boat. More boats would definitely help. More importantly they should rearrange their schedule and routes to better serve commuters. It will never gain popularity as a real method of dependable transportation in its current state.
Welcome to the Forum. Please post often.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 03:42 PM   #1655
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Cordish just won a $1.3 billion payout from the Seminole Indians. Perhaps they can put that money to good use here in Baltimore
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Old March 7th, 2007, 05:11 PM   #1656
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Why does dude compare Baltimore with those southern cities instead of cities in this region. Baltimore is not part of the southeastern region also Baltimore is coming up?
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Old March 7th, 2007, 05:28 PM   #1657
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My townhouse is at Harborview and I do take the water taxi (during warmer months) when going to Fells Point and Little Italy, or sometimes on the return trip from the Inner Harbor pavillions after walking over there. It's easier than dealing with traffic and parking. I don't work by the water, so I cannot use it to commute. BTW, we don't have a gate. It was promised, but I've been here going on six years and it's still not here.
Do you own Barista by any chance? The name made me think...
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Old March 7th, 2007, 08:21 PM   #1658
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Why does dude compare Baltimore with those southern cities instead of cities in this region. Baltimore is not part of the southeastern region also Baltimore is coming up?
I know. I don't understand some people's obsession with cities like Atlanta and Charlotte. If you've ever been to those places you'll notice that, other than their new somewhat generic high-rise buidings, they have no real urban fabric or street life. They're downtowns mostly consist of these clusters of really tall buildings surrounded by brutal, windswept, hardscape plazas, or even worse, parking lots. They're mostly for built for show as you're driving through the city at 70 mph on the interstate (the most common method of travel). Other than that, you have really low density single-use development, criss-crossed by 8-lane highways and separated by vast swaths of "no-mans land" kind of spaces. Quaint urban neighborhoods of any substance are seriously lacking, and for me, those are the kind of places that I want to live in. Not to mention that they're completely landlocked. Anyway, I should know since that's exactly why I moved to Baltimore from the southeast...and I'm supposedly part of the highly coveted "young creative class" that every city's been clamouring for lately.

Atlanta? Charlotte? Nashville?

NO THANKS. You can keep 'em.

Last edited by MountVEE; March 7th, 2007 at 08:44 PM.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 08:29 PM   #1659
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hmmm...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Javalady1 View Post
My townhouse is at Harborview and I do take the water taxi (during warmer months) when going to Fells Point and Little Italy, or sometimes on the return trip from the Inner Harbor pavillions after walking over there. It's easier than dealing with traffic and parking. I don't work by the water, so I cannot use it to commute. BTW, we don't have a gate. It was promised, but I've been here going on six years and it's still not here.
The real question is, why would you want a gate? Real cities don't work that way. It upsets me that that development has turned it's back so whole-heartedly on the street. And besides, who are you trying to keep out? Federal Hill residents?
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Old March 7th, 2007, 08:41 PM   #1660
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Welcome to the Forum. Please post often.
Thanks!....will do (and I just did). Anyway, I've been reading these boards for a while now and I was finally ready to start participating.
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