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Old March 7th, 2010, 02:46 PM   #6121
Tricia_Lvs_Baltimore
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Originally Posted by MtVernator View Post
It would be great if Anderson stays. Walmart is bad for the small business in the area.
I disagree with this. With all the home renovations not just in the Huntingdon area, but throughout the CITY, Lowes and Walmart is exactly what is needed. With all the proposed developments in Port Covington, I really don't see the Wal-Mart in Port Covington lasting another 5 years.
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Old March 7th, 2010, 03:31 PM   #6122
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Which one? The Exxon station at Howard and 25th? The CVS, Hollywood Video, or Safeway at Charles and 25th? The Subway at St. Paul and 25th? There are exactly zero Mom and Pop stores carrying the same sort of clothes, electronics, and housewares Wal-Mart trades in within at least a couple miles of its proposed location. Lowe's may present a challenge to local hardware stores, but the answer is: offer better service.
I'm definitely in agreement with this. The only real business the Walmart will steal is from the Walmarts in the suburbs (where city residents like myself have to trek whenever we need staple items). These types of developments are key to getting more people into the city. There aren't any small businesses in the area that compete.
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Old March 7th, 2010, 09:31 PM   #6123
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Originally Posted by MtVernator View Post
It would be great if Anderson stays. Walmart is bad for the small business in the area.
In addition to the arguments above, I think having these two retail behemoths smack in the center of the city will do much more to encorage development and renovation in the surrounding neighborhoods. The sudden availability of a wide array of affordable home improvement goods in the area should make homeowners that were putting off projects or not doing needed repairs finally get off the fence and get things done. Add to that the array of helpful how-to guides and sales personnel, and you basically have these companies actively pushing people to renovate and improve their homes. I can think of nothing more positive than bringing these formerly suburban amenities to the heart of the city, giving Baltimoreans less reason to covet their neighbors in the surrounding counties. Add to that the jobs, tax revenue and physical investment into the city, and it makes for a win-win situation.

If you ask me, it's a hell of a lot better than a sprawling car dealership...
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Old March 7th, 2010, 10:17 PM   #6124
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Judge: Developer owes $1M for stalled Washington Hill project
Posted: 7:53 pm Fri, March 5, 2010
By Robbie Whelan
Daily Record Business Writer


Developer David Holmes wanted to turn this 3-acre parcel of land near Johns Hopkins Hospital into 450 luxury apartments and a 30,000-square-foot upscale grocery.
A U.S. District Court Judge has ruled that Baltimore developer David Holmes must pay back a $1 million deposit laid out by a Dallas-based firm in connection with The Gateway at Washington Hill, a stalled residential and retail project near Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Holmes has had trouble finding financing for the project, and said Friday that he is focusing on other efforts in Baltimore.

The proposed $230 million development would have brought 450 luxury apartments and a 30,000-square-foot upscale grocery to a prime lot just south of Johns Hopkins Hospital and just north of Fells Point. The 3-acre parcel is bounded by East Fayette Street, East Baltimore Street, North Wolfe Street and North Washington Street.

In a ruling in favor of JLB Partners LP, Judge Benson E. Legg wrote that the “case arises from a real estate deal gone sour,” and said that because JLB had not breached contract in any way, Holmes’ company, Capital Development LLC, must repay $1 million in earnest money that JLB committed to the deal.

Holmes has had a planned unit development agreement, a zoning bill approved by the city, on the property since 2004, and in 2007 he began marketing the site for sale through commercial broker CB Richard Ellis. Holmes said Friday that the site was never actually for sale — he was just looking for a joint venture partner to help him find financing.

In June 2008, according to court documents, JLB entered into a $20.4 million contract with Holmes’ company to buy two parcels of city-owned land on the Washington Hill site, but soon after, JLB found that the parcels were subject to a city land disposition agreement requiring that a builder could only have 30 dwelling units per acre — and that 6 percent of those had to be affordable housing.

JLB objected to these limitations, according to court documents, and wanted to build a denser project, with 60 units per acre. Its sale contract stipulated that if Homes didn’t remove the limitations from the contract, JLB could walk away from the deal within 45 days. Holmes was unable to get out of his requirements to the city, the court order says, so JLB pulled out.

“It’s a great project, a great site. It’s just we got caught in the downturn at JLB and we had to cancel the project from our point of view,” said Graham Brock, a regional director with JLB. “It’s just not possible to have a successful project there today. It’s not possibly to have a bank loan of that size.”

Holmes gave a similar account of the history of the deal Friday, saying that JLB was primarily an investment partner, but that the firm was hit hard by the economic downturn and couldn’t afford to invest in the project.

“They were a development partner that couldn’t get financing. It was really that simple,” Holmes said. “The market collapsed and we went our separate ways.”

In the meantime, Holmes said, he has been focusing on the Marketplace at Fells Point, a $52 million retail and residential project in the 600 block of South Broadway. That project recently received $8 million in federal stimulus bond funds.

“[Washington Hill] was a parcel that was always going to be developed later on. We went through a legislative process and then put it on the back burner,” Holmes said. “We haven’t really been focusing on it. It’s still an important site, and it’s important to get it developed. I do plan on reaching back out to a development partner, to bring a developer on board.”

He added that he plans to appeal Thursday’s judgment ordering him to pay the $1 million to JLB.

Brock, of JLB, said it was unlikely that his company would partner with Holmes again on the project. The recession has since forced his company to pull out of several other projects, he said, including a $45 million apartment project in the 1900 block of South Charles Street in Federal Hill, and JLB does not have any active investments in the Baltimore area.

Plus, he said, working with Holmes again would just be awkward.

“I view it just as a disagreement between two developers. It happens all the time,” he said. “But usually when you sue somebody, you don’t get back in bed with them that quickly.”

http://mddailyrecord.com/2010/03/05/...-hill-project/
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Old March 7th, 2010, 10:27 PM   #6125
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Marketplace at Fells Point







http://www.marketplaceatfellspoint.com/index.html

Hopefully this project is moving along now that it has federal stimulus funds to work with... anyone have any recent updates?
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Old March 7th, 2010, 11:22 PM   #6126
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the status for the fells point project is still the same. it's scheduled to start later on this year, so we'll see what happens...
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Old March 8th, 2010, 12:03 AM   #6127
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i was taking a look at today's banner and it's a building i'm very familiar with. it's a picture of the michigan central train station in detroit. it has 500,000 square feet and is 18 stories tall.




it ceased operations in 1988 and the detroit city council wants to tear it down. my question to tearing it down is "why???" i don't think detroit truly see the jewel that they have in this building.

i say all this to say that baltimore would do wonders with a building like this. i would love to see it renovated and put on the gateway site (where slots are supposed to go). the "look" of this building has slots parlor with a hotel written all over it. buildings like these are really hard to come by nowadays. i look at what arcwheeler did with the b&o railroad building and it's beautiful!

couldn't we give the city of detroit a couple million dollars and have this building airlifted here?

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Old March 8th, 2010, 01:01 AM   #6128
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http://www.baltimoresun.com/business...,1063495.story

New plan puts garage mostly below ground
Proposed structure would have 12 levels, mechanical lifts and no ramps
Redesigned garage




By Edward Gunts | ed.gunts@baltsun.com

March 6, 2010


After encountering strong opposition to a plan to build an 80-foot-high parking garage next to Old St. Paul's Rectory in Baltimore, developer David Hillman is now proposing to bury most of the garage underground.

Hillman and architect Peter Fillat are scheduled next week to present a new plan for a 12-level garage to Baltimore's Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel. The property at 18 W. Saratoga St., part of the Central Business District urban renewal area, once contained a house owned by university and hospital founder Johns Hopkins.

The big design change from previous designs for the garage, Hillman said, is that most of the structure would be below street level and not visible to neighbors or passers-by. The portion above ground would rise about 35 feet, including the entrance and a partially vegetated "green roof." The project would have slightly fewer than 400 parking spaces and cost $10 million to $15 million.

The garage has been described as "automated" or "robotic" because it would be built without ramps, leaving more room to park cars. Vehicles would be transported to and from parking spaces within the structure by mechanical lifts, and the walls have been designed with no windows because people would not go inside.

Hillman, who heads Southern Management Corp. in Vienna, Va., said the garage would still have the equipment that would move cars to parking spaces without the need for ramps. But instead of lifting cars to upper levels, he said, the equipment would take cars to spaces below ground. The design no longer includes 19 south-facing apartments.

Hillman's previous plans drew opposition from neighbors concerned that an 80-foot-tall building would dwarf the neighboring three-story rectory, a historic landmark that houses the headquarters of Preservation Maryland, and would block other buildings' views. Neighbors also expressed concerns that the garage would cause traffic congestion along Saratoga Street.

Hillman said he already has bought the equipment for the automated garage and that it was his son Richard's idea to install the "lifts" so they take cars down to park rather than up. He said contractors would need to dig 50 feet below street level to fit all 12 levels in, and that patrons won't actually drive their vehicles to the spaces. "The cars are in a vault, basically," Hillman said.

Tyler Gearhart, executive director of Preservation Maryland, and Rob Ross Hendrickson, a partner of a law firm with offices on the same block, both said Hillman's plan to build underground was an improvement over previous versions. Gearhart said he still had a few concerns about the underground garage, including its effect on traffic and the effect of excavation and construction on the rectory. Hendrickson said he'd like to see the garage rise even less than 35 feet above ground.

Gearhart added that Hillman deserves credit for saving and recycling a number of key buildings downtown for residential use, including the former Hecht's department store at Howard and Lexington streets, the former BGE headquarters at 39 W. Lexington St., and the former Standard Oil Building on St. Paul Place. "He's done good work."

Hillman, who has been working on the project for more than six years and three mayoral administrations, promised that it will fit in with the area. "It's going to be very attractive," he said. "I don't build schlock."
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Old March 8th, 2010, 01:25 AM   #6129
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Another international soccer match coming to M&T Stadium

Posted: 7:29 pm Fri, March 5, 2010
By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer

Chelsea fans cheer on their team before the start of last summer’s game at M&T Bank Stadium against AC Milan.

ANNAPOLIS — Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium has landed another multimillion dollar revenue-generating soccer match to be played this July between two high-profile European teams.

The announcement is expected shortly by the Baltimore Ravens, according to the Maryland Stadium Authority, the state agency that leases the stadium to the team.

The event will come one year after Baltimore raised its status in the soccer community by hosting a sold-out exhibition match between England’s Chelsea Football Club and Italy’s AC Milan. That game generated roughly $20 million in economic impact and caught the attention of FIFA, the governing body of international soccer.

“The vibe from the game last year was this is the place to play a match,” said Terry Hasseltine, the state’s director of sports marketing.

While he said he could not reveal the teams that will play here in Baltimore on July 25, Hasseltine said the teams will be of the same caliber as last year.

“The teams involved, it’ll be a no-brainer ticket purchase,” he said.

A spokesman for the Ravens said the team in the end stages of negotiating for the game but was not ready to reveal who would be playing.

Michael Frenz, executive director of the stadium authority, said both teams would be staying for about a week in the Baltimore area and would use the Ravens’ facility in Owings Mills for their practice.

The match would be an exhibition game and the players’ first match after many of them return from the FIFA World Cup in South Africa this June.

The event is the latest coup for M&T Bank Stadium, which recently secured the Navy-Ohio State football season opener in 2014 and is hosting Maryland vs. Navy this Labor Day weekend. Not only do games like that generate millions in spending, but the city and state also benefit from ticket sales tax revenue.

The stadium is also hosting the “Day of Rivals” lacrosse doubleheader featuring the Johns Hopkins University against the University of Maryland and Army vs. Navy this April, and the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Final Four this May.

The last time Baltimore hosted the lacrosse final four was in 2007, when it set a single-day tournament attendance record of 51,719 for the semifinals match and generated an estimated $15 million in economic impact over the three days.

Frenz said he expects Baltimore to draw more than 59,000 for the event this year.

---Great News!!! Anything that shines a positive light, and brings in millions of dollars for the city is AWESOME!!!
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Old March 8th, 2010, 02:52 AM   #6130
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Nice! I hope Barcelona F.C comes to town.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 04:49 AM   #6131
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The Army-Navy game also comes back to Baltimore in 2014, if I'm not mistaken!
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Old March 8th, 2010, 12:26 PM   #6132
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Originally Posted by PeterSmith View Post
The design no longer includes 19 south-facing apartments.
this is really a shame. so basically, we'll be going from this....




to this?





this is stupid.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 04:39 PM   #6133
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Originally Posted by CU_rak View Post
In addition to the arguments above, I think having these two retail behemoths smack in the center of the city will do much more to encorage development and renovation in the surrounding neighborhoods. The sudden availability of a wide array of affordable home improvement goods in the area should make homeowners that were putting off projects or not doing needed repairs finally get off the fence and get things done. Add to that the array of helpful how-to guides and sales personnel, and you basically have these companies actively pushing people to renovate and improve their homes. I can think of nothing more positive than bringing these formerly suburban amenities to the heart of the city, giving Baltimoreans less reason to covet their neighbors in the surrounding counties. Add to that the jobs, tax revenue and physical investment into the city, and it makes for a win-win situation.

If you ask me, it's a hell of a lot better than a sprawling car dealership...
Plus think of all the jobs those stores will bring to the area. With that comes more renters, and more renters may spawn rehabbing of many of the vacant homes in the area, which in turn will help clean up the neighborhood. I think in this case, this development is a win win for all.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 05:03 PM   #6134
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So I walked past the Hotel Indigo this morning and saw no one inside working because there's a STOP WORK order from the City on the front door. Apparently the developer's permits expired. Has the reason why been reported/discussed here?
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Old March 8th, 2010, 05:46 PM   #6135
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i was taking a look at today's banner and it's a building i'm very familiar with. it's a picture of the michigan central train station in detroit. it has 500,000 square feet and is 18 stories tall.

That's a beautiful marble structure, but I wouldn't want it on the Casinos site. I think whoever develops that site would have to come with something fresh and inventive. Detroit can have that building. Thanks, but NO thanks. LOL
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Old March 8th, 2010, 05:51 PM   #6136
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This is a press release from late last week for my school, Patterson Park Public Charter School. Not the biggest project in town, but it is going to be a VERY cool school when it is all done.

************************************
March 4, 2010 – Today, the Patterson Park Public Charter School announced that it had secured $13,665,000 in bond financing for its final stage of campus development. The financing will allow the school to refinance its existing facility loan, complete renovations of its two buildings, and construct a new building for its middle school.

PPPCS opened in fall, 2005 after two years of planning by the Patterson Park Neighborhood Association. The group wanted to establish a school that would give them a choice about where they could send their children, with a curriculum that emphasized a whole child approach to instruction, including hands-on learning, and the use of Patterson Park and the surrounding community. PPPCS opened with all facilities in “Building One” after a summer-long renovation project. In fall, 2007, PPPCS negotiated a transfer of management to its own Board of Directors and hired a new principal, Dr. Charles W. Kramer to lead the school.
It also engaged Bill Wilson of Inner Harbor Partners for Improved Performance (IHPIP) to pursue financing so that PPPCS could assume ownership of its own facility. That effort culminated successfully with a $5,900,000 loan from M&T Bank, partially guaranteed by the Abell Foundation. The M&T loan, with additional cash from the school allowed renovations to “Building Two” that created a cafeteria and gym, plus new space for technology, special education, library and offices.




The financing effort that began two and a half years ago has finally reached fruition. At that time, PPPCS engaged Chesapeake Community Advisors (CCA) to help it find financing to finish renovations and construct a new building to house its middle school. The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) agreed to underwrite the financing. The Maryland Health and Higher Education Facilities Authority (MHHEFA) agreed to issue the bonds.

Everything looked bleak, however, as the economy collapsed and the market for tax-exempt municipal bonds all but disappeared. Much to everyone’s surprise, the bond market began to recover in the fall of 2009, and PPPCS and its partners seized the opportunity.

The final steps occurred when the Fitch and Standard & Poor’s Rating Agencies visited the school in February. The agencies provided investment grade ratings of BBB and BBB- respectively that provided assurance to investors that the bonds would be repaid.

Laura Weeldreyer, City Schools Deputy Chief of Staff participated in the rating agency visits and emphasized the high regard that Baltimore City Schools has for PPPCS. She emphasized the school’s determination to be the best possible school as reflected in all of the obstacles it had overcome to reach this point; its conscious outreach to minority populations while attracting the middle class to remain in Baltimore; its contribution to the neighborhood; and its decision to maintain a large enrollment, unprecedented among Maryland’s charter schools.

Final renovations will include air conditioning for Building One; air conditioning, new windows and sprinklers for Building Two; and constructing the middle school building above the existing courtyard. The middle school building will include six new classrooms, a new space for its Art curriculum, and a state-of-the-art science lab, including a roof top space for science projects. The building’s design and construction will follow Baltimore City’s Green Building Standards and include solar panels, stormwater irrigation and recycled content materials. Trace Architects and Southway Builders are the design and construction team.

Patterson Park Public Charter School currently has 550 students in grades K-8 and will add pre K in fall, 2011. The bonds are scheduled to close on March 16 and PPPCS is planning a groundbreaking ceremony for Monday, March 22.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 06:48 PM   #6137
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WalMart/Lowes should be an overall plus. The 25th street area was going in the wrong direction back in the 80s but the Safeway helped stabilize the area and there are a lot of small businesses ..franchise or otherwise that have sprung up since then.And the Home Depot on Perring Parkway will be getting less of my coin once the Lowes opens.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 08:50 PM   #6138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockin'.baltimorean View Post
this is really a shame. so basically, we'll be going from this....




to this?





this is stupid.
I hear ya. However, as nice as the front (south) facade looks, the east, west, and north facades were basically going to be blank concrete walls.

Fugly.

With the garage as a base/pedestal, something (apartments, offices, etc.) with at least three decent facades may eventually be built.
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Old March 8th, 2010, 09:03 PM   #6139
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I went into Sirkis Hardware on Falls Road to get a key made because neither Lowes or Home Depot had the template. While I was there I noticed the very personal attention that the staff was giving to its customers... not to mention several people came in to have... (wait for it)... a screen replaced for windows and doors ('rescreening')!!! Now I know it that they would have to replace all the screens in Hampden twice a year to make a record profit.. but my point is that I think these types of little stores can always find a niche market particuliarly if they focus on whatever the "gap" may be in services not offered at the big guys..
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Old March 9th, 2010, 12:00 AM   #6140
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Baltimore Development Corp. seeks new bidders to remake piece of superblock

The Baltimore Development Corp. is seeking bidders for a piece of the so-called superblock, including the former home of Baltimore’s Health Care for the Homeless, on the city’s west side.

The offering comes five years after the BDC promised the land to French Development Co., a city developer that was unable to launch its plans for the property at the corner of West Fayette and Liberty streets.

The city awarded an exclusive negotiating privilege to French Development in 2005. Other development teams have been awarded different sections of the superblock, including the Cordish Cos. in partnership with the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

French Development planned to create 20,000 square feet of office space with retail stores along the ground floor of the properties. Executives with French Development said Monday the company gave up its rights to develop the property in 2008. Jim French, a principal with the firm, said the market was not strong enough to support his project.

The city’s 2005 offer to French did not include the Health Care for the Homeless building. The building, which has been added to the offering, should make the project more attractive to potential developers, French said. He has not decided whether he will submit a new proposal.

The triangular strip of properties is at the southeast edge of the superblock, a once-vibrant retail destination home to four department stores and dozens of smaller merchants. Those department stores, as well as a number of merchants, have since moved out and much of the property has fallen into disrepair.

The BDC, the city’s economic development arm, has been trying to spark a redevelopment of the six-block collection of properties for more than a decade. The agency’s efforts have been hampered by developers’ financing issues, historic preservation concerns, and lawsuits challenging the city’s role in acquiring land for the project.

The city’s offering Monday is for six properties bounded by Park Avenue, Marion, Liberty and West Fayette streets. All but one of the buildings is owned by the city.

The sixth, 111 Park Ave., is owned by Health Care for the Homeless, which relocated to new space at 421 Fallsway in January. The 16,200-square-foot Park Avenue building is protected by an agreement between the city and the Maryland Department of the Environment, meaning it cannot be demolished but can be renovated and has been awarded $400,000 in Maryland Heritage Structure Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits.

The city is offering up all of the properties for sale, with the condition that the Health Care for the Homeless building be sold for a minimum of $1 million. Developers will be expected to redevelop the properties no more than two years after settling on their acquisition.

Developers have until June 7 to submit their proposals to the BDC.

Baltimore Business Journal - by Daniel J. Sernovitz Staff

~Maybe we will finally see some movement on the west side redevelopment~
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