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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, we're past 500 posts in the last Baltimore Development 2 thread.
I guess we should continue here unless someone overrides this thread. Since I don't have "sticky thread" powers, we'll just have to see. :)
 

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I don't know if anyone ever posted this, but it's a neat website that goes over the development in East Baltimore.
http://www.ebdi.org

"The community will have 1,200 new or renovated homes for mixed-income buyers and renters, including town homes, duplex homes, apartments and senior housing. Up to 6,000 new jobs will be created for skill levels ranging from high school to those with advanced college degrees."

Good deal. :)
 

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Hi everyone, I'm new to this site. Glad to see that there are a lot of people out there who care about Baltimore's redevelopment progress!

Anyway, this question has probably been asked before, but has anyone heard anything else regarding a new arena for Baltimore? I know there was a brief mention of a proposal in the Sun paper last year, but I haven't heard anything else since then. Everyone knows this city is long overdue for a decent indoor facility. I thought they would've knocked down the old arena downtown by now.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
First of all, "Welcome to the Forum!"

Secondly, no news of a MUCH NEEDED new arena. Sorry.
Your concerns are shared by many of us. Our best shot at a new arena was blown when the "Believe Team's" Westin proposal at the Conway street site was turned down in favor of the Johnson Hilton proposal. :(
Since then, only little "blips" here and there or just rumors really.
 

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Seeings how this has been the third coldest May in recorded history, it's hard to believe that it's Memorial Day weekend and beach time again. I have not spent 1 dime on air conditioning yet, and the heat is still on. Can't remember the last time I used the furnace in May. :down: :blahblah:
 

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Baltimore Housing Boom Makes National Headline
Some Market Analysts Concerned Over Potential Market Cooldown

POSTED: 7:27 pm EDT May 25, 2005
UPDATED: 7:42 pm EDT May 25, 2005

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore housing market made a national front-page newspaper headline Wednesday -- but some analysts have concerns over possible reckless investing.

WBAL-TV 11 News reporter Kate Amara reported the city housing market currently enjoys an amazing pace of buying and selling.

Gus Tsamouras, a realtor, described what he has experienced in recent months: "a frantic pace, multiple offers on property ... we had a listing downtown, and in about 72 hours, we had 10 offers, all above asking price."

Amara said that sentiment seems to echo citywide these days: a red-hot housing market with no sign of cooling down.

Baltimore's boom stole the national spotlight Wednesday, landing on the front page of The Wall Street Journal.

"What they're saying is the investors are actually investing their money in some of our poorer neighborhoods because they see our city coming back," Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley said.

According to the Journal article, residential rehabilitation permits jumped in the city nearly 50 percent in the last six years.

"(The article) will be read all over the country by people who make investments in cities that are on the rise," O'Malley said.

Financial analyst Brian Kroneberger agreed, but also believes Baltimore follows a national trend in which the value of the average American home has increased by 50 percent in the last five years.

"Baltimore is thriving, the real estate -- certainly in Canton, Federal Hill -- has been strong, and with tax revenues increasing, it's good for the city of Baltimore," he said.

Amara said home rehabilitations in progress and "for sale" signs occupy many houses in south Baltimore -- even around Patterson Park and Reservoir Hill.

The mayor said the housing boom has breathed new life into previously blighted neighborhoods.

"If you make cities safer, people will want to come back. So, it's a great for Baltimore, and the more we can attract investment, the more we can grow," O'Malley said.

Tsamouras called the market "a feeding frenzy" with no sign of a slowdown. He said his sellers routinely pocket double-digit profits, usually around 40 to 45 percent.

"In the last nine months, we've seen prices escalate already above levels that we thought were exceptional," he said.

But some wonder whether the spike in real estate spending will turn the city around for good, or if Baltimore's bubble could soon burst.

"Any time you have investment -- especially at the top of a market -- and it's kind of exasperating itself, because people are pulling out money from their existing home equity loans and using that money for a down payment on vacation or rental properties, that tells me that it's a speculative bubble and, eventually, it has to unwind," Kroneberger said.

And when the bubble does burst -- will Baltimore have egg on its newly rehabilitated face?

According to an economist the mayor has asked: "Not in Baltimore."

"I asked him why he said that, and he said, there are a couple things: One, you are continuing to improve the quality of life. You are located in that corridor between Washington, D.C., and New York, and you are surrounded by cities more expensive in which to live. And the third thing is our creative assets -- our universities and our hospitals," the mayor said.

And even when the market does cool, O'Malley said he's confident real estate speculators will have already bombarded Baltimore with cash, stabilized a shrinking population and shored up the city for the long haul, Amara said.

The mayor also addressed the question of whether gentrification would eventually displace the city's working class. O'Malley said his administration is looking into dedicating a percentage of the transfer tax into an affordable housing fund to create a mix of housing opportunities.

Stay with TheWBALChannel.com and WBAL-TV 11 News for the latest House and Home updates.
 

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Whoops. Posted this on the old thread. I'll repeat here.


Has everyone seen this one yet?

http://www.baltimoresun.com/travel/bal-travel0526,1,6735055.story?coll=bal-features-headlines

Baltimore makes list of top 10 travel destinations
Frommer's credits city's neighborhoods, cultural renaissance for appeal

By A Sun Staff Writer
Originally published May 26, 2005, 12:27 PM EDT

Frommer's, a leading travel guide publisher, added Baltimore to the list based on a poll of hundreds of travel experts, the company said.

The city shares the designation with places such as Brazil, Puerto Rico, the Cook Islands, Barcelona, Vietnam, Belize, South Africa, Tucson and the Catskills...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Travel experts: Baltimore a hot summer destination
Julekha Dash
Staff
Now Baltimore shares something in common with Barcelona, Spain and Belize, according to a ranking by travel publisher Frommer's.


Each of these locations was among the top 10 suggestes summer destinations for 2005, according to the publication.

Frommer's polled hundreds of travel experts to devise the list, which also includes Puerto Rico; the Cook Islands, South Pacific; Hoi An, Vietnam; Paraty, Brazil; South Africa; Cambria, Calif.; and the Catskills, N.Y.

Baltimore's cultural attractions, neighborhoods and restaurants were among the reasons Baltimore made the list. The publication took note of 10 new or improved Baltimore attractions, which include the American Visionary Arts Museum, the National Aquarium in Baltimore and the Walters Art Museum.

"If you've never considered Baltimore, now is the time. It's undergoing a cultural renaissance that goes beyond baseball and steamed crabs. Top off your day by visiting one of the new ethnic restaurants that have been popping up in neighborhoods like Fells Point, Mount Vernon, and Little Italy that make dining an event unto itself," Frommer's editors wrote.

Baltimore hosts more than 11 million visitors annually who contribute nearly $3 billion to Baltimore's economy. Frommer's is a unit of Wiley Publishing Inc., headquartered in Hoboken, N.J.



© 2005 American City Business Journals Inc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Baltimore Retiree Proposes 'Hollywood'-Style Baltimore Sign
Lettered-Sign Would Adorn Federal Hill, Overlooking Inner Harbor

POSTED: 6:38 pm EST March 30, 2004
UPDATED: 7:30 pm EST March 30, 2004

BALTIMORE -- A local retiree is pushing to change a Baltimore landmark in hopes of boosting tourism.


George Kelch (pictured, left) was born and raised in Baltimore and said having "Baltimore" on the side of Federal Hill would help promote the city he loves, WBAL-TV 11 News reporter Rob Roblin reported.

He got idea a couple years ago and friends have told him to pursue it.


"The phone has been ringing off the hook since this morning, and I've had two companies call -- they bought the letters. And [I've had] nothing but people calling, saying: 'This is great,' and it has been remarkable," Kelch said.

The letters would be some kind of plant like ivy or juniper, and would be lit at night, Roblin reported. Kelch said he spoke with Baltimore Gas and Electric officials and said lighting the sign would be inexpensive to do.

Retiree Proposes B-A-L-T-I-M-O-R-E Sign Overlooking Harbor


He also talked to city officials, including Mayor Martin O'Malley.

"I learned in this job that you really should not to take upon all the other jobs of mayor, including art critic," O'Malley told 11 News.

Some people 11 News spoke with said the proposal would add to the ambience of the harbor, but others said they don’t think it's necessary and would spoil the view.

But Kelch will move on with his proposal.

"I want to do it because I think it's a good thing to be done," he said.

The proposal is just in its beginning stage. Many people and organizations would have to give their approval, Robin reported.
 

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did anybody read this


Westport renewal rules are readied
Urban design agency to receive proposed guidelines today; Shoreline project dubbed 'Harbor West'

With the success of Harbor East, city planners are shifting their attention to redeveloping the industrial shoreline of the Middle Branch in Westport, a 50-acre swath some have dubbed "Harbor West."

City planning staff are to present proposed development guidelines today at a working session of the city's Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel, with the goal of having City Council adopt a new urban renewal plan for Westport's waterfront by late summer.

Planners have been working with Patrick Turner of Baltimore-based Henrietta Development Corp., which bought the 16-acre site of the shuttered Carr-Lowrey glass manufacturing plant on Kloman Street and plans a mixed-use development. Turner declined to discuss details of his plan, saying it was too early to comment.

The city envisions transforming a waterfront dotted with abandoned plants and some active businesses into condos, apartments and townhouses, along with some offices and neighborhood stores, clustered around the Westport light-rail station.

Another property owner, Constellation Energy Group, which owns a former Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. power plant on Kloman Street, is close to selling the 12-acre site, a Constellation spokesman said yesterday. Constellation said it could not identify the prospective buyer.

The city began eyeing the stretch from Waterview Avenue to Interstate 95 for residential development after commercial brokers assured the city more than a year ago that an industrial market no longer existed there, said D. Christopher Ryer, deputy director of the city Department of Planning. The city chose not to protect the area for maritime use because of the shallowness of the water.

With the city's housing market booming, buyers clamoring for urban, waterfront homes and available land in short supply, planners and developers see the Middle Branch as the next frontier for upscale housing.

"It's the only [remaining] opportunity for waterfront redevelopment," other than areas reserved for port-related uses, Ryer said.

"We would envision a transit-oriented development, a mixed-use, fairly high-density development that is very walkable," he said. "You wouldn't see destination retail there, like a regional Wal-Mart; you would see retail for that neighborhood. Ideally, you're looking at a mixture of housing products, whether high-rise, mid-rise or low-rise, with density clustered around the [Westport light rail] transit station. But we're also trying to preserve a sense of openness and views toward the water."

Developer A. Rod Womack has no doubts about the attraction of such water views in such a hot housing market, where he said Baltimore still seems a bargain compared with Washington prices. A water location, plus the appeal of new, spacious homes and quick access to both I-95 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway will lure Washington commuters, empty-nesters and other buyers to the shores of the Middle Branch - or "Harbor West" he said.

Womack, chief executive officer of Baltimore-based CIMG Inc., is building Waterview Overlook on 10 acres along Waterview Avenue between Westport and Cherry Hill, across the street from Middle Branch Park. He plans to start selling the more than 100 townhouses and condos in two weeks, touting amenities such as a private pool, garages, a fitness center and a clubhouse.

"We're trying to create a little Canton or Harbor East in Harbor West," Womack said. "If you think about it, there's no more waterfront left. There's nowhere else for folks to develop along the water in Baltimore City."

City officials expect that the portion of the Westport waterfront owned by Turner could be rezoned by late summer to allow mixed-use development. Turner would need to seek a rezoning, which would require City Council approval. Turner bought the 16-acre Carr-Lowrey site at auction in November for $6.82 million, records show.

Turner's Henrietta Development Corp. is transforming a former 290-foot grain elevator in historically blue-collar Locust Point into upscale condos. National homebuilder Pulte Homes is building 121 townhouses on another part of that 15-acre site.

In Westport, zoning changes would likely permit 1,200 to 1,500 homes on the entire 50 acres, along with commercial and retail uses. The stretch now includes the city-owned and mostly unused Kloman ball field; a truck maintenance facility for trash hauling company Cockey's Enterprises Inc.; the former BGE plant, the Carr-Lowrey site and Brice Concrete mixing plant.

Robert Singleton, chief operating officer for Cockey's, said the company bought the property in the late 1990s -not for water views but because it needed space to park and maintain trucks and equipment.

"We haven't addressed the issue of what in the long-term to do with it," said Singleton, who would not comment on whether developers have approached him about buying the land. "We're focused on running the company."

Residents of nearby neighborhoods of Westport, Mount Winans and Lakeland, which have long struggled with abandoned and vacant homes and have battled to get drug dealers off their streets, said they were initially worried about redevelopment plans. They feared their neighborhoods would get none of the benefits of waterfront revitalization but that longtime residents could be displaced by rising property values and taxes.

But community leaders say they have met with Turner, who has expectations that revitalization will extend beyond the waterfront, and has promised public access to the water. Community leaders say they favor new homes and shops sprouting on the former industrial land.

"It's going to have a ripple effect," said Linda Towe, executive director of Project Toour (Teaching Our Own Understanding and Responsibility), an umbrella group for the three neighborhoods. "It's going to expand into all of the neighborhood."

Ruth Sherrill, president of the Westport Community Association, said she looks forward to the redevelopment as a way to revitalize the neighborhood where she has lived for 68 years.

When she was growing up, "the neighborhood seemed more like the suburbs. It was more woods than anything else," she recalled. But decades of depressed property values have led to disinvestment and abandonment of homes.

"I would really like to see more townhouses and some condos and things of that nature, where it won't block the other communities out," she said. "The community would like to see a diversity of people coming in so we can have affordable housing for people in this community. People are realizing they are going to build some properties down on the waterfront."

hopfully it will spur a second inner harbor :naughty:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Welcome, 90 degrees!

90 degrees said:
How many people are expected to live in Baltimore City by the end of the decade?
Welcome, 90 degrees! I don't think I have ever seen your posts before. Please feel free to post more often. :)

My guess to the population in Baltimore City by the end of this decade would be around 675,000 or so. It's so hard to pinpoint just exactly how many people there are now. Some say, "651,000 now, others say, 640,000 I've heard told. But if you take the higher number of the two AND given the continuing surge in people moving in Baltimore city, (downtown and other places), AND consider the reverse of the recent exodus of people in the past decade or so, then I'd say it should be around 675,000 people within the city limits. Just using a little probability. :D
But that number is only true if no other unforseen things happen such as; economy stops, or slows way down, crime levels start to increase, housing market comes to a halt, and/or city officials/leaders/developers slow down or stop their strong marketing of the city,...etc......... ;)

That's my 3 or 4 cents. :D :D :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
btw, robert, I did not see that article before. Thanks for posting it. It's a good one! :)
 
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