Archive for March, 2008

Mar 31 2008

Baltimore Hotel Construction Booming

The recent announcement of a proposed Hyatt Place and Summerfield Suites at? the Baltimore Citycenter Complex adds to the growing list of hotels proposed or under construction in the Baltimore Area.? Baltimore may owe the boom to an increase in domestic tourism (thanks high gas prices) and higher demand for business accommodations due to Baltimore’s growing economy among other things.? Here’s a list of some of the hotel projects planned or underway.? I’m sure I’ve forgotten a bunch of them, so please leave a comment of any that I’ve missed.

PROPOSED:

1. & 2. Hyatt Place and Summerfield Suites at Baltimore Citycenter

Baltimore Citycenter

3. Aloft Hotel? – Fells Point

4. Cambria Suites – Downtown

5. Inn at Penn Station

6. Sleep Inn – Oldtown/Fallsway

7. Four Points by Sheraton – Downtown

8. Lifestyle Hotel – Downtown

9. Hotel Monaco – Downtown

10. Holiday Inn Express – Oldtown/Fallsway

UNDER CONSTRUCTION:?

1. Hilton Convention Center Hotel

Hilton Convention Center Hotel Baltimore

2. Four Seasons Hotel Harbor East

Four Seasons Hotel Harbor East Baltimore

3. Hotel Indigo – Downtown Baltimore

Hotel Indigo

4. Staybridge Suites – Downtown

5. Fairfield Inn & Suites – Jonestown/President St.

6. Red Roof Inn – Downtown

7. One East Redwood? – Downtown

8. Quality Inn – Downtown

RUMORED

1. W Hotel – 10 Inner Harbor – Rumors have been flying that W Hotels is eyeing? the hotel portion of the proposed 60 story 10 Inner Harbor project at 414 Light St.

10 Inner Harbor Baltimore

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Mar 31 2008

Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity to Open Local Retail Store

Published by under Resources

Chesapeake Habitat for Humanitywill make a foray into the retail business April 5 with the opening of its first ReStore in Baltimore City, specializing in everything including the kitchen sink.

The warehouse, at 505 Kane St., will sell new and donated building materials and home furnishings, with proceeds going back to the nonprofit home builder’s operations.

“We have generated a great deal of interest from individual donors, local building suppliers and builders to donate a warehouse full of varied items,” ReStore director Mark Bendann said in a statement. “Our next challenge is to promote this location as an affordable venue to purchase new or slightly used materials and maintain a steady supply of donations.”

The ReStore is a model that has been tried out in other markets where Habitat for Humanity operates, helping to finance the group’s efforts to build new homes for needy families. Since its formation in 1982, Chesapeake Habit has built more than 125 homes in the Greater Baltimore region.

More information about the ReStore can be found at Chesapeake Habitat’s Web site, www.chesapeakehfh.org.

Grand Opening Celebration
Saturday, April 5th? ? 8am-2pm
Special Guest: Mayor Sheila Dixon @ 1pm

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Mar 30 2008

Sullivan’s Steakhouse to Open Downtown near Baltimore Inner Harbor

Published by under Downtown,Inner Harbor,Restaurants

http://baltimore.bizjournals.com/baltimore/stories/2008/03/24/story11.html

http://www.sullivansteakhouse.com/

Sullivan’s Steakhouse Baltimore

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Mar 25 2008

Hospital Construction Booming in Baltimore City

Published by under Uncategorized

The construction industry may take a hit nationwide? due to the most recent economic slowdown, however, Baltimore seems poised to weather the recession better than most areas.? This is largely thanks to? a significant amount of government projects but also thanks? to? some of Baltimore’s most venerable institutions -? Universities and Hospitals.? Every major hospital in the? Baltimore area is undergoing some kind of major expansion or renovation.? This post will focus on the surge of healthcare and bioscience projects underway in Baltimore City.? Here’s just to name a few:

The Johns Hopkins Science and Technology Park:? The 31 acre life science research park will house 2 million square feet of space designed to meet the challenging demands of the biotech research industry. With an appeal to cutting-edge companies around the world, the project will generate over 6000 new jobs and stimulate business opportunity in East Baltimore and beyond. Along with 850 new or renovated homes attractive to mixed income home-owners and renters, plans call for parks, schools, landscapes and streetscapes that extend evidence of the exciting urban renaissance underway throughout Baltimore.

? JHU Science and Technology Park

The University of Maryland Biotech Park: Leading Baltimore’s Westside redevelopment and expansion of the University of Maryland, Building One of the University of Maryland Biotech Park is a 120,000 square foot, six-story office and laboratory complex, featuring two parking garages. Building 2 is scheduled to open soon.

University of Maryland biopark

Mercy Hospital: Mercy Hospital in Downtown Baltimore is undergoing a $400 million dollar expansion which includes the construction of a new 18 story Clinical Patient Tower.? Construction has started with completion scheduled in 2010.

Mercy Hospital Baltimore

St. Agnes Hospital:? Components of the St. Agnes? Campus Revitalization include:

  • A new patient tower with 120 private rooms
  • Expansion of the main entrance with excess space for future development of ambulatory services and outpatient operating rooms.
  • Renovation and expansion of the current St. Agnes Cancer Center to increase the available treatment space by 40 percent
  • Renovation of three floors of the current patient tower to create private rooms
  • A new medical office building
  • Two parking garages that will accommodate up to 1,400 vehicles
  • Updated exterior roadways, way finding, and signage

? St. Agnes Hospital Patient Tower

Union Memorial: The helipad? is being? constructed with safety as the top priority and has been designed to meet the most stringent safety requirements available today. It will consist of a 60 feet by 60 feet concrete area and bridge for transporting patients leading to the rear of the main hospital building. The entire project is expected to be complete this summer.? Adding an onsite helipad will allow Union Memorial to ensure ease of access to its facility and provide an expanded scope of care for critical care heart patients and those suffering traumatic hand injuries.

Union Memorial

Maryland General? Hospital has broken ground? on a $57 million addition to its Baltimore campus. The new 96,534-square-foot building will attach to the existing hospital and house eight new operating rooms, including four specialty rooms. It will also hold an 18-bed intensive care unit, a cystoscopy room, a post-anesthesia care unit and pre-operative room and two GI suites. Plans also call for a pharmacy, laboratory and future expansion space. The project, designed by Hord Coplan Macht, could be open by spring 2010.Maryland General Hospital 1? ? Maryland General Hospital 2

Hopkins Hospital:Cardiovascular and Critical Care Tower: The cardiovascular and critical care tower will contain an estimated 913,000 gross square feet and the children’s hospital 560,000 gross square feet, for a combined gross square footage of 1,473,000.? Construction of a new 2,600-space garage on Orleans Street is complete and a new energy plant and loading dock are nearing completion.? ? The cardiovascular and critical care tower will be designed to support current and future technologies and techniques for surgical, interventional and emergency procedures as well as critical and acute patient care. It also will house the new Johns Hopkins Heart Institute.? A second tower to follow will house the Johns Hopkins Children Center.? When all is said and done, the project will cost over 1.2 billion dollars.

? cardiovascular and critical care tower

Johns Hopkins Patient & Family Pavilion (no picture available) -? A new residence for oncology patients undergoing prolonged treatment, and their families, will be built at the corner of Broadway and Orleans, just across the street from the Weinberg Building.

The four-story residence will replace the existing Hackerman-Patz and Joanne Rockwell Memorial houses, doubling their combined capacity with 40 guest suites, each with a bedroom, bath, lounge and kitchenette. “We want a homelike, welcoming environment, one that provides respite and doesn’t feel like a clinic,” says Sarah Littleton, director of residential living. “This is an entire psychosocial program that addresses needs of those undergoing cancer treatment while far away from home.”

Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Medicine, S. Anne and C. Michael Armstrong Medical Education Building

Budget: $45 million.

Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Medicine, S. Anne and C. Michael Armstrong Medical Education Building, East Baltimore, Md. Design: Ballinger.Click to enlarge.

Size: 100,000 ft2.

Completion date: 2009.

Description: Four-story facility, the first to be built by the Hopkins med school in more than 25 years, will include classroom, lab, and administrative space. Features include lecture halls, computational labs, and anatomy labs. Genomics, molecular biology, and genetic biology will be strong focuses. Classrooms will be equipped with digital communication technology. A virtual microscopy capability will allow projection of high-resolution images for instruction and analysis. Anatomy labs will be equipped with large screens for easy access to digital reference tools. Facility is intended to create a new ?front door? for the entire School of Medicine.

Maryland State Forensic Medicine Center, Baltimore.

  • Budget: $37 million.
    Maryland State Forensic Medicine Center, Baltimore. Design: Gaudreau Inc./McClaren, Wilson & Lawrie.Click to enlarge.
  • Size: 120,000 ft2
  • Completion date: 1Q2010.
  • Description: New building on the campus of the Univ. of Maryland BioPark in west Baltimore will support the relocated operations of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene. The five-story building will include offices, specialized forensic labs; specialized autopsy space; and support spaces for the Chief Medical Examiner, including BSL-3 areas. The facility is intended to accommodate growth in the office of the medical examiner for the next 30 years.

jeffcantonite@yahoo.com

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Mar 23 2008

Pasta Mista to Open Second Baltimore Location in Brewer’s Hill

Published by under Canton,Restaurants

Pasta Mista, the popular pizza joint? at the Dulaney Valley shopping plaza in Towson, will be opening its second Baltimore Area location in Brewer’s Hill.? The restaurant will be located in the small Natty Boh strip mall at the corner of Conkling and Boston St.? The mall, which is? part of the? Streuver Brothers “Brewers Hill” development, also houses a Five Guys, Dunkin Donuts, Dogma, and a bank.? No word on the exact date when the new location will open.

Pasta Mista might be the only new place that can even hold a candle to the other Southeast Baltimore pizza mainstays -? Tutti Gusti and Matthews, although they are hard to beat.? The pizza at Pasta Mista’s Towson location is known for its crispy thin crust with a delightful amount of grease floating atop a nice layer of cheese and sauce.? The sausage pizza is possibly the? most popular amongst regulars.? Pasta Mista also offers more adventurous toppings such as caesar salad and baked penne toppings, but these often get lower marks by critics (I give them credit for trying).? Pasta Mista? may give the? trendy new “Py” pizza, located on O’Donnell Square in Canton, a run for their money.? “Py” has tried to lure customers away from their old favorites by offering unique flavors such as Thai Chicken pizza.? However, the last time I ordered there, it took over an hour to? deliver the pizza, which was ice cold when it arrived.?

The biggest problem now posed to residents in Southeast Baltimore might be not whether to order pizza, but deciding? from which place?? Will this start a pizza war, or are there enough pizza lovers to go around?? Only time will tell.
jeffcantonite@yahoo.com

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Mar 21 2008

What a Dump! 1444 Stevenson Street

Published by under Locust Point

Sometimes any development is better than the alternative. Case in point – 1444 Stevenson Street. This property that sits at the bottom of Stevenson and Woodall Streets in Locust Point, has been vacant and falling down for years. All that stands now is a decaying building an overgrown lot and all the trash and animals that it attracts. Rats, feral cats, and raccoons all make their home here. Residents have also come across needles, used condoms, and countless beer and liquor bottles in the past. The property also constantly leaks some kind of liquid onto the bottom of Stevenson Street.? The owner obviously doesn’t take cae of the property. Continue Reading »

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Mar 19 2008

Good News for Music Lovers, Bad for Skyscraper Lovers

Published by under Uncategorized

Hammerjacks

The Baltimore Sun recently announced that the former Hammerjacks club, shuttered since 2006, would reopen as a new 1000 person capacity concert venue called Bourbon Street Live.? The site, at 316 Guilford Ave. was originally slated to have a 60 story tower with construction starting this year, however, the uncertain economy and issues with zoning and preservation appear to have delayed that plan.? It appears the developers, RWN Development, still want to build the tower, but it may be further in the future.? RWN’s website, http://www.rwndevelopmentgroup.com/projects.html? , however lists a second development site nearby at 407 E Saratoga which could potentially be used for the tower.? Regardless, it seems that RWN is intent on putting the site to good use until markets stabilize.?

RWN Tower

jeffcantonite@yahoo.com

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Mar 18 2008

Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway

Published by under Parks,Resources,Uncategorized

The Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway is a non-profit organization that hopes to secure federal and state funding for crisscrossing trails that would link the area’s natural, cultural and historic resources.

“Right here, in the middle of a densely populated area, you can still be outdoors enjoying nature within minutes,” said Mary Ann Lisanti, executive director of the Greenway group. “Ten minutes off I-95 and 15 minutes from Bel Air, you can go fishing, walk through history into deep woods and see the spring flowers and nesting birds.”

We need more walking trails like this. Here’s the link to the story in the Baltimore Sun where I found out about The Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway group.

http://www.joshuaberlow.com/real2.htm

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Mar 17 2008

Baltimore Downtown Dwellers to get New Coffee Shop

Published by under Downtown,Restaurants

A new coffee shop in Downtown Baltimore? will be opening? at the recently renovated 222 Saratoga condo building.? The coffee shop, aptly named “Saratoga Coffee” will have its grand opening on 3/19/08.? Located on Saratoga St., between Guilford Ave. and Calvert St., the shop is close to Mercy Hospital, City Hall, and I-83.? Saratoga Coffee will also apparently sell books.? Visit http://www.222saratoga.com/

jeffcantonite@yahoo.com

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Mar 16 2008

Charles North Project Clears a Hurdle

The Baltimore City Board of Estimates just gave approval for the purchase of 2.5 million dollars worth of property in the Charles Station North neighborhood which could clear the way for future development.? The deal includes the long sought after Chesapeake restaurant and other properties along Charles and Lanvale Streets.? The Baltimore Development Corp had already selected a developer for the project, however, it’s unclear whether that developer is still involved.? Renderings and a description of the initially planned $50 million project,? called Chesapeake Square,? are still posted on Peter Fillat Architects website http://www.pfarc.com/chesapeake.html

“Occupying nearly an entire city block, this mixed-use complex will provide new retail, office, residential and parking facilities in the Charles North neighborhood of midtown Baltimore. The Chesapeake House Restaurant, which has been vacant for years, will be converted into street-level retail that will bring a sense of “feet on the street” to the already vibrant block of North Charles Street. The second level will consist of retail space also, and will be integrated with the first level in a mezzanine arrangement. On the third level of the building, office space is being inserted and will connect to an addition planned for the back of the site. Eleven floors of residential condominium space and eleven townhomes comprise the residential component of this project.”

? The project, which is literally a stones throw away from Penn Station, is well poised to take advantage of the transportation centric movement.? The proposed building is also adjacent to the Charles Theatre and several lively bars.?

jeffcantonite@yahoo.com

Charles North 1Charles North 2

Charles North 3Charles North 4

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