Aug 16 2008

It’s too tall. It’s not tall enough.

Published by at 3:06 pm under Federal Hill,Riverside Park

There’s an interesting article on the MD Daily Record website about the proposed Walgreens on Key Highway in South Baltimore.

South Baltimoreans are known for being fiercely protective of their harbor views.

In 2007, when developer Richard A. Swirnow proposed building two 26-story condominium towers next to his HarborView project on the Key Highway waterfront, community opposition was so fierce that Mayor Sheila Dixon stepped in to block the proposal.

But now the community of Riverside, which sits adjacent to Federal Hill, is trying to stymie a proposal by developer Mark A. Shapiro to build a Walgreens drugstore at the corner of Key Highway and Boyle Street because the proposed structure is not tall enough.

“You can’t win with them,” Shapiro said. “They’re anti-development.”


7 Comments to “It’s too tall. It’s not tall enough.”

  1. MJ1977on 18 Aug 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Is it anti-development or anti-drug store and condo? Would someone PLEASE do something to upgrade the grocery shopping in Federal Hill/Locust Point, please?

  2. alkingon 19 Aug 2008 at 2:45 pm

    shapiro was one of the major reasons that there were height qualifiers included along the key highway corridor in the first place. now the market has changed and he wants to put a one-story walgreens in. i know from the public meetings that he wanted to adhere to the boulevard look and build to a certain minimum height. its interesting now that it doesnt work for him he wants to change everything.

    the fiasco known as the south baltimore waterfront has passed through so many hands and mayors and back-rooms and so slowly that we forget who is who and what plays have been made

    key highway is not in “dire need of retail” as azola says. it is dire need of actual leadership and local interest.

    the walgreens is the worst idea i’ve seen since the domino sugar post-explosion installation of new plywood windows. what the hell does that have to offer the community? cute rate beachballs? a western union? maybe it can be 24 hours and attract all sorts of pleasant activity like the retail on boston street?

    remember before blanket statements like

    “You can’t win with them, they’re anti-development.”

    that you were the one who wanted the restrictions. and we are not anti-development, we are anti-stupid development.

  3. Glenon 20 Aug 2008 at 1:02 pm

    The Key Highway planning is such a mess. The Fire Station was supposed to be redeveloped, converted, torn-down, turned into a park – or whatever else has been planned/promised – a long time ago. It looks like there isn’t any movement on that.

    Domino Sugars is a mess too. Great point about the plywood. what the hell is that? Did they save money by using plywood instead of glass. The whole building needs a serious power washing. They don’t do a great job of keeping up their property, and the adjacent truck parking (across the street on the hill) is poorly maintained. There was a point when Domino and other local industry was key to the community. I question how much benefit it provides at this point. Does anyone that works at Domino actually live in Locust Point? Judging by the number of the cars that stream out of their parking lot towards 95; I’m guessing not.

  4. zeroon 21 Aug 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Uh, Glen, could anyone that works at Domino afford to live in Locust Point? Probably not. I get your point, but Domino has been there longer than most residents. You live in the city; there is always going to be some signs of industry around you. There are always going to be people commuting to work. Everyone can’t afford to live in the city, but cities are generally the economic centers of the area. You can’t just powerwash away every little thing that gives a city its character, no matter how much money you infuse into certain neighborhoods. If you succeed, the neighborhood will become a sterile, boring version of what it once was and will have lost all trace of the history that brought it to its current prosperity (and is likely- down the line- to lose its prosperity). If you want everything to be perfectly maintained and clean, why not move down to AA county?

  5. nmschimpfon 21 Aug 2008 at 2:12 pm

    I get what Glen is saying though. The brick is just dirty and dingy – and fine, I get that it would be huge expense, but it was once clean and bright. It is not like the dark and dingyness gives it “character”. The sign and its fixture gives it character. I have seen slight signs of what the brick once was on the way to Tide Point, and it is nice! Isn’t there any pride in your building to clean it up a little and fix your windows? Is there any pride of your property to clean it up instead of using an old chain linked fence to separate the older truck port area from the residential Stevenson Street? At this same chain linked fence are cinder blocks that block pedestrian use of the sidewalk and weeds on the sidewalk (the residents on the street take care of what is front of their house and there are no weeds there, JUST in front of Domino Sugar’s property). I think all he is saying is maintain things and keep up the property that affects other. Do you think weeds and cinder blocks blocking use of a sidewalk are acceptable? Removing and cleaning these things up are simple remedies to allow people the use of their sidewalk and yet, nothing has been done.

    And I don’t really care if Domino sugar was here before me, it wasn’t here before the neighborhood. The people were HERE first. So is it wrong for the the people to ask Domino Sugar to be a good neighbor and maintain its property to give it some life, instead of the dark and dingy reminder of what it once was.

  6. Glenon 22 Aug 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Uh, Zero, yes most people that work at Domino probably could afford to live in Locust Point. Despite the jump in prices over the last 10 years, Locust Point is still an affordable place to live. There are plenty of affordable houses on the market – some under $200k. Given some of the nice cars and SUVs that park at Domino’s everyday, I’m guessing that’s in the budget. The average home price in the city is actually much lower than then surrounding counties. But that’s all beside the point…

    My neighbor walks to a local industrial job – but it’s not Domino. I have no problem with Domino (or industry in general) in the city. It will likely all disappear at some point, but I’m not concerned with when that happens. I do however have a problem when companies don’t maintain their property and allow trash to blow onto neighboring streets. And Phillips is probably more to blame. Fort ave and neighboring streets are often littered with hairnets and other trash from the bus stops.

    Power washing Domino – that’s kind of a joke. I don’t expect them to care about the color of their brick, or spend the money it would take. I would expect them to replace their windows. Maybe their on back order…

    Thankfully, the non-stop restaurant flyers on the door have stopped. Didn’t a group in Federal Hill get them banned?

  7. MJ1977on 23 Aug 2008 at 12:38 am

    Totally agree with Domino needed to do something about those boarded up windows. Would a home owner be allowed to get away with something like that? Especially on the Harbor?

    And industrial areas dont need to be eat-off-of clean, but is it too much to ask of them to be tidy and orderly and present a good image of themselves and our community to visitors? It would be one thing if Domino was back in a train yard somewhere, but it is right on the water.

    The city in general needs to do a better job in getting citizens to clean up their streets. Its not hard to patrol your stoop every Saturday morning. Its a pain, but not hard.

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