For more information concerning Charles Street or Charles Street Development Corporation, please use the contact form below.
The Blaustein Building - Up for Auction, But Where Are Its Bidders?
The Blaustein Building, located at 1 N. Charles Street, is up for auction, but details about potential buyers - and even confirmation that the auction will happen - have been vague.
More than 80,000 square feet of office space is available for lease. The auction is slated for September 7, but officials representing the auction house, the building's owner and its trustees have been less than forthcoming with details.
"The only comment I can provide is no comment," said Matthew W. Oakley, substitute trustee for the building and attorney for Gallagher Evelius & Jones LLP. Click here for more.
Plans Unveiled for the New Mechanic Theatre Site
Rendering courtesy Shalom Baranes Associates
August, 2012: The corner of Charles and Baltimore Streets is about to get a much-needed facelift.
The site – where the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre has sat vacant for the past eight years – will be developed into two, 20+ story residential towers with lower level retail. A five-floor underground parking garage will complete the space.
The proposal comes from developer David S. Brown Enterprises Ltd. and Arrow Parking and is estimated to cost $150 million.
The Mechanic Theatre, which featured Broadway and off-Broadway plays from 1967-1997, was constructed in a Modernist style. It was an eyesore to some yet considered by others to have historic value.
While some city residents had sought to save the Mechanic building from demolition, their most recent concerns focus around the location of the retail facilities. They argue that having stores at the corner of the development site will make the Charles and Baltimore Street intersection more dangerous. The Baltimore Business Journal has full details.
A New Home for Chase Brexton
Chase Brexton Health Services is beginning a $25 million renovation of the Monumental Life Buildings located at Charles Street and Chase Street.
The renovation will preserve historical details of the buildings, which date back as early as 1928.
Started in the 1970s, Chase Brexton has grown through the years and now serves as a primary care clinic with 240 employees and serves over 24,000 patients a year. Its services include HIV and AIDs treatment, behavioral health services and addition treatment programs. The Baltimore Sun has the full report.
More Apartments Needed in Baltimore
Image Courtesy Downtown Partnership
August 1, 2012: According to a new study commissioned by The Downtown Partnership, Baltimore needs 5,000 new apartments by the year 2017 to keep up with current demand.
Downtown Partnership released similar statistics back in 2001 and again in 2006. The City has not met apartment living demand, especially Downtown. Occupancy rates have risen to a staggering 97.1%, according to Kirby Fowler, President of Downtown Partnership.
Over 1,000 new apartments downtown are scheduled to be completed by 2014. Click here for more details.
A New Enterprise Zone for Baltimore
Photo Courtesy Baltimore Development Corp.
The City has released a new map of Enterprise Zones within Baltimore. This map now includes Pratt Street and other points within the center of downtown.
The Enterprise Zone designation is important, because new development projects within the Zone are eligible for major tax credits.
But just as important as the new designations are the places that no longer make the list. The Daily Record has more.
Lower Rents 'North of Pratt'
Photo courtesy Christopher Myers
The Sun Life Building, located at 20 S. Charles Street, has sold to a Philadelphia-based investment group for $3.1 million. That's one-third of the price paid for the same building back in 2008.
Sluggish economic conditions and a general "exodus among downtown office tenants from buildings north of Pratt Street" can be explained for the lowered rent. According to Mackenzie Commerical Real Estate, the vacancy rate for Class B buildings downtown is a whopping 35 percent. The Baltimore Business Journal has the full story.
More Student Housing for The Maryland Institute College of Art
The South Side of Commons II, (Rendering courtesy of Hord Coplan Macht)
July, 2012: The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is planning on adding 25% more student dormitory space to its campus.
The $18.5 million project, called Commons II, will be located next to the existing Commons dormitory, which will also be undergoing renovations. Commons II will feature 62 apartments, housing up to 240 students in a beautiful, five-story glass building.
The building will also feature a performance space, lecture hall and artist studios.
Enhancements to the adjacent Commons building will include a laundry center, a café and mailboxes.
MICA officials hope that adding more student housing will help revitalize the adjacent North Avenue neighborhood. The Baltimore Sun has full details.
A ‘Study’ in Living Well: UB’s New Varsity Student Housing Building
In the coming months, the University of Baltimore will be opening a new, multi-million dollar addition to its campus, called the John and Frances Angelos Law Center. But you may be wondering where all of UB's new students will live.
Look no further than the beautiful new Varsity Student Housing building, located at 30 W. Biddle Street.
323 law students, grad students and undergrads will be calling this building home. The dorm sits on a former UB Foundation surface parking lot. It was sold in 2011 to Potomac Holdings, a private developer, and the building was constructed using private equity and investors.
"UB has long been known as a commuter school," says Jeff La Noue, Project and Sustainability Planner at the University of Baltimore. "Now, it's increasing its options."
"We are going to have students here 7 days a week – it wasn't that way in the 80's or even in the recent past," Jeff continued. "UB is transforming itself into a place where people will be spending a lot more time in our Midtown neighborhood."
Each of The Varisty's studio, 2- and 4-room suites have wood laminate floors, granite countertops in the kitchen, their own private bathroom and a washer/dryer. There's a state of the art gym on the first floor, a study lounge and business center, and even a Dunkin Donuts.
The top floors (9 and 10) of the Varsity are reserved for UB's Law students. They have a magnificent view of the downtown law firms from their windows.
Floors 2-8 are open to any college student – not just those who attend UB. So if you know someone who's attending the Peabody or even MICA, make sure you spread the news! You can even take a tour of the model apartments on Thursdays and Fridays by calling 410-637-3730, visiting their website or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask for Cynthia; she's very helpful.
The Varsity Student Housing building is slated to open on August 1, and it's already 50% full. UB is expecting a lot of move-in activity on the weekends in August, "so if you find yourself in the neighborhood around then," Jeff adds, "our school appreciates your patience."
A Belgian Brasserie for the Chesapeake Building
A Belgian Brasserie has signed on to the Chesapeake Restaurant project at 1701 N. Charles Street.
The restaurant will be called De Kleine Duivel, and it will feature Belgian beers and wines alongside Flemish-French dishes. Owner Paul Kopchinski hopes to turn the space into a Art Nouveau setting.
Closed since 1987, the Chesapeake Restaurant was sold in October 2010 by Michael Shecter and Ernst Valery of Station North Development Partners LLC for $2.5 million. The Baltimore Sun has full details.
The Baltimore Museum of Art’s $24.5 Million Renovation Project: A Beautiful New Home for its Contemporary Wing
On November 17, 2012, a newly renovated contemporary wing will open at The Baltimore Museum of Art.
The space will house over a dozen recent acquisitions, including a site specific installation by Sarah Oppenheimer, A Man Screaming is Not a Dancing Bear by Allora & Calzadilla, Untitled by Rirkrit Tiravanija and Live Ball by Nari Ward.
The $24.5 million project also includes space for changing exhibitions, a film, video and digital gallery and two areas for interactive learning.
After a design competition, the BMA's Board of Trustees selected the firm of Ziger/Snead to take on the renovation project. The board was careful to select only Maryland-based architecture firms, and credits the creation of 185 jobs in construction and related industries as a result of the project. The Baltimore Museum of Art has full details.
New Retail Space at Charles & Eager?
June, 2012: For more than a year, rumors have swirled about the construction of a new building at the corner of Charles & Eager Streets.
But right now, the space sits as a surface parking lot owned by former U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg, Kingdon Gould, Jr.
The proposed new, 27,000 square-foot building, designed by SMG Architects, would have retail on its first floor, and offices on its second and third.
Still, in the year since this announcement was made, no leases have been signed, and PMI Parking continues operations on the site.
In August of 2011, Baltimore's Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation approved final plans for the office building. Click here for details from The Baltimore Sun.
Just A Few Months Until the New University of Baltimore Law Center Opens
May, 2012: Construction continues at the corner of Charles Street and Mount Royal Ave. - it's the site of the new John and Frances Angelos Law Center at the University of Baltimore.
The $107 million project began in 2010 and is slated to open in early 2013. A significant funding source came from Peter Angelos, who graduated from the school in 1961. His $10 million combined donation was the largest private gift in the school's history.
Noted for its eco-friendly design, the building features a central atrium bathed in natural light,15 student classrooms, a 32,000 foot library, cutting-edge technologies for heating and cooling, a rainwater capture and re-use program, and more – click here for full details.
New Life for the 'Old' Washington Monument?
May, 2012: This is the original Washington Monument, designed in 1815 by Robert Mills, the same architect who, in 1831, created the larger, more famous tribute to the country's first President in Washington, DC.
Unlike its Beltway counterpart, which underwent a 4-year, $9.4 million renovation partially funded by the government, Baltimore's Washington Monument has been left to withstand the ravages of time by itself.
Structural weaknesses in the bracing beneath the monument's cupola were revealed in 2009. A motorist drove through its decorative iron fencing in 2010. City officials then roped off the monument to the general public, promising to reopen it in 3 months. But it's been closed ever since.
The city of Baltimore simply can't afford to maintain it. But a public-private partnership known as the Friends of the Mount Vernon Conservancy has secured about $6 million to take care of the monument and the parks that surround it.The Baltimore Sun has all of the details
Time to Demolish the Mechanic Theatre?
May, 2012: Plans have been submitted to demolish the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre. The building, constructed in a Modernist style of the 1960s, was an eyesore to some yet considered by others to have historic value.
The Mechanic featured Broadway and off-Broadway plays from 1967-1997.
Developers have unsuccessfully tried to convert the space into residential and mixed-use retail before, but due to current, easier financing and a market ripe for downtown apartment housing, it now appears its time has come. The Baltimore Sun has full details
Another Chance For the Parkway Theatre?
The Parkway Theatre’s faded glory
April 2012: The old Parkway Theatre may soon be opening its doors again – to independent filmmakers. The Maryland Film Festival has submitted a proposal to transform the space, which has sat vacant since the 1970s, into a hub for small, independent films and concerts.
Two other developers have also submitted proposals to the Baltimore Development Corp. to transform the theater into a site for live music and performance art. The Parkway Theater is a landmark in the Station North community and sits at the critical intersection of North Avenue & Charles Streets. Click here for more details from The Baltimore Sun
First Steps Underway for Charles Village's Road Reconstruction Project
On September 5, 2012, the City of Baltimore will be closing Charles Street between 25th Street & University Parkway in Charles Village in order to repair the road and sidewalks.
The project -- expected to cost $28 million -- will include remilling and resurfacing the street & adding in new sidewalks, curbs, streetlamps and trees.
Charles Street's southbound lane will be widened from one lane to two, and bicycle lanes will be added.
For a detailed description of the project including a map of traffic diversion, click here.
You can find visuals of the project below:
Amtrak Selects a Developer for its Penn Station Project
Photo courtesy Nicholas Griner
March, 2012: Amtrak is in the final stages of negotiations with a developer to build on its surface parking lot across from Penn Station.
The 1.5-acre lot, which is located on East Lanvale Street between Charles Street and St. Paul Streets, will be turned into a mixed-use facility that could include hotel rooms and offices.
Amtrak issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) in June of 2011, and while they indicated that a developer has been chosen, they won't reveal its name for a few more weeks.
The new building will complement other construction projects in the neighborhood, including the new, $107 million John and Frances Angelos Law Center at the University of Baltimore and the $77 million Fitzgerald Apartment building.
"Transit-oriented development, which has never been much of a concept in Baltimore, is really catching on here," says Joseph McNeely, executive director for the Central Baltimore Partnership. Click here for more.
Despite Protests, Plans Continue For 25th Street Station Development
February, 2012: A Court of Special Appeals upheld a ruling that tried to block development plans in the Remington neighborhood at 25th Street Station.
The developer, W.V. Urban Developments, had proposed building a 93,783 square-foot Wal-Mart and a second "big box" store at 25th Street Station, which is now the site of a car dealership.
Community activists had brought a lawsuit against the Baltimore City Planning Commission, but both the Baltimore City Circuit Court and the Court of Special Appeals ruled that the activists had not shown how the development project would affect them any more than the general public.
The home-improvement chain Lowe's was originally scheduled to go into the new shopping center, but withdrew plans after the community hubbub.
The 25th Street Station project expects to add 329,705 square feet of retail space, 90 residential units and 750 full- and part-time jobs to the community. Click here for more details from the Maryland Daily Record.