What next at the harbor? 7 plans submitted for the Power Plant

October 17, 1990|By Edward Gunts

A Depression-era "speakeasy," a Hard Rock Cafe, a high-technology information center and a public museum for the contemporary arts are among seven eclectic ideas city officials have to choose from for Baltimore's vacant Pier 4 Power Plant.

The bids were submitted in response to the Schmoke administration's request in August for proposals for the Power Plant, which has been vacant since the Six Flags Corp. closed its nightclub there in January. The deadline for submitting plans was Monday.

City officials have not made the proposals available for review, but they did release the names of bidders and brief descriptions of each proposal.

According to city officials and the bidders themselves, the proposals include:

* The Baltimore Speakeasy, a $14 million complex of restaurants, shops and gathering places proposed by interior designer Susan Addington, of Addington Advantage Interiors, and Patricia Anne Horner, of Horner Management Inc. Among the attractions would be a re-creation of the Blue Mirrow Supper Club, a 1920s nightspot where Baltimoreans met for dinner and ballroom dancing; Sugarbabes Sweet Shoppe, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor; Rumbleseat Miniature Golf Course; Gangsters, a speakeasy with a Roaring '20s theme; and a variety of shops and eating places.

The idea, Ms. Addington said,would be a low-key, non-gaudy environment where people can go for entertainment and not have to spend much money. * A large downtown annex for the Baltimore Museum of Art, designed for the "presentation of contemporary art" and major traveling exhibitions of all kinds. Arnold Lehman, director of the museum, declined to discuss the proposal in detail.

For several years, the museum's staff and directors have been studying ways to expand the museum beyond Art Museum Drive and plan to build a new wing for 20th century art starting next year. A plan to expand into Wyman Park Dell has drawn strong opposition from residents of the surrounding area.

* A complex of restaurants, attractions and entertainment venues proposed by Robert Goldstein, the president of Maryland Sound Industries. Mr. Goldstein said he would work with New Age exhibit designer Edwin Schlossberg, who is married to Caroline Kennedy, to develop a one-of-a-kind "interactive video concept," involving numerous participants competing simultaneously. Two West Coast operations, the Hard Rock Cafe and Carlos and Charlie's, have expressed interest in opening Baltimore branches as part of the project.

* KIDS Place, a $20 million children's museum, living history museum and resource center with a museum store, family-style restaurants, interactive exhibits and other attractions. The developer would be Maryland Children's Museum Inc., a non-profit group headed by Reg Murphy, chairman of The Baltimore Sun.

The concept would incorporate ideas from many other facilities, including the Children's Museum in Boston and Colonial Williamsburg.

* A $4 million family entertainment complex with television and video production facilities proposed by Fusion Management Group, Inc., an organization owned by Roxanna Green. Michael Hoffberger of Hoffberger and Associates would be the development partner. Riku Productions of Maryland, a producer

and syndicator of game shows, would be one of the studio users.

* Information Power Plant, a high-tech communications distribution center or "teleport" that would be able to receive and transmit voice, data and video information via satellite, fiber optics and microwave. Among the uses would be videoconferencing between people in Baltimore and in other cities. The idea came from a state employee who wanted to encourage city officials to think of ways to make Baltimore more competitive in the telecommunications field.

* E=MC, an education-oriented complex proposed by a group headed by Darrell Frazier.

Baltimore's downtown development agency, Center City-Inner Harbor Development Inc., is assembling a panel to review the proposals and recommend a developer for the three-building, 106,230-square-foot complex.

Center City officials indicated in August that they already are negotiating with the Baltimore Center for the Performing Arts, operators of the Pier 6 Pavilion and Morris A. Mechanic Theatre, to operate an off-Broadway theater in the Power Plant. Other bidders have been asked to submit compatible proposals.

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