City to get consultants to study feasibility of stadium proposals

November 29, 1990

Baltimore development officials, seeking to speed the redevelopment of Eastern High School, will hire consultants to examine the economic feasibility of the recommendations of the Memorial Stadium Redevelopment Task Force.

Officials of the Baltimore Economic Development Corp., a quasi-private development arm of the city, said although continued use of the stadium by professional sports teams could delay the redevelopment of the stadium until as late as 1994, the redevelopment of the nearby school building might begin as soon as a developer could be found.

"It's our intention to market the Eastern site immediately because it is available now," said BEDCO Vice President Sara R. Trenery. "In terms of timing, its very likely the Eastern site will be developed first."

Earlier this year, the task force recommended a variety of possible uses for the roughly 55-acre stadium-Eastern High School site, which straddles East 33rd Street.

But BEDCO officials, who were asked by Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke in August to guide the redevelopment, said they do not have adequate market data to determine the viability of the recommendations.

For example, although the task force recommended finding a new use for the school building rather than tearing it down, BEDCO officials say they need hard figures to determine whether that makes economic sense. The building has some asbestos in it, which could entail costly removal procedures.

Ms. Trenery said the consultant's report should be available by the end of May. BEDCO officials hope to be able to announce at least one major user for the school/stadium site by the end of the 1991 baseball season, the last in which the Orioles are to play at Memorial Stadium.

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