Developers modify design of Financial Centre

February 16, 1991|By Edward Gunts

Developers of the Baltimore Financial Centre, the 32-story office building planned for the southwest corner of Redwood and Charles streets and in part of the bed of Redwood Street between Charles Street and Wine Alley, have redesigned their project in an effort to obtain city approval.

According to city officials and representatives of neighboring property owners, the development team has altered the design of the 32-story tower so that it would take up one lane of Redwood Street rather than two. They say 10 feet has been shaved off plans for the north side of the building so that it would not project so far into the road bed.

The change comes less than two months after members of Baltimore's Planning Commission declined to approve a City Council bill that would authorize the city to sell two lanes of Redwood Street to the development team.

Their decision to take no action came after members heard more than two hours of testimony from opponents of the project, including owners of neighboring offices and parking garages. Some warned that the tower would exacerbate traffic congestion downtown, while others argued that the city would set a bad precedent if it sold any part of a major public street in the heart of downtown for a private development.

Developer Leonard Attman could not be reached for comment about the revised design. City planning director Ernest Freeman said he was aware of the new plan but did not know whether the changes would satisfy the commission members, who had asked the developers to meet with their neighbors and try to come up with a solution that everyone could accept.

"It's a downsizing of the building," Mr. Freeman said of the plan. "To the extent that that may address some of the issues that have been raised, it's a step."

Mr. Freeman said another meeting with the Planning Commission will be set as soon as the development team presents a formal proposal to review.

Attorneys for the owners of buildings at 7 E. Redwood St. and 25 S. Charles St. said Attman representatives were also scheduling meetings with their clients.

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