Trade mart proposed for Camden property Day-care center, offices also suggested

July 16, 1991|By Edward Gunts

A $200 million medical-oriented trade mart and conference center; a $74 million-to-$90 million office and retail complex containing the Orioles Hall of Fame; a large day-care center; and a terminal for a possible Inner Harbor monorail line are among the ideas proposed for development on state property east of the Camden Yards stadium.

One of the four bidders for the property, originally offered for development in May by the Maryland Stadium Authority, also has volunteered to donate $425,000 to help hire architects for the proposed $150 million Convention Center expansion and has expressed an interest in building a 1,000-room hotel in the air rights above the expansion.

That bidder, which is also planning the $200 million medical mart, is a group headed by Baltimore developer Richard Swirnow and a Singapore-based entity, Parkway Holdings Ltd. The group also submitted an unsolicited proposal to develop the city-owned block bounded by Pratt, Howard, Camden and Eutaw streets as another part of its complex.

Yesterday was the Stadium Authority's deadline for proposals for four parcels on the 85-acre Camden Yards site. The properties are the historic Camden Station; a 1.2-acre and a 3.8-acre parcel just south of the station and east of the 1,000-foot-long warehouse that is being restored as a backdrop to the ballfield; ++ and the 216,000-square-foot south end of the eight-story warehouse.

Bruce Hoffman, executive director of the stadium agency, said that the proposals will be reviewed over the next 30 days by a four-member committee. It will decide which to recommend to the Stadium Authority.

Stadium Authority officials declined yesterday to make the proposals available for inspection, but they did release the names of the bidders. According to representatives for each team, the proposals were submitted by:

* The Parkway Swirnow Group Ltd. It proposed to use the vacant land east of the warehouse to build the main portion of its medical mart, called the International Life Sciences Center. In all, it would contain up to 2.5 million square feet of meeting and exhibit space.

The Parkway Swirnow Group proposed to convert the south end of the long warehouse to warehouse space for the medical mart and to recycle Camden Station as the gateway and information center for it. In addition, the group proposed to build a 1,000-room "headquarters hotel and conference center" in the air rights above the Convention Center expansion and to develop the Camden-Pratt-Howard-Eutaw parcel as additional medical mart space.

Robert Hillman, chairman of the Baltimore Convention Center Authority, said that he received the offer of the $425,000 donation yesterday. He said that it would count as the private-sector "match" needed for the state to release $850,000 in design funds for the Convention Center expansion. An additional $425,000 has been allocated by the Schmoke administration.

Mr. Hillman said that he was inclined to accept the offer and would discuss it with state officials and legislators today. "We've made it clear to [the Swirnow group] that we're not promising to do anything" in return for the money, he said.

* Camden Yards Joint Venture, a group that includes Struever Bros. Eccles and Rouse, Greenebaum and Rose, and the Time Group. The group proposed converting the south end of the warehouse to a $12 million office park for non-profit organizations, international health organizations and companies involved in international trade.

The group also proposed to spend $60 million to $75 million to develop the vacant property east of the warehouse with additional office space and to convert the station to house the Orioles Hall of Fame and Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame, an Orioles retail store, a restaurant and a catering facility and

reception hall.

* Historic Camden Station, a group headed by developers Daniel Stone and F. Michael Furlong. They bid for Camden Station and proposed to spend about $2 million to convert the interior to house a 9,000-square-foot day-care center, a restaurant and upper-level offices.

* VSL Corp., an engineering and construction company based in California. David Wolkin, a spokesman, declined to discuss his proposal. But others familiar with VSL say the company is interested in constructing a monorail that would take people from the Inner Harbor up Conway Street to the ballpark and then south to the Camden Yards football stadium if it is built.

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