The new $100 million HarborView condominium high-rise along Key Highway is one of the biggest private residential investments ever made in Baltimore City. Though a developer's gamble, it boasts spectacular views, a marina, health club, tennis courts and so on. Its developers hope to turn it into the first Baltimore City luxury apartment building that appeals to Washington area buyers.
HarborView illustrates how such multi-million dollar projects expand the Inner Harbor from the Baltimore Museum of Industry near Locust Point to the tip of the AlliedSignal redevelopment parcel near Fells Point. A 7.5-mile Waterfront Promenade extends even further, ending in Canton.
Much notable development will occur within those boundaries in the next few years:
* The Baltimore Museum of Industry will soon expand. And Key Highway from Webster Street to Light Street is scheduled for a $10 million face lift. "It's a key entrance to the City of Baltimore," explains a city highway official. "This really is the next extension of the Inner Harbor."
* Across the water, the new $161 million Christopher Columbus Center for Marine Research and Exploration is taking shape on Piers 5 and 6. The padlocked Power Plant entertainment complex is slated for redevelopment as a sports extravaganza; the once-foreclosed Brokerage office and retail building will be turned into a children's museum.
* Near Little Italy, the B&O Railroad Museum is soon to begin restoration of one of the nation's earliest existing railroad depots, President Street Station, into a Civil War-influenced transportation exhibit. A 1957 transit bus will offer shuttle service to the museum's Mount Clare facilities.
* South of the station, the city has completed infrastructure work for Inner Harbor East, a $350 million residential and commercial waterfront community to be developed by the end of the decade. A new marina will open before year's end.
* Further toward Fells Point, AlliedSignal is involved in a $90 million cleanup of its contaminated parcel with spectacular views it hopes to redevelop.
Recession or not, developers are positioning themselves for the next boom. Such optimism augurs well for the city.