BCCC to work with developer Property: The college will select a team and decide what to build on a tract near the Inner Harbor.

Urban Landscape

March 19, 1998|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,SUN STAFF

THE LARGEST undeveloped tract near Baltimore's Inner Harbor is again up for grabs.

Baltimore City Community College has set mid-May as the deadline for groups to express interest in working with the college to develop the state-owned Lockwood property, a 2.8-acre parcel at the northwest corner of Pratt Street and Market Place.

The state-funded college has hired an adviser, MetroVentures/USA of Columbia, to help review the responses and provide other technical services needed to select a developer.

The offering comes 15 months after the state awarded exclusive negotiating rights for the Pratt Street property to Cordish Co., which proposed to develop a mixture of retail, office and parking space.

State officials this month broke off negotiations with Cordish, after college administrators expressed concerns that the $18.5 million development would not generate the revenues the college is seeking.

Olusola Seriki, a principal of MetroVentures, said the new bidding process is different from the previous one in that the college will be selecting a development team to work with, not a specific plan to build. Then the college will work with the selected developer to decide what can be built and when.

"This approach is different because it focuses on the qualifications of a developer and the resources that a developer has" as opposed to a specific proposal, Seriki said. "It's a different tactic. You're picking your bride -- maybe that's the best way to describe it."

Extending nearly two blocks along Pratt Street, the land is used mostly for parking and is zoned for commercial development, including stores, offices or a hotel. The college plans to raze an academic structure, the two-story William V. Lockwood building, expand the construction site.

This year, developer Peter D. Leibowits expressed interest in building a $120 million office and parking complex there, possibly as a new home for the Piper & Marbury law firm.

Cordish Co. recently submitted a proposal to redevelop the former Brokerage retail and office complex north of the college property at 34 Market Place. Cordish is interested in developing the Lockwood parcel and plans to respond to the college's request for qualifications, according to Vice President Joseph Weinberg.

One issue for the college and the city is the exact mix of uses on the site. An office tenant such as Piper & Marbury might want to be in a tower with little or no retail space at the base, for security reasons if nothing else. But city planners and others working to revive the east side of downtown say the property should have street-level retail activity that will encourage people to walk north on Market Place to the proposed children's museum.

The developer will be selected by the college's board of trustees after it receives a recommendation from a subcommittee made up of Chairman Roger Lyons, former Chairman Marion Pines, college President James Tschechtelin, and Vice President for Administration Shirlene Snowden. Seriki said the college hopes to make a selection by summer.

Grand Hyatt plans to be discussed

Baltimore attorney Peter G. Angelos' plans to build a $150 million Grand Hyatt hotel north of Oriole Park at Camden Yards will be the subject of a public forum from noon to 1 p.m. today at the Johns Hopkins University's Downtown Center, Charles and Saratoga streets.

The development site is a two-block parcel bounded by Pratt, Eutaw, Camden and Paca streets. The Weihe Group of Washington is the architect.

Sponsored by the Baltimore Architectural Foundation, the event will be held in the Berman Auditorium and is free to the public.

RTKL to design Eastern Shore hospital

RTKL Associates of Baltimore has been selected to design a new Eastern Shore Hospital Center in Cambridge.

Maryland's Board of Public Works has approved plans to pay RTKL $1.5 million to design a 96-bed psychiatric hospital that will be operated by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to serve the Eastern Shore.

It will replace an older facility that is being torn down to make way for a $152 million waterfront development containing a Hyatt resort, golf course, marina and residential community.

Construction of the replacement hospital is expected to begin in April 1999 on a 22-acre parcel at Woods Road and Southside Avenue near Route 16. "Moving this project forward is a major step in the redevelopment of the Eastern Shore Hospital Center property as a resort and residential center -- the most significant economic venture in the history of Cambridge," said Gov. Parris N. Glendening.

Pub Date: 3/19/98

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