Angelos unveils renovation plan for building One Charles Center would get $12 million in improvements

'Original luster' sought

December 11, 1998|By Kevin L. McQuaid | Kevin L. McQuaid,SUN STAFF

Peter G. Angelos yesterday unveiled a comprehensive revitalization for One Charles Center, two years after the Baltimore lawyer purchased the 22-story skyscraper that helped spark downtown's renaissance.

Angelos' real estate arm, Artemis Management & Development Inc., plans to begin work next spring on the elevated plaza surrounding the 100 N. Charles St. building, adding glass on its ground level, as well as lighting, window tinting, cleaning and other improvements.

In all, Angelos intends to spend $12 million to add parking, retail and restaurant space, and a new stairwell and entrance to the 320,000-square-foot building, which was completed in 1963. Angelos bought One Charles Center in October 1996 for $6 million.

"The outside of the building has been in disrepair," Wayne R. Gioioso Jr., an Artemis vice president, told the city's Design Advisory Panel, which reviewed the plans yesterday. "We intend NTC to bring back its original luster and shine."

But the panel objected to Angelos' plans to install a 60-space parking garage, which Gioioso said was necessary to lure potential tenants from county locations where parking is free.

"I have a couple of big problems," said DAP member Elliot Rhodeside. "The relationship of what you are doing to Center Plaza behind the building, for one. The deadening of that area [for the new parking] does not make sense, in terms of urban design."

Although its decisions are essentially nonbinding, the panel disapproved the garage's planned entrance through Center Plaza, but endorsed the other planned improvements.

One Charles Center was one of a handful of buildings constructed in the early 1960s, together with the Blaustein Building and others nearby, that laid the foundation for the city's urban renewal.

Today, city planners are studying ways to build upon the original tenets of that urban renewal.

In addition to the exterior work, Angelos plans to install new elevators, heating and electrical systems and telecommunications wiring, replace the Burger King restaurant at the corner of Fayette and Charles streets with another, as-yet-undecided restaurant, and add a law library and conference center in the lobby.

"We've tried to be very careful to understand the details of the existing space and form," said Jonathan M. Fishman, director of design at Richter Cornbrooks Gribble Inc., the architectural firm Angelos retained to design the improvements. "And at the same time, we wanted to make some fundamental changes."

Angelos' planned improvements come as leasing of the building begins to pick up steam. Last week, the law firm Wright, Constable & Skeen signed a lease for 13,800 square feet, a full floor in One Charles Center, the first major tenant to relocate to the building since Angelos' purchase.

Angelos' law practice and CSX Corp. also are major tenants.

Pub Date: 12/11/98

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