Hale seeks a hotel for his Canton Crossing

October 07, 2005|By LORRAINE MIRABELLA | LORRAINE MIRABELLA,SUN REPORTER

With construction progressing on the signature office tower in the nearly $1 billion Canton Crossing mixed-use development, developer Edwin F. Hale Sr. said yesterday that he is in talks with several hoteliers to open what he hopes will be an affordable, yet upscale, 450- room hotel on the 65-acre waterfront site in Canton.

Yesterday, a crane hoisted the final steel beam into place on the 17-story, 500,000-square-foot tower that will become the new headquarters for Hale's First Mariner Bank. The tower, under construction since November and now about 80 percent leased, will open in May on the former industrial site.

A second, smaller office and retail tower, which will rise 11 stories, is under construction, but no tenants have signed on yet.

Hale Properties has taken 478 reservations for the 503 condos that are planned in three buildings and expected to be completed by 2008. The condos are expected to sell for $400,000 to $1.2 million.

Condo demand "is almost inexhaustible," Hale said during the "topping off" ceremony for the project's first large building.

He said he plans to start next month repairing the bulkhead and constructing a promenade along the harbor.

Besides the Canton project, Hale, owner of the Baltimore Blast, is also proposing a large residential development in nearby Greektown with Vienna, Va.-based KSI Services.

Last week, the city's Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel deferred Hale's requested concept approval for the more than 1,000 upscale condos, apartments and townhouses, noting concerns about the height of the project and use of public space.

That $200 million project, planned for an industrial swath several blocks south of Eastern Avenue, is expected to follow the pattern of redevelopment extending from Locust Point through South Baltimore to Canton.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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