Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sit On It! Part I

No I'm not trying to insult you 1950s style I'm giving the best advice I can during these tough economic times and where the best financial gains can be made whether it's now or a few years down the road either way Sit On It!
Everybody knew it was going to happen, the bursting bubble over inflated home prices would eventually come back and bite us on the ass. Now Baltimore hasn't been hit nearly as hard as communities in other parts of the country but the market burst came at a time when Baltimore was going through a revival in neighborhoods that were just beginning to turn around and developers had been eying them for large scale development projects. Now large scale development projects that were successful in the past will today meet a tragic fate. Now market experts predict that the market will turn around in everybody's favor in the 2010-2012 range. Now if you happen to own a piece of undeveloped land you were looking to turn into Baltimore's next "Hotspot" Sit On It!
Here are some projects where developers will have to wait it out because, don't get me wrong, the market for these large scale development will return but now is not the time for it.
Guilford Ave/Holiday St./Saratoga St. This desolate little corner of Downtown has great potential especially of the JFX was taken down. Plans have been in the works for sky scrapers with ground floor retail.
Key Highway/Harborview. The Developer is not being careful in proceeding with his plans for two additional residential high rises dubbed "Pinnacle 1" and "Pinnacle 2" in addition to Harborview's current high rise and town homes. The land west of Key Highway isn't looking too good either.
McCormick Spice Plant Site. Great location at Light and Conway Streets currently being used as a pay parking lot, very expensive I might add. Plans call for Baltimore's tallest building yet!Westport. Patrick Turner is still going ahead with $1 Billion plus development of the Middle Branch, the first such development to reach the shores of the Middle Branch I hope it's successful right off the bat. The Middle Branch has been waiting for redevelopment for quite some time now.
Howard and Franklin. Demolition has begun on one of the Westside of Downtown's most blighted intersections but what is going its place?Photo from Developer Website
Waterview Overlook. Another project on the Middle Branch which was going along smoothly with buyers waiting in line to buy a condo or town home in Cherry Hill but it's been yanked, maybe buyer financing fell through a number of times.
Vistas on the Lake. Finally some new blood in Reservoir Hill. Now there has been a great revival in Reservoir Hill but little new development that will create a broader income mix has shelfed by the same developers as Waterview Overlook.
Pratt St. Yes there is land available on Pratt St. that faces the harbor! It's right in between the Galleria and the Baltimore Examiner Offices. I don't know how this got overlooked.
Station North, now Station North can continue to flourish without the aide of big developers, in fact it would be in the best interest of current residents that developers don't come in and they're allowed to continue rehabbing old homes and warehouses on the their own. There are still plans for six sky scrapers, up to 100,000 square feet of retail, a Boutique Hotel, and a Concert Hall.
Photo From Google Earth
Paca/Madison/Monument/Eutaw. This barren parcel will one day be a vibrant part of Downtown's Westside.
State Center aka "Eutaw District" By selling off the land that State Office Buildings sit on Streuver Brothers Eccles and Rouse hope to fuse together the neighborhoods of Bolton Hill, Madison Park, Upton, Seton Hill, and Mount Vernon.
Photo From Google Earth
Port Covington. Yet Another Middle Branch parcel. Port Covington was developed with a Wal Mart and Sam's Club. Sam's Club is closing (if it hasn't already) and Wal Mart might not be far behind. The Baltimore Sun has its printing press here and with newspapers falling victim to Online Publiucations Port Covington can give way to high density mixed use development when the market turns around. The Middle Branch will see its day in the sun.
Oldtown Mall/Penn Fallsway/Public Housing. This large area needs to be looked at comprehensively once the market turns around. The public housing in the area which consists of Somerset Homes,Douglass Homes, and LaTrobe Homes all are set to hit the wrecking ball. Oldtown Mall is almost completely vacant and Penn Fallsway is acres of surface level parking. Thomas G. Hayes Elementary has closed and Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle is grossly under enrolled as is Dunbar High. Dunbar High will have many other schools redistricted to it after a major renovation in my plan to fill vacant seats. Forest St. Apartments are included as well. We can't look at these blighted areas separately, we have to take a comprehensive look as if these seperate developments are one large vacant parcel and redevelop it as such.
Bond St Wharf/Harbor Point. Like the Pratt St. Parcel there's a large vacant parcel in Fels Point that has been overlooked by developers until relatively recently. Streuver Brothers Eccles and Rouse have aquired this former chemical plant to redevelop it into mixed use retail/office and a hotel. Henderson's Wharf has enjoyed a great revival as has the rest of Fels Point and I'm sure that Harbor Point, when the economy turns around it will be a great link from Harbor East to Henderson's Wharf.Now all these parcels are great development opportunities. It's just that our economy and our real estate market are in the toilet and these development projects will just have to wait until they're feasible. In other words; Sit On It!

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