It also does a great job in connecting itself to its surrounding buildings for pedestrians via sky walks. So what's my gripe? It's ugly and it doesn't take advantage of its prime location like it could and should. The Convention Center is not alone in its small height, lack of ground floor amenities, and dated design. It is however alone in the fact that aren't any redevelopment plans for it. Both the First Mariner Arena and the Mechanic Opera House are in the same situation but redevelopment interest of both of those properties is a very real possibility. I would say in a better economy I would call it a certainty. But what about the Convention Center, better yet how can such a project be done without Baltimore losing out on Convention Revenue during construction?
With Stephanie Rawlings Blake as Mayor, she has been championing relocating 1st Mariner Arena to another site. It's obvious that any redevelopment of 1st Mariner Arena is way off in the future. Further adding to the urgency to the question of losing Convention Revenue it is reported that Baltimore will lose out on events at 1st Mariner Arena during the redevelopment which could take three or four years once it begins.
David S. Brown Enterprises has committed to redeveloping the Mechanic as a Mixed Use Center with a new Mechanic Opera House, roughly 100,000 Square Feet of Retail, a 160 Room Hotel, and 250 Apartments all housed in a 30 Story Sky Scraper.
There is speculation of whether that site can accommodate another Hotel especially as two new Hyatt Brand Hotels have just opened near by (shown above under construction). I would argue that Office Space would be a better suit to help reestablish that area as the Central Business District.
One way the City can keep its Convention Business is by not disturbing the underground portions of the building. The lobby, which is on the main level will be changed drastically but I haven't seen it used much for the Conventions I've attended. The West Hanover St. Portion will have Ground Floor Retail, an above ground Parking Garage, and a 40 Story Office Tower. The East Hanover St. portion will have additional Ground Floor Retail, an above ground Parking Garage of its own, and a 30 Story Apartment and Condo Tower.
I've elected against having another Hotel because there are three literally engulfing it. Also, that location overlooking the Harbor is lacking Office and Residential Space.