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H&M officially signs on at Harborplace

General Growth Properties has signed clothier H&M as a new tenant in Harborplace’s Light Street Pavilion, with its retail store expected to open this spring as part of a number of changes coming to the landmark.

The popular clothing store will take approximately 20,000 square feet near the Urban Outfitters store on both the first and second levels. The store is due to open in April or May, depending on construction.

Christopher Schardt, senior general manager of Harborplace, declined to disclose terms of the lease.

H&M’s opening will be the first of a few new retailers and restaurants Harborplace will lure to update its offerings, Schardt said.

“We’re looking at how to address the building because it’s aged,” he said. “This is the first of other plans that will come to fruition in the next couple years.”

Last fall, three eateries — Gourmet Chicken, Thai Noodle Bowl and Brown Sugar Southern BBQ — closed at Harborplace.

Schardt declined to say how much space was still available at Harborplace but said more negotiations for filling that space are in the works.

Chicago-based General Growth and the Greater Baltimore Committee are part of a task force studying how to revitalize the Inner Harbor, including Rash Field, Harborplace and the promenade that runs along the harbor. Harborplace celebrated its 30th anniversary last year.

Laurie Schwartz, director of Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, said the partnership is excited about the new tenant.

“Having it located next to Urban Outfitters really helps solidify the Light Street Pavilion,” Schwartz said.

The partnership is working on a number of ways to reinvigorate the Inner Harbor as soon as this summer, she said, though she declined to disclose details.

Since Harborplace opened in 1980, the complex has welcomed millions of visitors.

Harborplace was built by developer James W. Rouse and the Rouse Co. near the former Light Street site of the Old Bay Line’s steamship terminal and docks.

General Growth took ownership of Harborplace in 2004 after acquiring Columbia-based Rouse Co.

GGP filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009, but started to emerge from bankruptcy last year as it gained $6.5 billion in financial investments.

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