Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Top 5: ‘It’s been a roaring success’

Lots of development news this week in the Charm City, with improvements to Power Plant Live!, a new Hilton hotel brand planning to come to town and a new design for the Superblock has been approved by the city’s architectural panel. Those stories and more in this week’s staff-written business top 5.

1. Power Plant Live! getting two more restaurants – by Rachel Bernstein

The Cordish Cos. announced Wednesday the final touches to its $10 million relaunch of Power Plant Live!, including two more restaurants and the need to hire hundreds of new employees for incoming tenants.

This is the first upgrade for the venue that attracts more than 3 million visitors annually and brings in more than $35 million in sales a year, according to the company. The announcement was made at the site by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore President J. Kirby Fowler Jr., and The Cordish Cos. Chairman and President David S. Cordish.

2. New Hilton hotel brand to debut in Baltimore – by Rachel Bernstein

A new Hilton hotel property plans to open in Baltimore in late May, positioning itself as one of the few extended-stay lodging options in the city at a time when hoteliers express concern about occupancy rates and a glut of available rooms.

Home2 is the McLean, Va.-based lodging chain’s newest brand, and the Baltimore location will be its third. Hilton is leasing the property at 8 E. Pleasant St. from Baywood Hotels Inc., which bought the Tremont Park Hotel for nearly $3.8 million in 2009. Baywood had turned the 13-story space into a Comfort Inn & Suites.

3. City’s architectural panel endorses new Superblock design – by Melody Simmons

A city panel endorsed a new design for the $150 million Superblock development that maintains two exterior walls of the former Read’s Drugs store, site of a historic 1955 lunch counter sit-in and civil rights protest by students from Morgan State University.

The vote Tuesday by the Baltimore Commission on Historical and Architectural Preservation means Lexington Square Partners LLC, the project’s developers, can proceed — but the panel mandated that final design plans must be presented at a public meeting for ultimate approval.

4. Lockheed challenges use of ‘Skunkworks’ name by gun maker – by Ben Mook

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. smelled something rotten when a Montana gun maker filed an application to trademark its name, Underground Skunkworks.

One of Bethesda-based Lockheed’s most storied divisions is its Advanced Development Programs, more popularly known by its trademarked name — the Skunk Works.

5. Constellation to acquire MXenergy for $175M – by Ben Mook

Prospective partners Constellation Energy Group Inc. and Exelon Corp. are looking to grow the family, as the companies made separate deals on Thursday to buy a power plant and a natural gas and electricity supplier.

Constellation, which is being acquired by Chicago-based Exelon, announced it is buying MXenergy, a Connecticut-based supplier of natural gas and electricity, for $175 million.