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New development in Annapolis, Pierce’s Park and tidbits

Annapolis Mayor Joshua J. Cohen is pushing legislation to streamline the review process for new development.

The action was unveiled this week in the capital city and is being touted as an economic stimulus there.

Cohen’s plan would eliminate duplicative hearings before the citizen Planning Commission and the Board of Appeals. At present, each board has its own review and public hearings on planned developments and special exceptions. If the new legislation goes through, planned developments will be reviewed only by the Planning Commission, and special exceptions will be considered only by the Board of Appeals.

“I am committed to changing City Hall from a ‘culture of no’ to a ‘culture of yes,’”  Cohen said in a statement. “We need to strike the right balance to streamline and simplify the development process while continuing to maintain public input and high standards. This simple change will have a big impact, saving property owners significant time and expense in the development process.”

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The newest park on Baltimore’s waterfront is on schedule, officials report.

Pierce’s Park will open this fall near Pier V and Little Italy.

The park, dedicated to the memory of construction magnate Pierce Flanigan, will offer a green alternative to the concrete that surrounds the harbor attractions – in more ways than one.

Benches will be constructed of sustainable material including used Belgium blocks “rescued from the streets of Baltimore and reused to make original and unique looking benches for our park,” an update from the Waterfront Partnership says.

Farther east, volunteers from Morgan Stanley’s new glassy, classy Harbor East office helped to clean up the area late last month.

The workers painted light poles, and picnic tables, and spruced up the anchors and cannons of historic landmarks in the community.

The local office, which was given a huge tax break by the City Council in late December when the panel voted to include the building in a new tax increment financing district, did the work as part of the Waterfront Partnership’s Healthy Harbor Initiative.

“As a member of the Baltimore community and as a business located on the waterfront, we at Morgan Stanley are strong advocates for the…Healthy Harbor Initiative,”  Robin Harris, managing director of MS Business Services Center, said in a statement. “Morgan Stanley has a culture of giving back to the communities in which we live and work.”

What goes around, comes around indeed.

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The Preston Gateway Corporate Park in Anne Arundel County will soon have a new tenant. Oceaneering International Inc. recently signed a lease for 67,791 square feet. The move will expand Oceaneering’s space there to 114,478 square feet in the Class A warehouse complex.

Michael A. Elardo and Brian Kruger, of Cushman & Wakefield’s Industrial Services Group, get the nod for the business deal with the park’s owners, Prudential Real Estate Investors. The 1.1 million-square-foot park is now nearly 100 percent leased.

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Tidbits: In a corner of the Haagen-Dazs shop in Harbor East at 685 South President Street, a small table now offers the splendid Caroline’s Cupcakes. The sweet treats by a city girl who learned to love baking from her mother and grandmother, recently opened up its second city location there. . .Chazz: A Bronx Original has also opened at 1415 Aliceanna St. Celebrity Chazz Palminteri is the host of this retro pizza, pasta and Panini palace…It’s Sugar, Baltimore’s newest candy store, opened at Harborplace on July 2.