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Search is on for a name for new park at EBDI

In the coming weeks, a new park being planned for Middle East will get a name.

Among the candidates for the urban stretch along Wolfe Street near Johns Hopkins Hospital, where drug dealing and blight once dominated the landscape, are Hope Park, Imagination Park, People’s Park, Prospect Park, Tranquility Park and Unity Park.

East Baltimore Development Inc. officials are among the groups spearheading the naming of the park, expected to be constructed in two phases and designed around a “fitness” theme.

In addition, a hotel is being planned at the southern end of the park near the hospital — all part of the $1.8 billion redevelopment of the 88-acre site by EBDI.

Plans call for the 6-acre park to be located on the west side of N. Wolfe Street between Ashland Avenue and Biddle Street. Nearby, a new housing tower and parking garage are getting ready to welcome Johns Hopkins University graduate students.

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Recently, the city’s Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel was less than pleased when presented with the redrawn plans to redevelop the struggling Rotunda shopping center in north Baltimore.

UDARP officials expressed disapproval with the concept of making retail accessible from the outside only, rather than the mall-like accessibility now offered by the few remaining tenants. Giant Food moved out of the Rotunda in February for larger digs nearby, significantly reducing the foot traffic at the development.

The city’s design panel had heard the plans from the Rotunda’s owner, Hekemian & Co., which has worked overtime since the Giant’s departure to try to jump-start a proposed $100 million redesign and redevelopment of the mixed-use center near Roland Park that will also include new residential units.

For now, those plans remain a work in progress.

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Food shopping in Howard County continues its upward mobility.

This week, the Howard Hughes Corp. unveiled a lease with Whole Foods Market to open a new store in the former Rouse Company headquarters building at Lake Kittamaqundi designed by architectural rock star Frank Gehry. The grocery will locate a 45,000-square feet store on the main level and is expected to open in fall 2014.

“Opening in Columbia is an excellent opportunity for us to plant solid roots, encourage economic growth, job creation and community engagement,” said Scott Allshouse, a Whole Foods executive.

The market will be located near a planned luxury apartment complex called the Metropolitan, that will be the centerpiece of a redevelopment of Columbia’s town center by the Howard Hughes Corp.

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Monday morning at 10, the National Park Service and Fells Point officials will launch the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail at the foot of Broadway.

The ceremony will bring together representatives from all nine regions of the trail that stretch through sites in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. The trail marks some of the historic happenings during the three-year-long War of 1812.

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Colliers International recently inked long-term leases for two University of Maryland Faculty Physicians practices in the area.

Radiation Oncology will lease 4,399 square feet at the six-story Wexford Science & Technology-owned building at the University of Maryland BioPark in Baltimore, and pediatrics will occupy 4,572 square feet at 7556 Teague Road in Hanover.

In its new offices, Radiation Oncology will expand operations to the new Maryland Proton Treatment Center in the BioPark when it opens in 2015.

Pediatrics is moving into larger offices and will join other UM medical practices in the suburban midrise owned and managed by JPB Partners.

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This week, landscape architects at Floura Teeter moved into the newly renovated Park Plaza building at 800 N. Charles St. in Mount Vernon.

The group now occupies the third floor of the carefully restored building that was gutted in a December 2010 fire.

Alexander Design Studios custom-designed the 4,500-square-foot office space that uses the natural light streaming in from large windows facing historic Charles Street to help set a serene and green tone.

TIDBITS: M.A.C. Cosmetics joins chic retailers J. Crew and Anthropologie in grand openings at Harbor East this week … VTS-VM, LLC, an IT placement firm, has leased 2,987 square feet of office space at 8840 Stanford Blvd., Suite 3150 in Columbia. Jamie Campbell, Liz Tarran-Jones, Vince Bagli and Steve Shaw of Merritt Properties brokered the deal … Disgruntled employees of the posh waterfront Hyatt Regency Hotel this week marched on the hotel protesting recent layoffs of hourly workers, most of them in housekeeping. Tracy Lingo, an organizer for UNITE HERE, Local 7, said the hotel is now hiring a staff of mostly temporary workers from local agencies … Manekin LLC and Manekin Construction employees joined 86 subcontractors and vendors recently to raise about $26,000 for charity at an annual party. The funds will support 25 nonprofit organizations in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Charles, Cecil, Frederick, Harford, Howard and Prince George’s counties, as well as Baltimore City and Central Maryland. The charities include the American Cancer Society, the Maryland Food Bank, Hospice of Howard County and the House of Ruth.