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Panel review of proposed EBDI office continues

The Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel wants to continue examining plans for a mixed-use building proposed as part of the 88-acre East Baltimore Development Inc. initiative.

The panel Thursday reviewed plans for the proposed building at 1812 Ashland Ave. after developer Forest City-New East Baltimore Partnership and architect Perkins + Will were asked to come back after the panel granted design approval last month. The famously picky panel wanted to review elements such as the corner entrance of the building, a loading dock area, proposed materials and the roofscape.

“I think it’s two-thirds to three-quarters of the way there,” panelist David Haresign said.

The developer plans for the building, part of the Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins, to include office and lab space. In addition the company wants to include a small amount of retail space. Architect William Harris said the company envisions having a coffee shop at the location.

After reviewing the project in June, the panel was still critical of features such as the entrance design, loading area and the roof design.

Panelist Richard Burns was critical of the loading area. He acknowledge the design flaws may be mitigated once a planned building closer to the Rutland Avenue and East Eager Street intersection is completed, but he said that in the meantime it looked like the service area didn’t belong in that location.

“For right now it doesn’t look like a great solution,” Burns said Thursday.

Panelist Judith Meany expressed disappointment with the incorporation of sustainable features, such as a green roof for the project, saying they weren’t well-integrated into the project’s design.

“It’s very tepid,” Meany said.

The development at the 31-acre Science + Technology Park celebrated a milestone last week when developers, city and state officials celebrated the ribbon cutting for the $170 million J. Mehsen Joseph Public Health Laboratory.

That building, located at 1770 Ashland Ave., replaces Maryland’s public health center at State Center and is down the street from the proposed building at 1812 Ashland Ave.