BDC balks at discount bid for prime downtown Baltimore property

Daily Record Business Writer //January 26, 2017

BDC balks at discount bid for prime downtown Baltimore property

By Adam Bednar

//Daily Record Business Writer

//January 26, 2017

New York-based Carlyle Development Group proposes building a 24,975-square-foot commercial space with Pratt Street fronting retail across from the Baltimore Convention Center. The developer calls the proposed project 1 Pratt Plaza. (Submitted rendering)
New York-based Carlyle Development Group proposes building a 24,975-square-foot commercial space with Pratt Street fronting retail across from the Baltimore Convention Center. The developer calls the proposed project 1 Pratt Plaza. (BCT Architects)

Baltimore’s quasi-governmental economic development agency wants full appraised price for a parcel of downtown land on which a developer proposes building a mixed-use project with retail.

The Baltimore Development Corp.’s board voted to back a committee’s recommendation to seek a total of $1.32 million for the property at 111 S. Hanover St. New York-based Carlyle Development Group offered $275,000 for the roughly half-acre of property fronting Pratt Street across from the Baltimore Convention Center.

The Project Review and Oversight Committee recommended to the board it seek the appraised price and didn’t see need for incentives for the project. The board voted unanimously in a closed session, according the corporation’s President and CEO William H. Cole IV, to back the recommendation.

(Submitted rendering)
‘We don’t feel there was any need to reduce the sale price,’ Deborah Hunt Dean, committee chair, said during the open portion of the board meeting. (BCT Architects)

Plans for the development, dubbed 1 Pratt Street Plaza, include constructing a 24,975-square-foot two-level building with 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail with three bays. The second level plans call for 16,000 square feet of space with an extended floor plate housing offices and public common space.

According to the initial timeline the developer proposed to the city, the work on the project could begin by the third quarter of 2019 and be complete by the final quarter of 2020.

To make room for the redevelopment, the France-Merrick Fountain would have to be demolished or moved. There’s no timetable for relocating or demolishing the fountain.

If the project at 1 Pratt Plaza comes to fruition it would be the latest retail development along the main eastbound corridor through downtown and the Inner Harbor. City leaders envision the area as a major retail area much in the way Michigan Avenue serves a similar role in Chicago.

Earlier this month Corporate Office Properties Trust unveiled plans to the city’s architecture review panel for a 27,500-square-foot retail building on Pratt Street.

That project, which the developer calls Ten East Pratt, also sits on a half acre of land. The two-story project involves 16,000 rentable square feet on the first floor, 11,500 square feet of retail and restaurant space on the second floor and a 4,500-square-foot terrace.

Upgrades to the building at 400 E. Pratt St. also added retail stores to the ground floor of that property. Tenants such as Shake Shack, Chick-fil-A and CVS have turned that portion of Pratt Street into a thriving retail area.

But trying to establish a retail district in the city comes with risk, as brick and mortar retailers struggle to complete with online entities, such as Amazon.

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