Metropolitan Partnership Ltd. and Madison Marquette recently announced plans to build a 33-story, 404-foot glass building near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The property located on Light Street had formally been a parking lot, but the Virginia developer has proposed to construct a mixed-use building that will feature both apartments and offices. According to the plan the building will have 10 floors of offices, about 340 apartments and a 646-spot parking garage. It is just the type of new property development Baltimore needs to meet the growing needs of local residents and business people.
Last summer a proposal to build a 22-story apartment project at the cost of $110 million was approved and about $28 million in bonds to build the parking garage was raised by the Baltimore Development Corporation. The decision to add 10 floors of offices may have influenced by M&T Bank’s need for office space. Cary M. Euwer Jr., Metropolitan’s CEO, says the added office space is designed to help develop the financial district and support the company’s other Light Street projects on the key downtown block.
This type development has long been what stakeholders envisioned for the area and has the backing of city leaders and the Downtown Partnership. It meets their urban design and architecture desires and could spur further development, transform the President Street area and benefit the city long-term. Although questions still remain about the viability of the area as a live-work-play zone so close to Little Italy’s small row homes, many are excited about what the project could mean for the city’s future. Many other residential and commercial developments have been proposed.
There is another proposal for a 16 story tower with apartments and retail space. Planning director Thomas J. Stosur and other city leaders are excited about the vitality the projects will bring to the President Street area and downtown Baltimore in general. There is now growing momentum for the area to grow, development and be transformed into something of which people can be proud. The challenge is to have the new development be compatible with the established neighbors. But the proposed projects will create jobs, stimulate economic growth and create yet another destination for visitors and Baltimore residents to visit and enjoy.
These projects are an encouraging sign that hint about a new vibrancy for President Street, One Light Street and the downtown area in general. They show that positive changes are coming to the area.