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This Week's Baltimore Deal Sheet: Harborplace's New Strategy

MCB Real Estate co-founder P. David Bramble said his firm’s goal for redeveloping Harborplace is creating a space so cool that locals want to hang out there when the project is finished.  

Bramble’s comments represent a significant shift from the philosophy that guided the original Inner Harbor development. When the project delivered in the early 1980s, the pavilions served as accessories to tourist attractions like the National Aquarium. 

"The massive conclusion is basically that everyone wants a place to celebrate Baltimore, not for tourists, but for Baltimoreans," Bramble said, referring to feedback at community meetings. "And if we make it cool enough for Baltimoreans, then the tourists will want to be there too."

MCB Real Estate co-founder David Bramble speaks with community members who support his proposal to redevelop Harborplace.

The developer's comments came during a Greater Baltimore Committee event on Monday featuring Bramble and a panel consisting of three community members who support MCB’s plans to overhaul Harborplace. 

The still-developing plans, it was recently revealed, call for demolishing the existing Harborplace mall pavilions built by respected developer James Rouse, a proposal that has received a mix of criticism and praise

"Once the plans are out there, then there'll be time for people to give feedback on the plans and give ideas and complain about this or that," Bramble said. "We'll have time for plenty of that." 


Business advisory and investment banking firm Chesapeake Corporate Advisors has signed a lease with Harbor East Management Group for 5,283 SF of office space in Harbor East and plans to relocate from its offices at Brewer’s Hill by December. The firm plans to move 20 employees to the 27K SF, nine-story mixed-use building at 1001 Fleet St. MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services Senior Vice President Joe Bradley represented the tenant. Cushman & Wakefield’s Brian Wyatt represented Harbor East Management Group.


After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday, Rite Aid plans to close six locations around Baltimore, The Baltimore Sun reports. The Pennsylvania-based drugstore chain said in a court filing it plans to reject three leases in Anne Arundel County, including 5804 Ritchie Highway, 7501 Ritchie Highway and 7967 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd. Stores at 5624 Baltimore National Pike, 5 Bel Air South Parkway and 728 East Pulaski Highway are also slated to close. 


The Frederick Planning Commission narrowly approved a master plan for Greenberg Gibbons' proposed mixed-use Brickworks development in east Frederick, The Frederick News-Post reports. The commission voted 3-2 to approve a plan for the project that involves building up to 1,260 homes and 130K SF of retail space on the city’s East Street, the newspaper reported. In the same vote, it denied the developer's request to build closer to Monocacy Boulevard than the zoning code allows.


The buildings at 1900 Light St. slated for redevelopment.

The developers behind the proposed Riverside office and retail development at 1900 Light St. in South Baltimore — first announced in 2018 — expect to start construction on the project in the next four to six months, reports. The development is a partnership between the building’s owners, Stephen and Cheryl Wilhide, and development company Urban Pastoral Collective.


A proposed, 3,800-seat concert venue in Baltimore’s entertainment district that is under a construction hiatus is expected to open next year despite a legal dispute that is working its way through the Baltimore City Circuit Court, The Baltimore Banner reports. Caves Valley Partners partner Arthur Adler told the website the company hopes the Paramount Baltimore will open by mid-2024.    


The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development released revisions to its scoring criteria used to allocate federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and state rental housing funds to affordable housing developers. Changes are included in the 2023 Qualified Allocation Plan and Multifamily Rental Financing Program Guide. Those documents outline Maryland’s affordable housing priorities along with creating rules governing how project applications are scored via the competitive application process.


Hyatt Commercial has promoted George Shenas to vice president. Shenas joined the company in 2017, working in retail landlord services and tenant representation throughout the state.