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This Week's Baltimore Deal Sheet

A Baltimore City Council committee advanced legislation Tuesday that would enable MCB Real Estate to proceed with its planned $500M redevelopment of Harborplace. 

MCB Real Estate's renderings of the planned Harborplace redevelopment.

The Economic and Community Development Committee approved a trio of bills amending height restrictions and removing constraints on building luxury apartments around the Inner Harbor. The legislation still requires approval from the entire 15-member city council, and voters must approve a referendum on portions of the plan that require amending the city charter. 

MCB’s proposal has garnered support from fellow developers, commercial real estate brokers and economic development agencies. However, some residents and business leaders have criticized aspects of the plan, ranging from its design and density to allegations that City Hall showed MCB preferential treatment.  

MCB's plans to redevelop Harborplace call for a 32-story mixed-use building with up to 1,000 residential units at 303 Light St., a 200K SF retail and commercial building at 201 E. Pratt St., and a 200K SF commercial asset at 203 E. Pratt St. 

Additionally, the developer envisions creating park space at 301 Light St. with an 8,500 SF retail building along with a publicly accessible 2,000-seat amphitheater with elevated waterfront views and 30K SF of park space.  


Spark GHC has purchased the 289-room, dual-branded Aloft/Element Arundel Mills BWI Airport hotel in Hanover for an undisclosed sum. Property records list the previous owner as NF III Arundel Mills LLC, which purchased it for $36.7M in 2017. Amenities include an indoor pool, fitness center, 24-hour market, guest laundry and meeting space. JLL’s hospitality group brokered the deal on behalf of the seller.  


Private equity real estate investment firm CREC Real Estate LLC said it sold the 240-unit Orchard Meadows Apartments in Ellicott City for an undisclosed amount. The nonprofit Howard County Housing Commission told the Baltimore Business Journal it purchased the property following a $62M bond sale. Property records show CREC Real Estate LLC, operating as Orchard Meadows Apartments Owner LLC, purchased Orchard Meadows for $50.5M in 2018. CREC Real Estate LLC called the purchase the firm’s most significant investment from its first real estate fund. Of the seven properties purchased through that fund, CREC said it has sold three. 


Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott

Mayor Brandon Scott’s administration plans to buy a pair of downtown hotels to serve as homeless shelters, The Baltimore Banner reports. Scott’s office is expected to request that the city spending board approve $15M for the Sleep Inn & Suites Downtown Inner Harbor and the Holiday Inn Express Baltimore-Downtown. The spending board will also consider approving a $3.2M management agreement for the properties.


D.C.-based Clyde’s Restaurant Group plans to open its Rye Street Tavern concept at Baltimore Peninsula by May 6. The new concept will take space formerly filled by the initial Rye Street Tavern that closed after the start of the pandemic. The new incarnation will occupy space reimagined by Grizform Design Architects, including extensive renovations, such as a redesigned kitchen, oyster bar and waterfront venue.


MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services LLC has hired Craig Kates as vice president in the firm’s Annapolis office. In that role, he will advise companies on office, industrial and retail real estate in Maryland, Northern Virginia and D.C.  


MacKenzie Management Co., the asset and property management division of The MacKenzie Cos., has promoted Heather Gannon to controller. Gannon previously held the title of assistant controller at the firm where she has worked since 2014.