Thursday, May 30, 2013

Seriously Superblock?

http://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/blog/morning-edition/2013/05/superblock-developers-ask-bdc-for.html

So this makes it the 6th time the developers of the Superblock are asking the city for an extension to secure financing and finishing plans for the massive project. The current extension, granted 6 months ago, is set to expire on June 30th.

Seriously, this project has languished for over a decade as the city wheels and deals with the developers to build something. They have already received millions of dollars in tax breaks and still cannot get anything done.  The Baltimore Development Corporation seem hesitant to grant another extension, and if they don't then this project will start all over, be bid out again, and we'll see no construction or improvement for another 5 year minimum.

Now if the city had instead parceled out the properties into smaller, more manageable, and more easily developed sections then maybe something could have been done by now. Better yet, they could have focused on rehabbing the larger, more architecturally significant buildings for adaptive reuse, and knocked down some of the smaller buildings that were either in poor shape or could not be effectively adapted to another purpose. If that route had been chosen, we probably would already have by now a more vibrant and healthy Howard Street corridor.

Let's see how this plays out, but I'm not too optimistic.