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Preview: 'round downtown baltimore

'round downtown baltimore

Updated: 2018-03-08T09:47:29.890-05:00


summer break


Our blog is on a bit of a hiatus. It will return this fall as part of our newly-redesigned website, thnx.

filene's basement stays open after all


It's kind of confusing but, as you probably know, the Filene's Basement chain has been struggling. It had closed two of its three Baltimore-area stores, leaving only the Downtown Baltimore location at Lockwood Place open.Last week, a bankruptcy court auctioned Filene's off and the winning bidder, the Men's Wearhouse chain, announced it would close the Downtown store. They didn't say why, and you

checking out the hotel monaco


Hotel Monaco staff welcoming visitors for a preview tourWe've been fortunate to get preliminary looks at the new Hotel Monaco that's scheduled to open in the historic B&O building (at Charles and Baltimore Streets) in about a month. It's part of the high-end Kimpton hotel chain and they've done a great job building out this unique space.There will be a little more than 200 rooms with top

shuttle launch


The mayor unveiled the new busses and name of the Downtown shuttle. When it begins in late summer / early fall the service will be called the Charm City Circulator.It'll consist of about 20 clean-energy busses that run on three continuously looping routes. One will go from west Baltimore (near the B&O Museum) through the heart of the Downtown tourist district and terminate in Harbor East. The

summer school: downtown 101


This is the time of year when businesses take on interns or summer associates. We want to help these seasonal hires make the most of their time working downtown and, hopefully, convince them to come back and live / work here when they finish school. So, we've started a kind of orientation event that includes a reception, a quick presentation, and plenty of resources to find things to do, ways to

afternoon baseball


co-worker, Faith, and a friendThere are plenty of good reasons to work downtown but, hands down, my favorite is the businessman's special ... aka, weekday afternoon baseball games.The O's could get their first sweep of the season when they play the Blue Jays at 1:35. But whether they win or lose is almost beside the point. For a lot of people, these games are about heading to the ballpark when

no rust belt here


the American Can Co. (image from the Can Co. website, Some things stubbornly refuse to go away. Like ailanthus "trees." Or this.Similarly, there are lingering perceptions about Baltimore, some good (affordable, city of neighborhoods), some trite (funky charm), some harmful (full of crime), and some outdated - that we're a blue collar town, for example.My relatives worked at American

monthly design conversations


Tonight is the latest in an ongoing series of conversations about design in Baltimore. They're held the first Wednesday of the month at the excellent Wind Up Space (12 W. North Avenue).The conversations are curated but open discussions that include presentations by architects, graphic designers, urban planners, and other Big Thinkers. And, each month the program is centered around a specific

word about Baltimore travels


When you've got a captive audience you don't always need to be captivating. Such is the case with in-flight magazines offered gratis by several major airlines.They're designed as advertising vehicles for the different markets served by the carrier and, by definition, their goal is to appeal to as wide a cross section of people as possible.I often read them when I'm flying, and I've even helped

so this sucked


Photo from the Baltimore Sun taken by Jed Kirschbaum.This happens every so often in older homes, cars, cities. Stuff breaks. And, as was the case with the recent water main break that still has Lombard Street closed, people sometimes have a good idea where repairs should happen before it becomes an emergency.Unfortunately, it can be difficult to come up with the money and initiate a majorly

we're back


In case you haven't noticed, we took some time away from the blog. What can we say, we've been very busy. Since our last post, Mayor Dixon has announced the Pratt Street Initiative, and progress is already being made (more on that in a later post). What else...? The Downtown circulator service we worked to create will begin late in the summer. There was a contest to name the shuttle system and

more on the suburban shift


To pick up where my previous post left off, there's a spate of new scholarship about the re-emergence of city centers. (Not to gloat, but we've been pointing this out for years.)At our last Business Over Breakfast meeting, we were fortunate to have Brookings Institute fellow Christopher Leinberber talk about the renewed interest in downtowns and how he thinks it will play out.The gist of his

slowing suburban migration


An interesting article in The Washington Post looks at the linkage between gas and the American Dream, basically explaining how the relatively low cost of fuel and the rise of the automobile helped drive people out of cities into suburban clusters for the past several decades - a trend that may be shifting now that gas prices have risen so dramatically.Post reporter Eric Weiss writes:Since the

Restaurant Week in B-more


I have celebrated my birthday a grand total of 7 times now, and it isn’t because I am popular or that I have hit some huge milestone, it is simply due to the fact that everyone has crazy schedules in the summer. It is absolutely impossible to get a group together without loosing someone. So you can imagine my surprise when I made reservations for 15 at the Black Olive to celebrate restaurant week

downtown rental market


the zenith - one of downtown's newest appartment buildings (photo by mitro hood)The national housing slowdown hasn't hurt residential growth here in Downtown. We gained roughly 1,000 new residents last year, and we predict that number will grow this year.Demand for apartments, in particular, is very strong. Many buildings are currently 100% leased, and new properties just hitting the market are

cities and food


photo of Red Maple taken by Mitro HoodGood restaurants define great cities.Think about it... A thriving food scene implies taste and sophistication, it underscores the creativity and entrepreneurialism of a community, and it provides places for people and ideas to come together, mingle, and regenerate. Once known mostly for crabcakes, Baltimore's culinary traditions have been elevated

what lurks beneath


traffic has calmed at Charles Street & Saratoga, although crews are still working to repair conduit damaged by Monday's underground fireThe Sun's Doug Donovan and Jessica Anderson had an interesting article today about the tangled web of public and private utilities underneath our streets.Most of us are vaguely aware of power and sewer lines running below ground but have little idea just how



Source: Greater Baltimore Board of RealtorsGoing into 2008 the economic prognosticators were guarded about how the national economy would affect Downtown's.We interviewed 68 regional business leaders for our recent State of Downtown Report, and nearly all of them felt that things wouldn't be great, economically-speaking, but that Downtown's strengths would keep it from struggling the way it did

a city to watch


photo by Mitro HoodBaltimore is one of "America's Best Cities for Design."Almost.According to a Baltimore Sun report by architecture critic Ed Gunts, we just missed being a top ten city the likes of San Francisco, Portland, New York, Chicago, and Boston - which all made the list.Gunts writes that, "The independent survey by RMJM Hillier, a large architectural firm based in New York, ranks cities

blueprint for prosperity


The Brookings Institution has launched something it calls the Blueprint for American Prosperity, a policy initiative to improve the health of the country's metropolitan areas (which it defines as, "old and new suburbs, and even exurban and rural areas that, by virtue of their interwoven labor and housing markets, share common economic destinies"). According to Brookings, "Maryland has three of

fast cities


fast company photo/illustration by peter funchThe magazine Fast Company has named Chicago and London its 2008 cities of the year, praising them for their vibrancy and diversity as much as the strengths of their economies. Chicago has been on our minds a lot lately. In the past three years, Partnership staff has taken several trips there to meet with local officials and see how they do things. For

appreciating employees


For the second year now, we're hosting Employee Appreciation Week - a great excuse to get outside during the work day. I don't care how rich or powerful you may be, everybody appreciates free ice cream and pizza. We had a great day on Center Plaza this afternoon as you can see in these photos. The next event is a happy hour tomorrow at the Blue Door Bar (the plaza bar at Power Plant Live).

women and leadership


This week we kicked off the new Women's Leadership Initiative (WLI) and an impressive group of executives joined us for a chic party, presentations by women entrepreneurs, and a private screening of the new Sex & the City movie.The idea behind the initiative is pretty simple, and it came to us from our members. For some time we've heard from businesswomen who want new ways to connect with their

vegas, baby


“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Normally, that’s a smart move. But we’re hoping that’s not the case with the International Council of Shopping Centers’ (ICSC) annual Global Retail Real Estate Convention we attended recently.With more than 50,000 attendees, this is the Mecca of retail recruitment. National retailers, real estate brokers, and developers make the trek each year to find the

smart stadia


M&T Bank Stadium seen from Federal Hill park. (photo by Frank Klein)If you're a lacrosse fan, chances are you at least considered making the trip to the NCAA final tournament at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. In it's infinite wisdom, the NCAA has moved a tournament that drew record crowds here in Baltimore the past few years. I can't fault them for trying to grow the sport and