Thursday, February 28, 2008

Reclaiming a historic restaurant in Baltimore

Yesterday the Baltimore Sun reported that the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC)reached a deal to buy the historic and iconic Chesapeake Restaurant which is located on Charles Street near Penn railroad station. BDC proposes shops, restaurants, a gallery and condos for the site.

Excerpt from the article:

"The BDC selected Station North Development Partners LLC in 2005 to build Chesapeake Square - then proposed as an estimated $40 million to $50 million project with shops, restaurants, an art gallery, subsidized artists' lofts, a 91-unit condominium tower and 11 townhouses."

This deal is not only important in providing commercial activity near Baltimore's train station which is currently almost non-existent or out of visible sight to travelers but will help invigorate the Charles North community which is sandwiched in between the prominent neighborhoods of Charles Village to the north and Mount Vernon to the south. Filling in the gap of development along Charles street can only make the corridor stronger and help revitalize the intersection of Charles Street and North Avenue, which is one of the city's most prominent intersections but has been in decline for the last three to four decades.

Currently there are some positive signs that the crucial intersection of Charles St. and North Ave. is coming back online with the redevelopment of the North Avenue Market site but there is still signs of a weak market with the failed redevelopment of condos on Calvert Street just a few blocks away which was also in close proximity to the train station.

Hopefully, the new proposal by BDC will provide a stronger link to the train station as well as provide more density and amenities to the site and neighborhood that will attract potential residents and frequent passerbys from the city but also from the much coveted D.C. commuter crowd as well.

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