January 14, 2010

Demolition Begins at 200 Block of W. Lexington St.

Representatives of C-W Superblock, LLC - The Cordish Company and The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. - elected officials and Westside stakeholders started the demolition on the north side of the 200 block West Lexington Street on Thursday making way for a new mixed-use development.

C-W Superblock, LLC will redevelop the site (adjacent to Catholic Relief Services' World Headquarters at the former the Stewart's Building) as a phased mixed-used project with a minimum of 70,000 square feet that could include residential, retail, parking and/or office space. A temporary 100-space surface parking lot for Catholic Relief Services (228 West Lexington Street) will be constructed by C-W Superblock, LLC.

Besides noting that this demolition represents continued progress on the Westside, BDC President M. J. "Jay" Brodie, whose agency is coordinating this initiative on behalf of the City, noted that, in the adjacent 100 block of West Lexington Street, the City is celebrating improvements to several existing buildings, including the opening of the New York 47th Street Jewelry Store.

Zed Smith, Vice President of Development for The Cordish Company, said, "We are very pleased to be part of a broader transformative redevelopment effort by developing a project that will complement the planned "Superblock" development and parallel the City's vision for the Westside corridor as a thriving commercial and residential urban environment."

"We finished the redevelopment of the Stewart's Building, which is occupied by the Catholic Relief Services, some five years ago," said Joel Winegarden, Vice President of Real Estate, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. "The remediation and demolition will lead to new development along Lexington Street creating a new busy urban environment and will create new jobs in downtown Baltimore. With the start of the demolition, the vision of a mixed-use connection between the University of Maryland, Lexington Market, Charles Street and the business district moves forward."

The City is carrying-out the environmental remediation and demolition per the Land Disposition Agreement (LDA) approved by the Board of Estimates between the City and C-W Superblock, LLC. P&J Contracting was selected by the Board of Estimates to perform the demolition through the process conducted by the City's Department of General Services.

Last year, 2009 marked the 10th anniversary of the Westside Initiative. The rebuilding of the Westside began with an emphasis on residential projects to attract young professionals to live in the City. Since that time, more than 1,900 residential units have been built on the Westside which include: The Atrium, Congress, Abell Building, Centerpoint, Camden Courts, St, James and other projects.

The Hippodrome Theatre at the Frances-Merrick Performing Arts Center led the way with the development of nearly an entire square block of mostly vacant properties to attract theatre patrons back to City Center; while the University of Maryland Medical Systems, the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland General Hospital and the UMB BioPark continues to lead in investment for the academic, research and institutional center on the Westside.


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