The Living and Real Estate Beat

A train rides through the Howard Street Tunnel/Photo by Maryland GovPics, Courtesy Creative Commons.
  • As the Baltimore Business Journal first reported, the reimagining of Lexington Market, which involves a massive redesign and the demolishing of the current beloved market building, has been approved by the Baltimore spending board for $250,000.
  • Merritt Properties has gotten the first go ahead to build a 200,000 square-foot, 20-story, $70 million office building in Canton near its Boston Street gym that would include retail space and a conferencing center. Groundbreaking on the building, if all goes as planned, should happen in 2021.
  • Improvements to the Howard Street tunnel are being reconsidered. The project, which would involve updating and adjusting the tunnel ideally to make the city’s port more active and lead to new jobs, has languished lately. But last week, James White, the executive director of the Port Administration, informed the House of Delegates budget committee that there is serious consideration again, with railroading company CSX Corporation and the deputy secretary of transportation (whose name is Jim Ports, just saying) in conversation. In the fall, CSX pulled their support, essentially saying they couldn’t justify the investment, and the city ended its request for $155 million dollars from the federal government.
  • In related port news, the debate about whether or not the city should expand its two crude oil terminals and add new ones continues. City Council has offered legislation to prohibit oil being moved by train through Baltimore neighborhoods. There is a growing public outcry as well to prevent oil spills and other potentially disastrous impacts (as Clean Water Action, who supports the council’s bill, has observed, “165,000 Baltimoreans live in the crude oil train blast zone”). On Feb. 21, there will be a hearing at 1 p.m. held by City Council’s Land Use and Transportation Committee. Those who support the prohibition of oil terminals expansion will gather in front of City Hall at noon.
  • Reed Cordish, son of developer David Cordish of Cordish Companies (and a former partner in Cordish Companies), has left his year-long role in the Trump administration as Trump’s head of the the Office of American Innovation. Mostly, Cordish had been involved in infrastructure changes, which are under consideration by congress and, despite the heavy price tag, remain some of the most (or maybe make the few?) promising changes from Trump since he came into office.
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