A new era for Baltimore’s Harborplace shopping complex will rise from a blank slate, the project’s developer said Sunday.
A spokeswoman for MCB Real Estate, Harborplace’s newly appointed steward, said the Inner Harbor’s two “pavilions” will be torn down to make way for the waterfront promenade’s next chapter.
MCB Real Estate managing partner P. David Bramble did not expound on when demolition might occur, but spokeswoman Alexandra Hughes said in an email to The Baltimore Banner that the developer will continue to engage with community members as part of its 12-month “design phase.” That includes public forums, neighborhood canvassing events and small, focus group-style meetings with community organizations and neighborhood groups.
The update was first reported by the Baltimore Business Journal.
The two, two-story pavilions, erected by The Rouse Co. as part of a then-effort to revive downtown Baltimore, opened in 1980. In 2012, it sold to Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., which went on to default on a loan and allow the pavilions to decline over nearly a decade.
Bramble, who officially acquired the rights to Harborplace in April after a receivership court battle, is a Baltimore native whose portfolio contains other high-profile city projects including Yard 56 in Canton near Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital, The Rotunda in Hampden and Arundel Plaza in Glen Burnie. He has said it will take years for the firm to fully overhaul the complex.
“I think that, obviously, everybody knows that this project is going to take a while to plan, to gather the necessary community engagement and strategize on resiliency, and all the other things that are going to go into the overall redevelopment of the project over time,” Bramble told the State of Downtown Baltimore Breakfast audience in March.
He continued: “However, we can’t let our crown jewel just sit around and languish while we work on that over the next couple of years, with [the planning department] and with the mayor’s office and with the community.”
In the meantime, MCB Real Estate has signed temporary leases with some tenants, including the Baltimore-based Crust by Mack and Matriarch Coffee, and has hosted events to reengage community members with the site. Bramble has said his vision for an overhauled Harborplace would include local and national retail tenants along with space for residential, office, hospitality, food and entertainment.