Exelon building will pull energy from downtown

Granted, the announced move of Constellation Energy/Exelon's new Baltimore headquarters around the Inner Harbor's northeast corner is not a quantum jump. Constellation's present location at 750 E.Pratt St. is already on the edge of downtown, furnishing walk-up patrons for restaurants in Little Italy and other eastern neighborhoods. The new HQ will be less than a mile away.

But it will pull more energy from the downtown core and shift the balance of activity further eastward. Downtown landlords, who have lost tenants in the economic downturn, were already concerned about the planned redevelopment of State Center in midtown Baltimore, on their northern flank. Now they're seeing what looks like new energy for the east side of the harbor, which had already pulled tenants from downtown, most notably Legg Mason. Morgan Stanley is also there, is are the Marriott and a cool collection of restaurants and shops.

Plus, Exelon's move will free up new downtown inventory, of which there is already an ample supply. Baltimore's downtown core is in no danger of turning into a ghost town. When the economy comes back so will the tenants. But the rents downtown landlords can command may not be what they would wish.

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