Designers on Thursday presented new plans for a 15-story hotel near Johns Hopkins Hospital, after a nearly two-year lapse during which a new development team came on board and Marriott was selected to bear the flag.
Scott Levitan, director of development for Forest City-New East Baltimore Partnership, the master developer of the East Baltimore Development Inc. zone, said financing for the roughly $80 million project is in place and he hopes to see construction start by September.
A new partnership, which includes Greenebaum & Rose Associates and Pyramid Hotel Group, has the property under contract as LSH GE Gateway 2 LLC, he said.
The 194-key hotel with about 20,000 square feet of retail, to be located on the southern edge of a proposed park, would be known as the Residence Inn at Johns Hopkins Hospital. A later phase would add 100 more rooms and about 7,000 square-feet of new retail.
Thursday's plan, by Gensler and Mahan Rykiel Associates, was more detailed than its 2013 iteration, and had adjustments designed to make it feel more open to the public.
Members of the city's Urban Design & Architecture Review Panel said they are concerned about traffic flow in the hotel's drop-off area and worried that a staircase to second-floor retail is too forbidding to be viable. They also raised questions about the durability of the building material planned for the building facade.