Preliminary plans for a red brick and glass hotel near Harbor East were approved Thursday by the city's architectural review panel.

The structure, at South Central Avenue and Fleet Street, also will have about 14,000 square feet for retail and restaurants on the first floor, said Neil Tucker, a partner with Chesapeake Real Estate Group LLC. It's too early to name retailers, he said, but that they will be equivalent in quality to retailers currently occupying Harbor East buildings.

"We look forward to expanding the retail offerings north and east from Harbor East," said Tucker, whose firm also developed the historic Bagby Furniture Building in nearby Little Italy.

Chesapeake Real Estate is working with a Bethesda-based developer, Ken Finkelstein, who is responsible for the hotel portion of the building. The hotel will have 208 rooms, Tucker said. The hotel's brand has not been released.

The partners hope to begin construction in the spring, with a opening date in the summer of 2014, Tucker said.

steve.kilar@baltsun.com

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