"We haven't had any communication for over two years as the center became a drag on the community reminiscent of the decline of Belvedere Square," before that shopping center was redeveloped with city help in the early 2000s.

"We need to understand (Hekemian's) plans, when they expect change will occur, how their proposed changes will enhance the quality of life of the community and why they will be successful now when they weren't before," Spevak said.

Gary Sever, president of the Medfield Community Association, said he wants to know "whether they are planning to proceed immediately once they obtain the necessary (city) approvals."

Traffic and parking concerns are also on the minds of some task force members, including Hampden Community Council secretary Genny Dill, who lives on Elm Avenue overlooking the mall.


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"I am very concerned about heavy trucks and equipment on Elm Avenue," Dill said. Even without redevelopment of the mall, "the street is in terrible shape. Every year it is refilled and patched, and every year it cracks and sinks."

Johns Hopkins University, which bought the old Zurich office building next door to the Rotunda and is using it for employees, is "interested in seeing that the development is an asset to (Hopkins) and to the broad community," said task force member Salem Reiner, director of community affairs for Hopkins.

Other task force members, like Joan Floyd, co-president of the Remington Neighborhood Alliance, are simply interested in observing the planning process for now.

"RNA's role, as before, is to be an observer and to support our neighbors in Hampden," Floyd said.

Task force member Jay Brodie, president of theBaltimore Development Corp., the city's quasi-public economic development agency, has a personal as well as professional interest in the future of the Rotunda.

"I am a neighbor — and want very much to see The Rotunda improved," he said.