Without Phillips, Harborplace becomes 'Anytown, USA'

The loss of Phillips Seafood in Harborplace is substantial and troubling ("Phillips leaving Harborplace," June 11). Phillips is the last of what used to be many, local and authentic experiences in Harborplace. The replacement of these authentic tenants with "Anywhere, USA" chains has been a significant degradation of the Inner Harbor experience for out of town and especially local patrons in the past 10 years.

What is perhaps more troubling are the comments made by the folks of the Baltimore Development Corporation suggesting that this prime location fronting the Baltimore Visitor Center and the waterfront be filled with a retail tenant similar to H&M or Urban Outfitters. Giving a front row seat to Baltimore's crown jewel to a retail tenant that desires no outdoor space or windows is ludicrous and misguided. It is this lack of vision that has resulted in the hodgepodge mess that are the Harborplace Pavilions today.

Harborplace is at a crossroads. Baltimore needs strong leadership and vision that will prevent the harbor being ringed by clothing stores and Ferris wheels. Restoring an authentic Baltimore experience is vital for both tourism and citizens of Baltimore. The time is now.

Scott Vieth, Baltimore

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