Developers released more detailed designs Monday for a planned tower coming to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor — a long-anticipated project that will replace the parking lot where Baltimore’s News American building once stood.
The proposed 40-story, mixed-use tower on what is now a surface parking lot at 300 E. Pratt St. will fill what some have dubbed one of the Inner Harbor’s “missing teeth.”
The 500,000-square-foot, glass-and-steel building will feature a hotel, office building and 600-car parking garage as well as residential and retail space, according to a news release Monday from Newmark Knight Frank, which is handling some leasing for the project.
Similar design plans have floated through the hands of different firms over the years, starting as early as 2013 when Chicago-based parking garage operator and developer InterPark bought the site for $16.4 million in 2013 and requested bids.
The latest proposal comes from a partnership of InterPark and an affiliate of Baltimore-based development firm MCB Real Estate, with designs by HKS Architects. MCB officially signed on to the Pratt Street project last fall.
“The location is key,” said P. David Bramble, MCB’s managing partner. “The timing is right. We’ve got tenant interest and we have the ingredients at this time to make this happen.”
Bramble said support from the project’s stakeholders, including the Baltimore Development Corp., the Downtown Partnership and the mayor’s office, demonstrate the property’s importance to the city’s business interests.
BDC President and CEO Colin Tarbert said in a statement that the group looks forward to bringing this “prime downtown real estate” project to fruition with the other stakeholders.
“The City of Baltimore is incredibly enthusiastic about the opportunity that this project creates to attract even more residents, businesses and retail to downtown,” he said.
MCB’s portfolio includes the still-in-progress Northwood Commons shopping center near Morgan State University, the redevelopment of the Madison Park North Apartments in Reservoir Hill and the redeveloped Arundel Plaza in Glen Burnie.
While no tenants have committed to occupying space in the building, Bramble said interested parties include full-service hotels and retailers. He said the project remains in its earliest stages and thus he could not offer a construction time frame or financial estimate.
The group also has yet to meet with the city’s Urban Design and Architecture Advisory Panel, which reviews the plans for all major city development projects and offers feedback to the Baltimore Planning Department.
Bramble said this project — which occupies a narrow space in the heart of a high-density downtown area — has stumped past developers and might prove challenging for the current team to execute, as well.
“There’s never any guarantees, but everyone wants to see this last remaining piece of the central business district happen,” he said. “We have a real shot to make this happen, but we have a lot of work to do between now and when we break ground.”