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Harborplace in financial uncertainty; mayor says it could bring opportunity

Posted at 9:11 PM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-06 08:56:03-04

BALTIMORE — Harborplace, once the jewel of the Inner Harbor, is broke, and the bank is calling in the note. .

The landmark shopping area is now in receivership, but some local leaders say that maybe that is an opportunity.

It was built 40 years ago. It's what so many said was the catalyst for a Baltimore renaissance back then. In recent years, Harborplace has struggled with empty store fronts and a half-hearted attempt at a renovation.

The Harborplace went into receivership this week, which could signal the sale of the property or even a complete re-imagination of the area. Mayor Jack Young said on Wednesday he is totally shocked by the news, but that maybe this provides an opportunity.

The mayor said maybe it should be torn down after 40 years and re-imagined in much the same way as National Harbor in Prince George's County, with a Ferris wheel, carousels, shops, restaurants and open public spaces.

"I would like to see a mixture of everything there, but I don't own it. We own the land, but whoever buys it, it is up to them, but I would like to have those conversations, and I would like for them to do a survey of not only the citizens of Baltimore but our visitors in the hotel put out little surveys, what is it, what would attract to the harbor," said Mayor Young.

For now, the process will have to work its way through the courts. A development company out of New Jersey was tapped to manage the facility in the meantime.

Mayor Young says he has yet to speak with the group, and it is unclear what will immediately happen next with the property.