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The Dripby Mark Reutter8:59 amSep 18, 20120

Harborplace to pay higher rent for pavilions

Above: Pratt Street Pavilion at Harborplace.

Baltimore will get a hefty hike in rental revenue from the owner of the Harborplace Pavilions under an agreement hammered out by city development officials.

In return for extending the lease of city land occupied by the twin pavilions through 2087, General Growth Properties (GGP) has agreed to pay the city $262,500 per year – a nearly three-fold increase from the average $101,700 paid in the last five years.

The new rental rate is based on 7% of the $3.75 million appraised value of the city land at the corner of Pratt and Light streets, according to data from the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC).

The new rate will stay in effect for the next 10 years, then increase by a modest 5% in 2022 before being reset by a new appraisal in 2054.

In return for extending the lease, GGP agreed to make various improvements to the pavilions popular with tourists and downtown lunch crowds.

Over the next three years, the Chicago-based company will replace the exterior awnings of the buildings, upgrade exterior lighting, provide new landscaping, screen the trash compactor room, and clean and repair concrete surfaces, including the Pratt Street pedestrian bridge.

Mix of Upscale and Kitsch

Harborplace was opened on July 4, 1980 to great hoopla by the Rouse Co.

With its mix of kitsch and upscale stores and restaurants, it has become a civic fixture and the crossroads of downtown. But along with a celebration at its 30th anniversary, there was some civic soul-searching about the development’s upkeep and design concept. Today, its 149,000 square feet of space is 93.9% leased, according to GGP.

The new rent agreement is expected to be formally approved at tomorrow’s Board of Estimates meeting.

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