Reporting Kai Jackson
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s crown jewel is sold to a New York investment company. Harborplace, the Inner Harbor’s busy retail center, is a big draw for visitors to Baltimore, and its new owner could help make it an even more popular destination.
Kai Jackson has more on the possible impact of the sale.
News of a new owner begs the question of whether there will be major changes to Harborplace.
For 30 years, Harborplace has been the crown jewel of Baltimore. The city’s major tourism attraction was championed by the late governor and mayor William Donald Schaefer and built by the late Maryland visionary developer Jim Rouse.
“I think for most people, when they think of Baltimore, this is what they associate it with. They think Inner Harbor when they think Baltimore, so this is Baltimore’s great selling point to many people who live outside the city,” said David Hendrickson.
And it apparently was a selling point for Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s office has confirmed that the New York-based real estate firm has purchased Baltimore’s iconic landmark from General Growth Properties, but the sale price was not disclosed.
“They have some of the premier marketplace establishments and venues in the country like Faneuil Hall in Boston, so they clearly know what they’re doing,” said Kirby Fowler, Downtown Partnership.
Ashkenazy also owns Union Station in Washington, D.C. and in March, they purchased the Village at Cross Keys in North Baltimore.
Experts say it’s unclear what the sale of Harborplace will mean for Baltimore. Those we spoke with say it’s too early to tell.
“Doesn’t matter who owns it, as long as they care for it and invest in it. This is where millions of people come, whether they’re residents, employees or visitors,” Fowler said.
Observers say new businesses like McCormick and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company have given Harborplace an economic boost.