The Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) will issue an RFP within the next two months seeking an architect for a planned 540-space parking garage under a new city park at the site of what is now Rash Field on the Inner Harbor’s south side.
Andy Frank, BDC’s senior vice president, outlined the concept for the garage and park during an August 3 meeting of the GBC Planning and Project Development Committee.
There is a need for parking on the south side of the Inner Harbor and Rash Field is currently “underutilized,” Frank said. It is now used primarily for volleyball and as a site for a trapeze school. Public bathrooms there are in disrepair. Part of the site has two trash compactors and is a service and utility area for the city Department of Public Works.
The concept for the project calls for 330,000 square feet of mostly-underground parking, 20,000 square-feet of proposed office space on the west end of the site, new public restrooms, and a park over the top of the garage. The trash compactors would be removed. The garage and park would not obscure the view of the Inner Harbor from Key Highway, Frank said.
While the concept for the parking garage has been fully developed, a detailed concept for the park above it has not, said Frank. He asked the GBC for help “in thinking about a process for developing a world-class park.” He said he personally favors creating a children’s park on the site.
BDC officials estimate that parking revenue from the facility would pay for its operation and maintenance, and could annually yield up to $300,000 more than expenses.
If the selection of an architect and development of specific designs for the project proceed in a timely manner, construction of the facility could begin as early as fall 2007, said Frank.
BDC PowerPoint presentation of the project concept