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Under Armour signs a lease in Soho

Those trendy lower Manhattanites are about to get a dose of Baltimore-style athletic wear.

Under Armour, which has been expanding its retail presence, has signed a lease in Soho, the New York Post reports. The 7,000-square-foot store, to open next year, is its first in New York. The company opened its first non-outlet retail store in Baltimore's Harbor East. It also recently opened a store in Shanghai and is opening a retail outlet in Tysons Corner, Va.

The company also recently opened a visitor center in Tide Point

Locust Point named one of the best neighborhoods with historic homes

Home improvement magazine This Old House has chosen Locust Point as one of the best neighborhoods in the Northeast with charming, historic old homes.

The publication chose neighborhoods that have "plenty of New England charm, plus main streets and marinas that embrace East Coast living."

Of Locust Point, the magazine says it has a "gritty feel that celebrates its industrial past." It highlights Fort McHenry and Fort Avenue, with its local bars and crab houses and says the neighborhood is "the kind of place that would make Baltimore native and avant-garde filmmaker John Waters proud."

Norwich, Conn., Middletown Del., and Castine, Maine were some of the other towns that were honored for their historic houses.  

Slate study says Baltimore drivers are the fifth worst in the nation

Baltimore recently cracked a Top 5 list, but don't cheer just yet—this list ranked cities with the worst drivers.

Slate/s Brian Palmer analyzed the years between traffic accidents, automotive fatalities, automotive fatalities that involved alcohol, and number of pedestrians struck by vehicles to come up with the list. Baltimore came in at No. 5. Miami came in a No. 1, followed by Philadelphia, Hialeah, Hawaii, and Tampa, Fla.

Palmer notes that Baltimore's traffic report card was weighed down by the sheer number of accidents that occur in the city per year, saying “Baltimoreans just can’t keep from running into each other.”

You can read the full article and see Palmer's data here.

Public policy website highlights new school near Johns Hopkins biopark

Next City, a public policy and current events website that explores urban issues, has highlighted the massive, $1.8 billion development in East Baltimore led by Johns Hopkins in a recent issue.

Though Hopkins has long been criticized for its relationship with the surrounding community, the university hopes that a new school opening in the fall can move the biopark and residential development forward. The school is embracing its role as a so-called "anchor institution" that can serve as a catalyst for growth in its surrounding neighborhoods. 

"The latest redevelopment promise — a $1.8 billion, 10-years-in-the-making endeavor to raze 88 acres worth of abandoned blocks and rebuild the neighborhood with a Hopkins-partnered primary school as the centerpiece — has similarly grown entangled with racial tension and accusations of corruption," Next City writes. "But this time, a plan to both enroll students from the neighborhood and attract new people to the area means that the needs of Middle East may not get left behind."

You can read the entire story here. (Subscription required.)

Baltimore resident keeps an eye out for slumlords

Baltimore resident Carol Ott’s unconventional job takes her to neighborhoods in Baltimore with boarded-up windows and vacant properties, according to the Atlantic Cities.

The website, which focuses on urban areas across the globe, reported that Ott is behind Baltimore Slumlord Watch, a blog that publishes any information that Ott can obtain about vacant properties in Baltimore. 

The goal of the blog is to identify neglected properties and their owners in an effort to solve Baltimore’s problem with vacant homes.

Ott also began a second website in June, called Housing Policy Watch, to educate renters and landlords about common issues. Ott began this project with help from the nonprofit Baltimore Neighborhoods Inc.

According to The Atlantic Cities, Ott has been a resident of Baltimore for 13 years and says that her websites are a way for her to show “some tough love” to the city.

Read the full story here.

Study: Health and longevity of Baltimore residents improve

The health and longevity of Baltimore residents rose between 2008 and 2010, according to a study by New York's Social Science Research Council that was featured in Forbes. 

The research council put together a "heat map" that ranks each U.S. state on a scale of 0 to 10 — with 10 being the highest — on their overall state of well being. The council factors in education, income, health and longevity to come up with its number. 

"The five metro areas with the greatest increases in their index scores from 2008 to 2010 did so largely on the strength of improvements in health and longevity: Baltimore, Washington, DC, San Antonio, Dallas, and Boston," Forbes writes.

Connecticut fared the best among the states, with an index of 6.17 and high life expectancy and education levels. Maryland got a 5.94 on the index. You can see the entire story here.

Foreman Wolf opening first Howard County restaurant

Restaurant owners Tony Foreman and Cindy Wolf are heading West for their latest venture. 

The duo behind Pazo, Petit Louis Bistro, Johnny's, Cinghiale and Charleston are opening a new, yet unnamed restaurant on Columbia's Lakefront, the Baltimore Sun reports. The restaurant will replace the shuttered Red Pearl, next to the popular Sushi Sono. 

The restaurant will likely open by the end of the year and hire 60 to 70, Tony Foreman tells the Sun. Its the first Howard County business for the Foreman Wolf Restaurant Group

Read the entire story here

Entrepreneur magazine names Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore best new business hotel

Entrepreneur magazine has named the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore the Best New Business Hotel in its 2013 Business Travel Awards.

"It juts into the Inner Harbor and shows off marina and downtown views with floor-to-ceiling windows in guest rooms and many of the meeting spaces," Entrepreneur writes. 

The $200 million Harbor East hotel opened in 2011, nearly a decade after it was first proposed.

The magazine asks Chris Reid, president of hotel operations for Four Seasons Americas, why the company chose Baltimore over a larger city.

"You're a much more important player, relative to the city," Reid tells Entrepreneur. "Your hotel becomes an important landmark. And if you think about some of the businesses that are in Baltimore, for example, there's vibrant economic activity there. We believe that will only grow from here."

Read the entire story here

Maryland Live casino gets ready for table games

Maryland's largest casino is getting ready to test its luck with roulette, poker and craps.

Maryland Live Casino workers are installing the table games and wrapping up construction so the Hanover casino next to Arundel Mills mall can open them to the public April 11, Washington, D.C., TV station WJLA writes.

"It's an $800,000 investment that will take center stage at Maryland's premiere casino," WJLA writes. "The pristine red and gold tables will sit at the front of the floor, catching the eye of gamblers."

Table games arrived at the Hollywood Casino Perryville earlier this month. Maryland casinos will face competition from others across the East Coast, some analysts say.

Rite Aid rolls out health clinics in Baltimore

Rite Aid Corp. is the latest pharmacy chain that is venturing into health care, writes the Wall Street Journal. 

Rite Aid rolled out 58 virtual health clinics in Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh March 1. For a fee of $45, a patient can chat with a doctor via Web camera, the Journal writes.  

The pharmacy giant initially tested the concept in Detroit. You can read the rest of the story here

Under Armour opening New York office

Baltimore was abuzz Feb. 16 for the opening of Under Armour's new retail store in Harbor East

More than half the store is devoted to ladies' apparel as the Baltimore sportswear company is hoping to woo some of the women who buy pricey yoga outfits from Lululemon, writes Bloomberg.

Under Armour is also getting ready to open a New York office so it can tap top design talent to create feminine sportswear.

Executive Leanne Fremar  "is working on opening Under Armour’s first New York office, where she’ll tap design talent," Bloomberg writes.

"She also inherits a unit that has been growing 30 percent a year and added the Studio, a yoga-inspired line, and Armour Bra brands last year."

Apartment rental prices growing faster in Baltimore than D.C.

We all know that D.C. is way more expensive than Baltimore.

But apartment rents for new leases actually grew at a faster clip last year in Baltimore versus our neighbor to the South, according to Property Management Insider.  

New apartment rents grew 2.7 percent in Baltimore compared with 1.4 percent in Washington, D.C. There's a lot more apartment construction happening in D.C., so prices there aren't growing as fast as Baltimore, where the supply is more limited.

You can see the entire report here

Forbes highlights Under Armour's new products

Before Under Armour debuted its Brand House Feb. 16, CEO Kevin Plank and other executives gave New York media a preview of the 8,000-square-foot shop and what's in store for the Baltimore sportswear company. 

"The first item Plank introduced wasn’t a product after all, but a place where Under Armour will display its goods," Forbes writes about the Harbor East store.

Execs also talked about "Infrared, part of Under Armour’s innovative ColdGear line," new running shoes the company will unveil this summer, and a digital training monitor, Forbes says.

"There must be, among rival companies like Columbia and even Nike, to a degree, a bit of jealousy regarding Under Armour and its founder," writes Forbes of the company that pulled in $1.2 billion in sales last year. 

Md. lawmakers sink their teeth into the soft-shell crab debate

Maryland lawmakers are debating weighty issues that affect everything from economic development to health care.

But there's one issue they're really sinking their teeth into: making the soft-shell crab sandwich the official state sandwich. 

"Debate began to heat up on Thursday when Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. (D-Calvert) testified in favor of the bill he is co-sponsoring at a committee hearing," writes the Huffington Post. 

Maryland Life magazine Editor and Publisher Dan Patrell weighed in on the debate, arguing that official designation could lead to more awareness of the Chesapeake Bay's bounty and higher sales.

"It wasn’t long ago that this same body considered naming the Smith Island Cake as the state dessert, which some may have also thought frivolous," Patrell said in written testimony. "But I ask you to consider the economic impact of that legislation: you raised general awareness not only within the state but well beyond its borders."

You can read the rest of the story here

Forbes reviews Baltimore's Digital Harbor Tech Center

The South Baltimore Recreation Center has officially reopened as a neigborhood technology center, thanks to the efforts of the Riverside community and Digital Harbor High School supporters.

Forbes takes a look at the new venue, where Balitmore City school students can learn about web design, mobile app development and digital media production. 

"The center’s grand opening was a packed house, where excited participants got to show equally excited visitors the fruits of some of their early work, providing a taste of what’s to come from the space," the magazine writes. "Shelly Blake-Plock, the executive co-director of the Digital Harbor Foundation, delivered such an impassioned welcome speech that you could almost see where all this excitement was coming from."

You can read the rest of the story here
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