Better to go Ferris wheel than tall tower

The Capital Wheel at National Harbor is a popular attraction that cost only $1 million to build. The giant Ferris wheel features a spectacular LED light show and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors of all ages each year.

In contrast, the projected demand for public investment in the proposed Harborplace redevelopment by MCB Real Estate is at least $300 million, with some estimates reaching $600 million. This has raised questions about the potential return on investment and the impact of the development on Baltimore’s waterfront.

Rebecca Hoffberger, founder of the American Visionary Art Museum, advocates for a well-planned, people-scaled waterfront development that requires less public funding. She envisions a waterfront wonderland that will endure for generations and appeal to families of all incomes and tourists.

Hoffberger’s vision for a possible Harborplace development was first published in the Baltimore Fishbowl nearly a year ago and has garnered widespread support. She believes that MCB’s vision should be openly defended and evaluated alongside other public visions for the Inner Harbor.

The historic significance of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor as a natural jewel of open urban waterfront adds to the urgency of getting the development right. With only one chance to make a lasting impact, the debate over the future of Harborplace continues to be a topic of public interest and discussion.

As the city weighs its options for the redevelopment of this iconic waterfront area, the vision for a people-centric, enduring development that celebrates Baltimore’s unique charm and history takes center stage.

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