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1 Bozzuto Builds Baltimore

The developer begins construction at Fells Point.

For 10 years The Bozzuto Group has coveted the Fells Point peninsula, overlooking Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. In December it broke ground on Union Wharf, a $72 million residential and retail project there.

Union Wharf will include 281 apartments with rents from $2,250 to $2,300, 4,500 square feet of retail space, and parking for nearly 500. The project is targeted to renters-by-choice rather than those who can’t afford homeownership, the Baltimore Sun reports.

2 Barracks to Bioscience

Atlanta’s Fort McPherson begins its transformation.

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Photos: Courtesy MILRA

 

Now that the military has formally turned over the historic 488-acre Fort McPherson to civilian use, the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority (MILRA) is looking for a master developer for 133 acres of the land in southwest Atlanta.

The master plan calls for 153 acres of green space, 314 acres to be sold to developers, plus a new veteran’s clinic, and, eventually, 1,789 homes. But the centerpiece of the plan is a bioscience research and development center.

“Our vision is to transform Fort McPherson and the surrounding neighborhoods into a nationally acclaimed, world-class, thriving community,” says the redevelopment plan.

3 Big Wheel Roulette

Two of the world’s tallest “observation” wheels are planned for Vegas.

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Photos: Courtesy Caesar’s Entertainment

Two companies broke ground on huge Ferris wheels on the Las Vegas Strip, both scheduled to be revolving with passengers in their enclosed cabins by 2013, but some are saying that it’s not likely both will be built.

Caesar’s Entertainment has already begun construction of its “observation” wheel as part of a $550 million project called The Linq, between Caesar’s Palace and The Flamingo. At 550 feet, the Las Vegas High Roller is expected to be the largest in the world, beating a Singapore wheel by 9 feet. Its 28 transparent sphere-shaped cabins could transport 2,240 passengers an hour. At peak construction, the entire project is expected to employ 3,000 people.

In May, Compass Investments broke ground on a wheel named Skyvue, which would be the third largest in the world. But, so far, only dirt has been moved for that project at the Mandalay Bay end of the Strip.

4 Hyundai Doubles Down

The South Korean automaker is doubling its California headquarters.

Hyundai Motor America is making room to double its workforce in Fountain Valley, Calif., from 700 to 1,400 workers by tearing down its headquarters there and rebuilding it twice the size.

The company plans to have the new 400,000-square-foot campus for its North American headquarters finished by the end of 2012. The $150 million new headquarters is expected to generate 1,500 construction jobs.

“This really cements our relationship with Southern California,” says John Krafcik, CEO, Hyundai Motor America. “We think this is the best place to plan and design our vehicles.”

5 Paid to Stay

Tax breaks keep Sears and CMT Group in Chi-Town.

llinois Gov. Pat Quinn blinked in the game of chicken between the state of Illinois and some big-name, long-time Chicago-based companies, choosing to give them tax breaks rather than risk that they would make good on their threats to leave town without them.

In the wake of Quinn’s signature on the $371 million tax break package passed by the Illinois General Assembly, Sears Holdings and CME Group wrote letters promising to stay.

For the CME Group, the new legislation agrees to tax the exchanges on 27.54 percent of its electronic trades rather than on all electronic transactions, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

The legislation also gives Sears tax credits worth $15 million a year for 10 years and extends a special taxing district, reducing its property tax bills for a savings of about $125 million, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“States all over the place are trying to steal our companies,” says Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, who sponsored the measure.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Atlanta, GA, Las Vegas, NV.