Friday, May 29, 2009

Hotel planned atop Amtrak’s Baltimore-Penn Station

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Traveling to Baltimore on business, or to see the Birds play at Oriole Park at Camden Yards? Bethesda, Md.-based developer Hospitality Partners has signed a contract with Amtrak to construct and manage a hotel on the upper three levels at the city’s Pennsylvania Station, located on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.

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The 77-room, $9 million hotel, to be called The Inn at Penn Station, reportedly would be the first such hotel at a rail station in the Northeast that also continues to serve rail passengers. Hotel rooms will line the station's perimeter and will be reached from corridors overlooking the main concourse below. Construction is expected to begin this year and be completed by late 2010.

Amtrak currently commands roughly 61% of the combinedair/rail travel market between New York and Washington, making the hotel’s location potentially lucrative for the national rail passenger carrier. Amtrak spokesman Cliff Black says that, in addition, the city is pinning much of its redevelopment efforts for the neighborhood, dubbed the Charles North renewal area, using Penn Station as a central focus.

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The station is also served by Baltimore’s light rail system, operated by the Maryland Transit Administration, bolstering intracity access.