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Downtown Group Displeased With Exelon's Chosen Site For New Headquarters

BALTIMORE (WJZ)-- When Constellation Energy and Exelon merge, their combined corporate headquarters will be in Chicago, but some of their businesses will remain in Baltimore.

As Mike Schuh reports, not everyone is happy with their new location within the city.

The key to having more workers after the merger anywhere in Baltimore begins in Annapolis. Merger approval from the state was granted only after Exelon promised to build a headquarters for its trading operations in Baltimore.

"First of all, we were excited they were staying in the city and staying in downtown," Kirby Fowler of Downtown Partnership said.

Of the five possible sites, two-- like the one near the Visitors Center and the one across from the World Trade Center-- are on the Inner Harbor.

"For the last eight months, we've been talking to Exelon and advocating for sites in downtown-- the historic core of downtown," Fowler said.

But Exelon isn't going downtown, instead choosing Harbor East near the new Legg Mason building.

There, the pollution from the chromium plant has been cleaned up. And the chosen site, along with two other options, is eligible for government tax incentives.

But Harbor East is not technically downtown, which is something the chief salesman for a downtown location laments because he doesn't feel that area needs to have incentives to get buildings built.

"Yeah, we are disappointed in their site selection decision," Fowler said. "Yes, we're happy they've chosen the city, they're close to the heart of downtown but they're not downtown, which I think would have been much more appealing to their employees and clients."

Fells Point is upbeat about the move. More workers mean more foot traffic, more eyes looking at what the merchants, like this furniture dealer, have to offer.

"So we sell things from $2 to $5,000, so traffic always helps because you get people coming back," Nick Johnson of Su Casa said.

Federal approval of the merger could happen next month. The new building is scheduled to open in three years.

Exelon says the move and construction will mean 6,000 jobs for Baltimore.

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