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Timeline Set For Inner Harbor Facelift; Project Will Cost Millions

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Grand plans to redevelop Baltimore's crown jewel. We're learning how much a facelift at the Inner Harbor might cost, as officials lay out a tentative timeline.

Meghan McCorkell has a preview of this big project.

It's an international tourist attraction and the face of Baltimore to the world. Now there are plans to give the Inner Harbor a major makeover.

"Forty years later, the harbor has faded. It's lost its luster," said Laurie Schwartz, Waterfront Partnership.

Schwartz says the first phase of the project will start at Rash Field, one of the only undeveloped areas of the harbor. Plans include an underground parking garage with a park on top.

"The park will have all kinds of different activities from gardens and playgrounds and water features to a large open space where concerts could be held," Schwartz said.

Officials are also looking into a barge pool, similar to the one at Brooklyn Bridge Park. A beach for sunbathing is also in the works, modeled after Sugar Beach in Toronto.

Many are excited for the potential changes.

"So many people say right in the harbor, there's nothing to do," said Jose Chicas.

"I think it's really good because of the open space and the green space, make it more park-like instead of all brick," said Dan Hrechun.

Others are a little more skeptical.

"In regards to Rash Field, I do really like the volleyball courts that are there. I actually do come down on the weekend each summer and play volleyball," said John Mohr.

The redevelopment project just at Rash Field is expected to cost about $40 million. Officials say about $12 to $14 million will come from public money, while about $6 million will be private donations.

The governor has set aside state money for the harbor in his latest budget proposal so these visions of the future can become a reality.

Construction on Rash Field could start as early as next year.

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