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BALTIMORE-A piece of vaudevillian history has been restored and preserved for the future now that developers have completed the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, which boasts the historic Hippodrome Theatre as its centerpiece. Located in Downtown Baltimore’s west side, the 140,000-sf arts and entertainment complex is expected to revitalize an area that lost the luster from its heyday during the first half of the 20th Century. The $63 million center will have its official opening February 10, when the Hippodrome Theatre will debut its first live performance in half a decade.

In addition to the 2,286-seat Hippodrome Theatre, the center consists of a handful of other buildings, including two additional historic structures flanking its sides–the former Eutaw Savings Bank, constructed in 1887, and the former Western National Bank, developed in 1890. The facility also boasts new developments, including the 5,600-sf Eutaw Pavilion Multi-Purpose Hall, and the Constellation Energy Pavilion, which holds a 1,000-sf café and bar space adjoining a parking garage.

“This development has been a cornerstone, a lynchpin to hundreds of millions of dollars of commercial development to west downtown Baltimore,” Marks Chowning, France-Merrick vice president and executive director, tells GlobeSt.com. Indeed, the center sparked such projects as Centerpoint, Bank of America’s $85 million retail and residential project across the street from the Hippodrome. “The city has made a substantial commitment to the revitalization effort on the west side of downtown,” Chowning adds. “It’s happening on so many levels.”

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