An editorial calls for President Bush to name "a courageous administrator willing to reform a big, plodding, self-serving bureaucracy" to head the Army Corps of Engineers. The corps has been under scrutiny for pork-barrel spending. Appointment of the new corps chief also could give Bush a chance to make up for his previous environmental indifference, the writer says..
Philadelphia -- which has the most vacant land per capita of any large U.S. city -- has begun a $295 million, five-year plan to raze abandoned houses, renovate buildings and clear vacant lots. City officials say they expect the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative to clear the way for private developers to revitalize blighted areas.
Annapolis, Md., developer T. Conrad Monts, has submitted a proposal to spend $70 million to redevelop an area around Baltimore's Pennsylvania Station. His proposal includes a 700-car garage topped with 162 apartments, a 50,000-square-foot office building, a 48-unit apartment building and a separate 173,000 square-foot office center. Monts is among several developers to submit plans for the area, but his are the only plans to incorporate multiple buildings.
As the economic recovery appears to gain momentum, economists predict the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year. The current Fed policy stance favors risks of economic weakness. However, economists say the Fed today could shift its policy bias to balance economic weakness with the risk of inflation, signaling possible hikes. Experts don't expect rate increases until May 7 or the June 25 to 26 meetings.
Hotels in the 30- to 200- room range are rising all over Boston. The Boston Redevelopment Authority predicts 6,380 rooms that didn't exist in 1996 will be open by late 2004. The growth -- a bright spot in a year filled with little movement in the commercial real estate market -- could bolster the area's convention and tourism business.