Report The sad state of Baltimore Harborplace in General Chit-Chat Posted September 4 In 1987 through the mid 90s, the bustling harbor place pavilions were packed every weekend and busy most weekdays. I even worked there over a summer or two. I say 1987 because that was my first real solo trip down there after high school graduation. Now, when I say packed, I mean every retail and restaurant space and then some was filled — all the shops, plus carts and temporary setups. One major cause of mall death across the board is obscene rent costs and rules that make it nearly impossible for anything but big stores to operate without losing money, in “tourist” areas like Harborplace. but it’s true of most malls and has been for twenty years. Then the market begins to collapse and owners take shortcuts that make the mall less appealing, and as stores disappear the survivors get more pressure....it’s vicious. When I went to Sydney, Australia, that harbor has a very similar feel (and the same architects), but the rents are either stabilized or supplemented to ensure business can turn a profit and stay afloat — because it keeps the tourist area vibrant.