Living: He Digs Downtown

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In addition, the Rouse Co. is studying potential downtown development projects in eleven cities, among them Miami Beach and Denver. It is bidding against several other organizations for the contract to complete the Faneuil Hall complex by developing 70,000 sq. ft. between the market and the harbor. In Philadelphia, where the four-level Gallery at the Market Street East shopping mall, linking two department stores, was an immediate success—despite doubts that it could flourish in an area that had been a shopping district for poor blacks —the company is building Gallery II, a similar arcade, and may turn an abandoned commuter train station into a shopping center. Eventually Rouse expects the development to cover some ten city blocks between the city hall and Independence Mall.

On summer weekends, Jim Rouse and his second wife, Patti, a former commissioner of housing and development in Norfolk, Va., often board their 30-ft. cabin cruiser Adequate and head for a small island he owns on the Miles River. But Rouse is not about to retire to his watery fastness. In April he announced a new venture, the Enterprise Development Corp., owned by a nonprofit organization, the Enterprise Foundation. The most ambitious Enterprise enterprise to date is a $13.5 million program to spruce up Norfolk's dreary waterfront. The project, about half the size of Harborplace, will employ much the same concept and include four or five restaurants, up to 20 other eating establishments and as many as 50 stores. Rouse estimates that the development will attract up to 6 million visitors in its first year. The foundation will concentrate, as a commercial company cannot, on what Rouse calls "the crucial necessity for inventing new processes, new systems for dealing with social needs." He explains: "We will be working with the very poor. We will set up a list of criteria for organizations that want to help change the lives of the poor." The foundation will also use the corporation's profits to encourage smaller developers by giving them technical and financial aid.

Rouse is as enthusiastiec about his new commitment as he was about his first. Indeed, he is a man of infinite, meshing enthusiasms.

One of them being food and wine, he and his wife set off on a recent Saturday evening for a Hemingway-style movable feast at Harborplace. It started with a drink and half a dozen North Carolina oysters at Shuckers Raw Bar in the Light Street Pavilion, followed by soft-shell crab par-migiano at the Big Cheese. Dinner was at the Taverna Athena, a Greek bistro in the Pratt Street Pavilion. Afterward came coffee and dessert at Tandoor and a nightcap at the Phillips Harborplace restaurant, where a banjo band plays until 11 p.m. "I never get tired of Harborplace," Rouse sighs. "There's always something to do and see." Gazing across the harbor at the floodlit aquarium, he adds: "Cities are where the action is. Without them we would have none of the things we associate with a modern society. No arts, no education, no culture, no commerce."

And no fun. —By Michael Demarest.

Reported by Robert T. Grieves and Peter Stoler/Baltimore, with other U.S. bureaus

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