Construction is scheduled to start in 2009 on a mixed-use waterfront project that will be the tallest building in Baltimore.

ARC Wheeler LLC's skyscraper will rise 60 stories, or more than 700 feet, from a two-acre site once occupied by a McCormick & Co. spice factory. The 1.6-million-square-foot project is slated to feature 600,000 square feet of offices, 80,000 square feet of retail, 225 hotel rooms and 150 condos, says Robert J. Ambrosi, president of ARC Properties Inc. The project will be undertaken in three phases.

ARC Wheeler is a joint venture of ARC Properties, a real estate developer based in Clifton, N.J., and Wheeler Brothers Holdings LLC, a real estate developer based in Philadelphia.

The ARC Wheeler tower is bound to benefit from the opening later this year of an Inner Harbor neighbor — the $300 million-plus, 752-room Hilton hotel at the Baltimore Convention Center. A report from the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore indicates the Inner Harbor is among the downtown areas with the greatest potential for attracting national retailers. “Baltimore must consider the entire set of factors that are proving to drive attraction of targeted national retail chains,” the report says.

ARC Wheeler is an experienced developer, with more than $1 billion in mixed-use projects currently under development on the East Coast. The company bought the Baltimore land in 2006 for $25 million; at the time, it was a parking lot. The price tag for the Baltimore high-rise is roughly $500 million.

The McCormick site is the last parcel available for development in the Inner Harbor, which ARC Wheeler notes is part of “one of the most successful urban renaissances in the country.”