The city Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals has given the go-ahead for a boat service center and marina at the Port Liberty Industrial Center in South Baltimore.
Mark Shapiro, a partner in the Struever Bros.-Eccles & Rouse project, said space will be available this winter for boat storage. FTC Negotiations are under way with businesses to provide repairs and service to boats, he said.
As early as next spring, the developers could begin constructing the piers and a boatel -- a facility used to store boats year-round -- at the former Buffalo Tank Corp. site at 1850 Frankfurst Ave. Struever Bros. is awaiting final approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Natural Resources to go ahead with that phase of the project.
In the meantime, about 100 boats can be stored this winter on the land or in some limited indoors space. Once the facility is fully operational, as many as 400 boats could be stored on the site during the winters and another 400 would be sheltered throughout the year in the boatel, he said.
The storage and service center is expected to comprise about five acres of the Port Liberty Industrial Center, but could be expanded to twice that size.
"There is nothing like this. Nothing with the potential this site has," Shapiro said.
With the residential development encompassing the Inner Harbor, boaters now have a limited number of places where they can have their boats repaired, he said.
As the project is now envisioned, boats up to 60 feet long could be stored and serviced at the facility. But Shapiro said it is possible that the site could be used for boats as large as 150 feet.
During World War II, large cargo ships were made on the site and the ramps used to launch the ships are believed to still exist under the water and mud. Shapiro said if one of the ramps can be excavated, large boats could be stored and serviced there.
Although the industrial center is not limited to marine businesses, Shapiro said the boat storage and service capabilities might encourage more water-related enterprises to lease space at the park.
Currently, 43,000 square feet of industrial space has been leased and about 110,000 is available on the site, he said.
He declined to estimate the cost of developing the project given economic uncertainty and the tentativeness of some of the plans.
The following are recent commercial real estate transactions:
* Bel Air Kay Cee Club, Inc., has purchased 1.35 acre site in the Forest Hill Business Center in Harford County, according to Parker Frames & Co. Inc. Realtors.
* Walter Edward Thomas has purchased a one-acre site in the Forest Hill Business Center, according to Parker Frames & Co. Inc.
* Sedrick F. Chavis Contractor, Inc. has purchased a 1.8 acre site in the Forest Hill Business Center, according to Parker Frames & Co. Inc.
* Howard County has leased 25,800 square feet of space at 3487 Chevrolet Drive, Ellicott City, according to W. C. Pinkard & Co.
* Kelly Services Inc. has leased 1,325 square feet of space in the White Marsh Professional Center, 7939 Honeygo Blvd., according to Nottingham Properties Inc.
* National Clinical Research has opened a 1,780 square foot medical testing office, 1777 Reisterstown Road, according to Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate Services.
* Vanguard Equities, Inc. has purchased 902-906 S. Linwood Ave., according to Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate Services.
* TriComm Services Corp. has leased 2,778 square feet of space at 1340 Ashton Road, Manekin's Commons Corporate Center, Hanover, according to Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate Services.
* Jenny Craig Weight Loss Centre has leased 2,433 square feet of space in Annapolis Plaza, according to Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate Services.
* Aetna Casualty and Surety Co. has leased 5,450 square feet of space in Saint Paul Plaza, according to Image Dynamics, Inc.