Recent deals may be clue to Weinberg holdings' fate


November 07, 1990|By Edward Gunts

Even before his death Sunday, billionaire Harry Weinberg began to loosen his grip on his Baltimore real estate holdings, either by joining forces with co-developers or selling certain properties outright.

Some of the recent transactions -- especially ones that did not involve an outright sale -- may provide a clue about what could happen to the bulk of Mr. Weinberg's Baltimore holdings now that they are under the control of the five-member board of the charitable foundation he set up, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

Among the recent transactions were ones involving:

* The Edmondson Village, Pleasant Plains and Hillendale shopping centers: Mr. Weinberg negotiated "master lease" agreements in which another local developer, Jack Pechter of JHP Enterprises, gained the right to lease the three centers for 40 years, upgrade the properties and release the tenant space to individual merchants.

* Ingleside Shopping Center: Mr. Weinberg sold the center at 5600 Baltimore National Pike for $7.9 million earlier this year to Stonehenge Limited Partnership, a local group that includes Mr. Pechter. The sale marked the first time Mr. Weinberg had sold a retail center outright in the Baltimore area.

* 500 block of North Howard Street: Mr. Weinberg agreed to make the property available for temporary use as a "staging area" for construction crews building the downtown portion of the state's 27-mile light-rail line from Glen Burnie to Hunt Valley.

Under the agreement, city officials used public funds to demolish 13 buildings on the block and prepare the site for the construction workers, while Mr. Weinberg retained ownership of the property.

* Wynnewood Towers: Mr. Weinberg sold the apartments at 100-104 W. Cold Spring Lane in 1985 to Loyola College for $5.8 million for use as student housing.

* Former Hochschild-Kohn warehouse: Mr. Weinberg agreed to lease the warehouse at Park Avenue and Centre Street several years ago to the Bank of Baltimore for use as its operations center.

In addition, Mr. Weinberg indicated last year that he would be willing to work with a Washington developer on plans to convert the upper floors of the former department store building to office space if that developer could obtain a federal grant to help pay for the work.

The grant was never awarded, however, and the project was not carried out.


Baltimore's Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation has approved a modified version of the State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped proposed for the southeast corner of Franklin Street and Park Avenue. The panel voted last week to accept a revised design by Ayers Saint Gross, pending receipt of new drawings.

CHAP also voted last week to accept the tinted windows on the Hackerman House at One West Mount Vernon Place, the mansion that the Walters Art Gallery is converting to a museum for Asian arts. Mount Vernon residents had questioned whether the tinted windows complied with the design CHAP approved, and commissioners said they were satisfied with the project as built.

But if any future technological advances permit less of a tint, they said, they would be interested.

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