Kornblatt files for protection

April 12, 1991|By Michelle Singletary | Michelle Singletary,Evening Sun Staff

Citing a recession that has made it tough to find financing for projects, the David Kornblatt Co., a Baltimore real estate brokerage firm, has filed under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Act.

"In my 35 years in the real estate business, I have never seen

conditions such as we see today," said David W. Kornblatt, 63, chief executive officer of the 30-year-old company, which filed yesterday.

Kornblatt said traditional real estate lenders have all but ceased to make new loans.

Kornblatt said his firm will continue to operate. Kornblatt said it is too early to tell if any of the firm's 25 workers will be laid off.

"We are trying not to cut any more staff," he said.

Last year Kornblatt laid off six employees and closed its research department. The department had conducted widely used surveys ofwarehouse and office availability in the Baltimore-Washington corridor since 1977.

Since starting his business, Kornblatt has been the real estate broker for such firms as Time-Life Books, T. Rowe Price and Alexander & Alexander Inc. The firm was involved in the $15 million renovation and leasing of the 10-story Paca-Pratt building at the northwest corner of Paca and Pratt streets. Kornblatt's firm also was responsible for signing on First National Bank as the major tenant.

A major project that contributed to the company's financial troubles was the planned renovation of a former furniture factory and showroom of the P. Hanson Hiss Manufacturing Co. at 217 N. Charles St.

When announced in 1989, the project was to cost $2 million and include more than 31,000 square feet of retail and office space. "But the market got slow," Kornblatt said.

The bankruptcy filing will not affect Saint Paul Plaza, a major office building and parking facility located at St. Paul Place and Lexington Street.

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