WESTMINSTER — The small colonial-style building on Main Street deserted by Baltimore Federal in June 1990 may finally have an owner.
Westminster attorney Robert H. Lennon confirmed Thursday night that he has a contract to purchase the 6 E. Main St. property and expects to settle on thebuilding by Nov. 22.
"I grew up in Westminster and always thought it was an attractivebuilding," Lennon said. "I feel very fortunate to have had my contract accepted."
Lennon, a lawyer who specializes in real estate work, said he hopes to move from his 133 E. Main St. offices in April.
The Carroll County commissioners had been interested in buying the building, but lost the contract in the closed-bidding process that theResolution Trust Corp. began in October 1990.
RTC is the federal agency that oversaw the the liquidation of Baltimore Federal's assetsafter the bank was bought by Household Bank.
County officials hadbeen eyeing the property to help ease the library's parking pains and use the building for a tourism center.
"One hundred and fifty thousand dollars was the most we could come up with, and the RTC said that wasn't high enough," said Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy. "We would have liked to have had it, but in this time of money crunch, we felt it wasn't worth pursuing any further."
Commissioner Donald I. Dellagreed, saying he would have felt uncomfortable purchasing the building after denying county employees a pay raise and cutting longevity pay.
"People were saying, 'If you don't have any money, how come you are buying buildings?' " Dell said. "People who want to use the library will find a space in the municipal lot."
Lennon would not say how much he had offered for the two-floor, 1,880-square-foot building.
The former bank also has a 1,050-square-foot basement, containing primarily the furnace and other mechanical apparatus.
Nevertheless, library patrons will benefit from the deal. Lennon is working with county officials to give them five spaces from his lot and to create a pedestrian walkway across the railroad tracks to the Liberty Street parking lot.
The proposed path would be like a sidewalk across the surface of the tracks, Dell said.
"We may swap something there to decide who gets to use what," said Dell. "Of course, it's contingent on his final settlement, but looking at it (Friday), it looks like a deal that's going to happen.
"(Lennon) is a nice gentlemen, and it looks like it will work out well for everybody."
Dell said county officials and Lennon have not spoken to railway owners about obtaining a right-of-way for the walk. Negotiations are still under way about who will pay for the path.
"I'm looking forward to workingwith the county and the library," said Lennon. "I anticipate that the library will be a very good neighbor to me, and I to them."