Baltimore's Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals has joined with the city Planning Commission in opposing a plan by developer Leonard Attman to buy part of Redwood Street to build a $90 million office tower.
"It is felt that the changes in the Redwood Street corridor would not be in the public interest and could have a negative impact on this area," city Zoning Board Executive Director Gilbert V. Rubin said in an Aug. 7 letter to the Baltimore City Council, which is reviewing legislation related to the project. In addition, "we felt that the proposal could have an adverse fiscal impact," Mr. Rubin said.
The chairmen of two council subcommittees have set tomorrow and Nov. 12 as dates for public hearings on pending legislation that would enable Mr. Attman to close and acquire a portion of Redwood Street between Charles and Light streets to make way for a tower called the Baltimore Financial Centre.
The public hearings are the first since the planning commission voted 5-2 last June to recommend that the council reject the legislation. The City Council can pass legislation even if the commission recommends disapproval, but it rarely does so. The hearings will be held in the council chambers at City Hall tomorrow at 2 p.m. and Nov. 12 at 10 a.m.
Mr. Attman could not be reached.
Representatives for several neighboring property owners who oppose the project say the city would be setting a bad precedent by selling part of a street to a developer. They also say the street closing would add to traffic congestion in the area.
Alan Betten, an attorney for the owners of the Legg Mason office building at 7 E. Redwood Street, said the opponents will be out in force at the council hearings.
Around the region
* Baltimore's Commission for Historic and Architectural Preservation will review plans Friday for a permanent parking lot in the 900 block of North Charles Street, where three buildings were torn down in 1989 to make way for an office building that never materialized. The property owners, a joint venture of PersonaCare Inc. and Cochran, Stephenson and Donkervoet Inc., say that they hope to move ahead with the office project when they can obtain financing but would like to use the land for a parking lot in the meantime. The City Council is considering legislation that would allow the lot to remain, and CHAP has asked the developers to provide plans for attractively screening the parking lot if it is approved.
* A 22,000-square foot office building known as One Oakwood Business Center, 7050 Oakland Mills Road in Columbia, was sold at auction yesterday for $920,000 to 7050 Oakland Mills Road Corp, according to A. J. Billig Auctioneers. The buyer is affiliated with Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Co., which initiated foreclosure proceedings against the developer, Trimtax Limited Partnership. At the same auction, the Mercantile affiliate acquired for $385,000 a development site at 7070 Oakland Mills Road with room for a 38,500-square-foot building, according to Billig.
* Owners of the McDonogh Crossroads Office Park in Owings Mills recently sold a 1.6-acre parcel there for $377,000 to HSE Associates Limited Partnership for the development of an office building for Migliara/Kaplan Associates Inc., a health-care marketing firm. They also sold a 1.15-acre parcel at McDonogh Crossroads for $200,000 to an affiliate of the law firm of Offit & Offit, which will develop an office building for its own use. Robert Aumiller, executive vice president of MacKenzie and Associates, represented the seller in both transactions.