Lord Baltimore Hotel scheduled for auction

November 26, 1991|By Timothy J. Mullaney tHC LvB

The federal government will put a piece of Baltimore history on the auction block Jan. 27, as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will try to sell off the Radisson Lord Baltimore Hotel.

The partnership that nominally owns the hotel, LBH Associates of Rockville, has defaulted on loans to the city of Baltimore and Bowery Savings Bank of New York, which has been taken over by the FDIC. Baltimore is owed about $7 million.

Paul R. Cooper, vice president of Alex. Cooper Auctioneers Inc. in Towson, which will conduct the auction, said the city isn't likely to get its money back.

"If they're junior to this [Bowery] note, they're definitely history," he said.

Mr. Cooper said yesterday he did not know the balance of the FDIC's loan to the project.

But in April, when the hotel was scheduled for a May auction that was canceled at the last minute, he said the balance was about $22 million.

The loan was originally made in the names of both Bowery and Yorkridge-Calvert Savings & Loan of Pikesville, but Bowery later bought out Yorkridge-Calvert's interest in the loan, according to Joseph Schaller, an attorney at Whiteford, Taylor and Preston who is representing the FDIC.

No reason for canceling the May auction was ever announced.

Tom Goetzinger, administrator for loans and guarantees in the city finance office, said the city backed the Lord Baltimore renovation during the Schaefer administration to provide more downtown hotel rooms about the time that the Convention Center was built.

He said that the city lent $5 million to the project through the Urban Development Action Grant program. That money originally came from the federal government, but the city administered the grant.

Mr. Goetzinger said the grant was converted into a loan in the hope that the money could later be used to support other development projects.

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