Developers abandon plans to build Federal Hill town houses

REAL ESTATE NOTES

February 02, 1992|By Edward Gunts

A development team headed by James Maleady and Walter Skayhan has dropped plans to build Montgomery Square, a $9 million, 44-unit town-house community on one of the last development parcels in the Federal Hill area.

Mr. Maleady said the development parcel, bounded roughly by South Charles, West Montgomery, West Churchill and South Hanover streets, has been "turned back" to the lender, First American Bank of Washington, in lieu of foreclosure.

He attributed his group's inability to proceed with construction to "the economy in general and the fact that nobody wanted to lend any money for urban housing." Given those market conditions, he said, "it's not difficult to understand why so many groups are on the sidelines."

Mr. Maleady's team, Charles South Associates Inc., had been working with the property since May 1989 and had obtained final planning commission approval for the plan, which called for three-story town houses priced from $180,000 to $225,000 or more.

The land is now under contract to RAR Associates Development Corp., a group headed by Ron Russo. Mr. Russo said he plans to build a 150-space parking lot by spring as an interim use and then work with the community to consider other development options when the real estate market improves.

Mr. Russo said he believes the Federal Hill property has long-term development potential in the same way that the Rouse Co. sees long-term potential in the former McCormick & Co. spice plant property on Light Street, which Rouse has converted to a parking lot until market conditions improve.

Farm auctioned

Sunset Hill Farm, a 120-acre thoroughbred horse farm in Howard County, was sold at auction Thursday for a total of $860,000, according to auctioneer Joseph Cooper of Alex Cooper Auctioneers Inc..

The auction was a voluntary sale on behalf of owner Jerry Hoffberger, former owner of the Orioles, and his wife Alice. Located at 16061 A.E. Mullinix Road in Woodbine, the property was sold in two parcels: a 116 1/2 acre lot that went for $780,000 and a 3 1/2 -acre lot that sold for $80,000.

Calendar

* The noted architectural critic and historian Phoebe Stanton and former Smithsonian Institution curator Robert M. Vogel will discuss cast-iron buildings and construction techniques at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 at the Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St. The event, which is free and open to the public, marks the beginning of an exhibit on cast-iron architecture and ornamental ironwork that will be on display at the Maryland Historical Society until May 1.

* The Ocean City dunes construction program will be discussed at the next dinner meeting of the Maryland chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, Feb. 13 at the Engineering Center on West Mount Vernon Place. For reservations, call Diane Stahl at 321-7870. The fee for non-members is $30 per person.

* The Maryland Improvement Contractors Association will hold its annual Trade Show and Bull Roast in the Cow Palace at the Timonium Fairgrounds on Feb. 9 from noon to 7 p.m.

The trade show will feature more than 100 exhibits. Ticket prices range from $12 to $25. For reservations, call Donna Cyr at the MICA office, 576-1127.

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