Council to mull developer tax break Benefit would aid renovation project

November 08, 1993|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Staff Writer

A Warwick, R.I., company that has proposed a $12 million renovation of the condemned Bay Ridge Gardens apartment complex in Annapolis could learn tonight whether it will receive a 15-year property tax break from the city.

The City Council is scheduled to consider a plan that would freeze the amount of taxes the Landex Corp. must pay the city over the next five years and keep increases over the following 10 years below 5 percent.

Without the tax break, city taxes on the 197-unit, low- to moderate-income apartment complex could nearly double after the renovations are complete, said Alderman John Hammond, a Ward 1 Republican and chairman of the city Finance Committee.

The city currently collects about $21,000 a year on the complex. Mr. Hammond estimated city taxes would probably increase to about $40,000 annually.

The Bay Ridge Garden buildings, off Bay Ridge Avenue, were condemned by city officials in March after housing inspectors found about 600 code violations, including loose plastic flapping in open windows, corroded electrical wiring, inoperable fire doors and faulty plumbing, during a review last winter.

Landex has agreed to install new roofs, furnaces and siding, replace kitchens, bathroom fixtures and windows, and to keep rents affordable to lower-income residents. The company would use state and federal loans as well as tax breaks to finance the project.

Landex has renovated another project, Circle Terrace in Lansdowne, in Baltimore County.

A nonprofit corporation carried out a similar $9.7 million rehabilitation of the old Boston Heights apartment complex, which the city closed in 1989 after a fire killed five children.

City inspectors had found 758 housing violations at that 159-unit complex off Admiral Drive.

It has since reopened as Admiral Oaks.

The council also is expected to amend the rules governing its historic district to allow the expansion of the county courthouse.

Other amendments to the historic district, including a ban on neon signs, also may be considered.

The council meeting is at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall.

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