City holding real block sale on Charles St.

October 24, 1994|By Kevin L. McQuaid | Kevin L. McQuaid,Sun Staff Writer

The city intends to auction a knot of converted row homes on North Charles Street today to satisfy a delinquent $500,000 mortgage, the first such event in recent history involving an entire commercial block.

The six older commercial and apartment buildings stretching from 1204 N. Charles St. to 1301 N. Charles St., which will be sold as a package, are scheduled for auction as the result of a foreclosure suit filed by the city against the Queen Anne-Belvedere Association.

The city filed the suit after the association defaulted on a $500,000 mortgage dating back to 1979. The city originally became involved with the properties under the defunct Loan & Guarantee Program of Baltimore, and had signed a term lease on four of the buildings. That commitment expires in August 1997.

"This is an attempt by the city to recoup some of its funding and it's also a chance to see if there are other responsible developers out there who could step in and take the project over," said Zack Germroth, a spokesman with the city's Department of Housing and Community Development.

The other lease involving the buildings between Biddle and Preston streets belongs to the Monumental Life Insurance Co.. The lease expires in November 2007.

As of June 30, more than $345,000 in principal and interest is owed on the mortgage, according to court records filed in conjunction with the city's foreclosure.

The auctioned properties also will be subject to a $1.43 million mortgage originated in 1979 from Monumental Life, Loyola Federal Savings & Loan Association and the Union Trust Co. of Maryland, which is now Signet Bank/Maryland.

Neither city HCD officials connected to the foreclosure suit, Queen Anne-Belvedere general partner Willard N. Valk nor attorneys representing the association could be reached Friday for comment on the impending auction.

Most of the buildings set to be auctioned are four-story residential structures with commercial space on the ground floor. Commercial tenants include beauty salon Public Appearance, Henry & Jeff's deli and the Royal Embroidery trophy shop. A five-story building on the corner of Charles and Preston, occupied by Signet Bank, is not included.

The other buildings -- including 1214 N. Charles St. and one across Preston Street at 1301 N. Charles St. -- are occupied solely by apartments. The Queen Anne-Belvedere Apartments, at 1214 N. Charles and the largest property on the block, is a collection of 52 rental units.

The North Charles Street properties represent one of two significant auctions set to occur today. The other involves the 16-story One Calvert Plaza, at 201 E. Baltimore St., which also will fall under the gavel because of a foreclosure.

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