An article about the Harrison's Pier 5 Hotel in the Business section on Dec. 30 incorrectly stated the entity that led the city's efforts to find a potential buyer for the 71-room project. Efforts were led by the Baltimore Development Corp.
The Sun regrets the errors.
The city has awarded exclusive negotiating rights to acquire the 71-room Harrison's Pier 5 Hotel to a local group of businessmen led by real estate developer Otis Warren Jr.
FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION
Pure Five Inc. hopes to purchase the Inner Harbor hotel for $5.5 million by March 1995, when its negotiating contract expires, Mr. Warren said.
"It's a great opportunity to get involved in a piece of the jewel of the city, the Inner Harbor," Mr. Warren said yesterday.
"What we need to do now is give it proper exposure and build on the quality there."
A city panel led by the Legg Mason Realty Group selected the Pure Five team from 14 respondents to a request for proposals sent out earlier this year.
The city took possession of the hotel in December 1993, after giving the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. $6 million of a $6.6 million municipal loan and exacting $750,000 from its developer, Buddy Harrison.
Since its opening, the hotel at 711 Eastern Ave. has experienced financial difficulties, including failure to pay $1.2 million in city property taxes.
The hotel, which was developed at a cost of $14 million, has an average occupancy rate of 75 percent.
The Pure Five group met various criteria, including financial benefit to the city and significant minority participation, said Honora M. Freeman, president of the Baltimore Development Corp., the city's economic development agency.
Ms. Freeman said various components of the purchase agreement must still be negotiated.
The team hopes to attract a national restaurant chain to Harrison's and retain a professional hotel management firm.
City officials also are hoping the expected opening of the $164 million Christopher Columbus Center, also on Pier 5, will generate interest.
In addition to Mr. Warren, Pure Five consists of Maryland Port Administration Deputy Director Greg Russell; Stop, Shop & Save President Henry T. Baines; Watkins Security President James H. Watkins; and Walter W. Hill Jr., joint owner and vice president of ESC Technologies Inc.
Mr. Warren, president of Otis Warren & Co. Inc., is best known for developing the $36 million City Crescent office tower, at 10 S. Howard St.
He and the other members of the Pure Five team will invest $1 million and intend to finance the balance, Mr. Warren said.