Lighthouse Point is slated for $10 million complex Shopping center, apartments planned


A Baltimore pathologist is planning a $10 million combination of marina, shopping center, office building and apartment complex at the old Lighthouse Point site on Boston Street in Canton, a move associates said reflected both a love of boating and the erosion of the market for high-end Gold Coast housing.

Lead developer Selvin Passen is one of the former partners in Maryland Medical Laboratories Inc., an Arbutus-based clinical testing lab whose owners sold the company to Corning Inc. in May for Corning stock worth an estimated $148.5 million.

Lighthouse Point, located in the 2600 and 2700 blocks of Boston Street straddling South Lakewood Avenue, is the first speculative real estate deal for Mr. Passen, said Mark Levin, an Owings Mills architect who oversaw design of the complex.

"This continues the revitalization," said Todd Mekulski, an associate at Towson-based KLNB Management Services Inc., a real estate firm that is marketing the development to tenants. "It's a great shot in the arm for waterfront revitalization."

Waterfront building was severely cooled by the disastrous real estate recession that began in 1989.

The Lighthouse Point project, once slated to be a high-end condominium development, was foreclosed upon by MNC Financial Inc. in 1992, and other projects also suffered reversals.

Mr. Passen took over the project after the foreclosure.

Mr. Levin said the current plan, which calls for much less dense development than the pre-1992 proposals, reflects the fact that waterfront townhouses command as much as $100,000 less than they did in the 1980s, assuming developers could move the units.

The Passen plan calls for 60 apartments, six townhouses, 40,000 square feet of retail space, 30,000 square feet of offices, an expansion of the existing marina to 489 slips, boat sales and repair facilities, a "boatel" for boat storage, a 15,000 square foot restaurant, and a pool and cabana club.

The plan will maintain and restore part of the old J. S. Young Licorice building on the site.

Complement to market

Mr. Mekulski said the marketing plan is to complement the Safeway supermarket under construction nearby.

Because the Safeway is not part of a larger shopping center, he said, Lighthouse Point will aim for stores such as video outlets and dry cleaners that often locate next to grocery outlets.

Mr. Mekulski said he is just beginning marketing and does not have firm tenant commitments.

Mr. Brown said the partners have received building permits for parts of the project and are still working on designs for other elements.

Most of the construction will be completed by next spring.

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