Schmokes buy home on water near bay $300,000 property includes a bungalow, shady lot and pier

January 07, 1996|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,SUN STAFF

Sometimes, even the mayor needs to get out of Baltimore.

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, who likes to promote the benefits of living in the big city, and his wife, Patricia, have chosen another place for weekend retreats -- a quiet home on the waterfront near Annapolis.

The Schmokes have purchased a $300,000 bungalow on a shady, waterfront lot in the Arundel on the Bay community, a few miles outside Maryland's capital.

Mrs. Schmoke, an ophthalmologist who spent her childhood summers with her grandparents in nearby Oyster Harbor, noticed the vacant home on a visit some time ago and fell in love with it, the mayor said.

"It's a family getaway place, but Patricia will be the first to admit that the dream that's being fulfilled is hers," Mr. Schmoke said. "It has been her dream as long as I've known her to one day own a waterfront property."

On Oct. 24, the couple bought the property on Hollywood Avenue in a private sale with a 15-year, $150,000 mortgage, records show. The property was assessed at $382,360, mainly because the land was valued at $333,150, according to state tax records. The frame bungalow was valued at $49,210.

The mayor admits he put off the purchase over the summer while seeking a third term in a hard-fought Democratic primary race against former council President Mary Pat Clarke.

But he defended his choice of a vacation retreat, saying he wanted to please his wife and he still considers Baltimore his true home. The Schmokes have lived for years in a contemporary home in the 3300 block of Sequoia Ave. in the Ashburton neighborhood.

"I expect to live in Baltimore for the rest of my life," he said.

Mr. Schmoke often touts homeownership opportunities and has initiated programs to help first-time homebuyers with settlement expenses and offer cash incentives for city workers to buy properties.

His second home did not trouble a group that has been most critical of his efforts to keep middle-class homeowners in the city.

"He's entitled," said David B. Rudow of the Baltimore Homeowners' Coalition.

Arundel on the Bay has long been a popular summer spot. Many of the smaller vacation homes that line the shores are being renovated into elegant, year-round residences.

The Schmokes also have begun to overhaul their bungalow -- but just for vacations. Mr. Schmoke, who often works through the weekends, said he would go to Annapolis only occasionally to relax.

"Obviously, I'll be spending the bulk of my time up here fixing potholes and taking care of business," he said.

The property comes with a pier, but the mayor said he doesn't want to buy a boat. "A canoe is the best I think I'll do," he said.

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