Baltimore County to auction Towson police station April 14

Replacement not finished, but `good market' noted

March 30, 2000|By David Nitkin | David Nitkin,SUN STAFF

Hoping to capitalize on a hot real-estate market, Baltimore County is planning to auction its 73-year-old police station in Towson six months before its replacement is completed.

County officials hope to earn at least $300,000 from the scheduled April 14 sale of the two-story precinct at 308 Washington Ave.

Several companies have expressed interest in renovating the building for offices, said Robert J. Barrett, a top aide to County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger, who handles many of the county's real estate transactions.

"I would imagine they would put as much renovation money in as they spend purchasing it," Barrett said.

County officials had decided that the building -- designated as a historical landmark -- was too small and too poorly maintained to use as county offices.

But the timing of the sale is unusual.

Construction crews continue to work on a $5.1 million station at Bosley and Susquehanna avenues.

The building will boast about twice as much space as the old precinct, and will contain seven jail cells. Cells at the old precinct have not been used for about seven years because of lead paint. Prisoners awaiting transfer have been handcuffed to pipes.

The new station won't be completed until at least mid-November. It's possible the 40 officers who will work there won't move until January 2001.

Barrett said selling the old building soon made sense because interest was high. The county will delay the closing until after construction of the new precinct is done, or lease back space from the purchasers.

"We've had a good market," Barrett said. "We don't want to wait until a down slide. A year can make a difference, tremendously."

The precinct house, built in 1927 and expanded in the 1930s, was listed with the Maryland Historical Trust in 1978. Its designation means a buyer must keep the exterior intact, and is restricted in interior renovations.

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