Developer's commission for land sale criticized by city's estimates board

April 07, 2000|By Gerard Shields | Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF

Members of the city's Board of Estimates chastised Baltimore Development Corp. over an agreement to pay a downtown real estate developer more than double the standard real estate commission for selling a city property.

The five-member estimates board agreed Wednesday to pay Otis Warren/Svatos Real Estate Resources $46,063 for its work in selling 7 acres at Seton Business Park to the Baltimore Association of Retarded Citizens (BARC).

City Solicitor Thurman Zollicoffer challenged the payment because BDC agreed to pay the commission on the asking price of the property rather than on the sale price.

The West Baltimore site was advertised at $525,000 and was sold to BARC at a discount of $195,300. Zollicoffer, Mayor Martin O'Malley and City Comptroller Joan M. Pratt criticized BDC for failing to authorize the agreement with the estimates board.

"It was a misunderstanding that won't happen again," BDC President M. J. "Jay" Brodie.

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