BDC picks Jonestown retail, office proposal

Azola, Banks, Browns to develop 3 properties, including Hendler site

January 30, 2002|By Meredith Cohn | Meredith Cohn,SUN STAFF

The city yesterday selected a proposal to convert the former Hendler Creamery ice cream factory and two other properties in the Jonestown section of East Baltimore into a neighborhood shopping center and offices.

The Baltimore Development Corp., the city's economic development arm, picked the proposal submitted by Jonestown Powerhouse LLC, a joint venture among Azola & Associates Inc., headed by Martin Azola; Banks Contracting Co. Inc., headed by Kenneth Banks; and investors Sylvia and Eddie Brown of Brown Capital Management.

The privately financed, $12.75 million project beat out three other proposals, the BDC said.

The developer has an exclusive negotiating privilege with the city on the buildings between downtown and Johns Hopkins Hospital - at 1100 and 1110 E. Baltimore St. and 1107-1133 E. Fayette St. The Fayette buildings are slated to become a retail center that could include a grocery store, cleaner, cafM-i and variety store. Offices are planned in the Hendler building on Baltimore Street with a parking garage next door.

"Ken Banks, Eddie and Sylvia Brown and I are elated to have been chosen for this important east side development," said Azola, managing member of Jonestown Powerhouse. "We applaud the city's foresight in providing this job opportunity in historic Jonestown."

The developers are required to retain the Hendler building, which has been nominated for the National Register of Historic Places.

The project is the third major development to come to the area recently.

The others are a check remittance operation that Bank One Corp. opened in 2000 and a printing facility being built for Chesapeake Advertising Inc.

"Selection of the Jonestown Powerhouse brings to this project a skilled development team with considerable adaptive reuse experience," said M.J. "Jay" Brodie, president of the Baltimore Development Corp.

"Their proposal complements our vision for the rehabilitation of the East Fayette Street Corridor."

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