Pikesville developer purchases waterfront tract in Balto. Co.

Luxury homes considered for parcel on Back River

March 29, 2004|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

A Pikesville developer has purchased for $2.85 million a prime waterfront parcel in eastern Baltimore County that could one day feature $1 million homes.

Mark C. Sapperstein said that he might build luxury homes on Back River and additional affordable, single-family houses and townhouses with a low-rise condominium building. He hopes to present a concept plan to county officials by June.

"This is prime waterfront property, and we think we won't be overburdening the area, though the density might be greater," said Sapperstein, who is involved in developments in Locust Point and Federal Hill.

All are not happy with the Sapperstein plan, though some residents welcome the revitalization sweeping rust-belt communities on the county's east side.

Harry Wujek, president of the North Point Peninsula Community Coordinating Council, said more people on the peninsula would add to a serious traffic problem.

"So far, the general feeling is we have enough traffic trouble with 4,000 households already on the peninsula," said Wujek. He called the bumper-to-bumper traffic on North Point Road in the morning and evening rush hours "horrendous" and maintained "people are not interested in any more development."

And while Sapperstein has pledged to work with the community, Wujek, whose organization represents three associations, said there has been little to talk about.

"The man bought the property and there has been nothing to talk about, he has no concept plan," Wujek said. "Until there is one, school's out" on community reaction, he said.

Sapperstein, lead investor of MCS Edgemere LLC, said that involving the community is "always in my thought process. The east side is growing because of a new confidence in the area, private dollars being invested."

The waterfront tract Sapperstein purchased is on North Point Road and has been in the Bauer family since 1940. There are several dozen weathered shore shacks on the river and the farm buildings have seen better days.

Three generations have worked the land. It once sustained a thriving dairy and produce farm, said Earl "Bud" Bauer Jr., one of the children who inherited the land after the original owners, Earl Bauer Sr. and Mildred Bauer, died in the late 1990s.

Towson lawyers William N. Butler and Marshall Greer are the personal representatives for the estates of Mildred and Earl Bauer Sr.

The preparation of a final accounting of the assets will be submitted to the Orphans' Court for settling taxes, escrows and other matters, a process that could take about six months, Butler said.

Profits from the sale would then be distributed to six heirs, he said.

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