Developers Get Ok To Buy 4 Properties

December 17, 2009|By Julie Scharper | Julie Scharper,julie.scharper@baltsun.com

A parcel of four West Baltimore properties in an area slated for revitalization will be sold to a team of developers under terms approved by the city's spending board Wednesday.

The four properties in the 400 block of N. Howard St. will be sold for $600,000 to a pair of Washington-based developers operating as Howard Street Lofts LLC.

The buyers will pay the city $100,000 at settlement and owe $300,000 in a low-interest, 30-year promissory note. The pair will owe the city an additional $200,000 if they sell the properties.

City Comptroller Joan M. Pratt had balked at an earlier deal that would have turned over the four buildings, appraised at $1.2 million in September, for $100,000. Under that agreement, the buyers would have paid $500,000 if they resold the parcel.

The new agreement represents "a better deal for the city," Pratt said. The $300,000 promissory note ensures that the city will receive additional funds if the buyers do not sell again, said M.J. "Jay" Brodie, president of the Baltimore Development Corp., the city's quasi-public development arm.

The developers propose to lure residents and businesses to the westside with a mixture of shops, offices and residences. Two previous projects for the site have fallen through, Brodie said.

The four properties sit three blocks from the site of the long-delayed "superblock" project, which is considered crucial to the redevelopment of the city's former shopping hub.

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