State board OKs lease allowing Sailing Hall of Fame in Annapolis

February 25, 2010|By Nicole Fuller | Baltimore Sun reporter

The state Board of Public Works unanimously approved on Wednesday a long-term lease allowing the construction of the National Sailing Hall of Fame on Annapolis' waterfront.

The decision came after Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen and Richard L. Franyo, president of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, came to an agreement regarding the nonprofit museum's compliance with local laws. Because the museum will be built on largely state-owned land and would therefore be exempt from Annapolis laws, residents and some lawmakers raised concerns regarding the museum's compliance with the construction of a building in the city's Historic District, parking and alcohol regulations.

According to a "letter of understanding" between the museum and the city, the museum agrees to construct a building that is "well integrated" into downtown architecture, submit a parking plan to the city for approval and to continue to pay property taxes to the city for the small part of the land that is city owned.

The museum is required to raise about $30 million for construction, a five-year operating fund and a maintenance fund, before work begins.

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