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NEWS
April 4, 2010
Let me see if I have this right: The firefighting companies across the street from my house (Truck Company 6 and Engine Company 26) are going to be periodically closed, meaning the city is playing Russian roulette with my family's safety. Firefighters, police officers and others are going to be laid off. The budget for repairing our teeth-rattling roads is going to be cut, and recreation centers for our children are going to be closed wholesale. However, the Baltimore Development Corporation, an organization which greases the wheels for wealthy developers and is only under limited control of our elected officials, will gain a $755,437 increase in their budget to grow to $4.04 million ("'Main Streets' projects might be cut," March 31)
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NEWS
October 2, 2014
We don't have enough evidence to declare the process for selecting a candidate to replace new Baltimore Development Corp. head William Cole a "travesty," as nine of the passed-over hopefuls did in a letter to the City Council. But we can certainly declare it disgraceful and most definitely not in keeping with recently enacted reforms that promised a transparent, community led process for filling council vacancies. Fourteen candidates, including many with strong records of public service, spent four hours explaining their qualifications to a panel of community leaders, business owners and two council members, all of whom were selected by Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young under a new protocol for filling council vacancies.
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NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | January 11, 2012
Money is tight, even for the city's economic development agency. The Baltimore Development Corp. hopes to draw a substantial portion of its budget from the sales of city-owned properties, a mayoral spokesman said Tuesday. The city's spending board is slated to vote to transfer $2.4 million from proceeds from property sales to the BDC Wednesday morning, according to the board's agenda. Ryan O'Doherty, a spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, said that the unusual arrangement is meant to be a stop-gap measure to fund the BDC amid last year's budget shortages.    The city faced a $65 million shortfall in the current budget year and is looking to a $52 million shortfall in the coming year.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman | September 25, 2014
The Baltimore Development Corp. voted unanimously in a closed session Thursday to start exclusive negotiations with a developer seeking to build market-rate apartments on two city-owned sites on Mulberry Street. The GMP Development Enterprises LLC plans call for 63 apartments, some retail space and 30 parking spaces, BDC staff told board members before the meeting was closed to the public. A final price for the land is subject to negotiation, said BDC President William H. Cole. The 410 and 422 W. Mulberry Street properties, about 19,500 square feet currently used as surface parking lots, are valued together at about $1.1 million for taxation purposes, according to state records.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | August 24, 2010
Baltimore's economic-development arm said Tuesday that it is requesting proposals from firms for a mixed-use redevelopment of five properties in the Pigtown neighborhood. The properties — at 925, 927, 929, 931 and 937 Washington Blvd. — are a mix of commercial and residential space. The Baltimore Development Corp. said it wants developers to propose plans that will anchor the Pigtown/Washington Village Business District. The quasi-public agency wants to see proposals to rehabilitate the buildings "to the largest extent possible.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar and The Baltimore Sun | December 3, 2012
The Baltimore Development Corp. is requesting proposals for the former "balloon site" at 701 E. Baltimore Street after receiving a new, unsolicited plan for the site from The Cordish Cos. -- the Baltimore development firm that until recently held the development rights for the property. Cordish gained the right to build on the site in 2005. But Cordish's exclusive negotiating privilege for the property has expired, said Kim Clark, the BDC's acting president. Because Cordish recently submitted a new plan for the site, the BDC issued on Friday another request for proposals, she said.
BUSINESS
December 9, 2009
A development team headed by Seawall Development Company and Cormony Development has been selected to redevelop Baltimore's historic Parkway Theatre as a live entertainment venue. The Baltimore Development Corp. announced Tuesday that it will enter into an "exclusive negotiating privilege" with the developers to give them time to refine their plans for the project, which includes the theater at 3-5 W. North Ave. and two adjacent properties. The team proposed a $12.2 million mixed-use project containing a performing arts venue, bar and museum.
BUSINESS
By Edward Gunts | ed.gunts@baltsun.com | January 28, 2010
The Inn at Government House would be sold by the city of Baltimore to a private group and renovated for continued use as a small hotel, under a $6 million plan approved Thursday by the Baltimore Development Corp. Directors of the quasi-public agency voted to recommend that the city sell the property at 1125 N. Calvert St. to Government House LLC, a group that offered buy the inn last year after the city sought proposals from developers. . City officials say they want to sell the inn because it isn't making money and needs repairs and they believe a private group could run it more efficiently and profitably.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar and The Baltimore Sun | October 25, 2012
The Baltimore Development Corp. board this morning agreed to enter into an exclusive negotiating agreement with the owner of the former Examiner building, 400 E. Pratt St., so that an addition to the building can be built on city-owned land. The Peter D. Leibowits Co. wants to build a 22,600 square foot, glass-fronted retail space on land along East Pratt and Commerce streets, according to BDC records. The plan, which the developer hopes will be leased to a national retail chain or restaurant, is expected to make the Pratt Street sidewalk more pedestrian friendly, BDC Economic Development Officer Kerry DeVilbiss told the board.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar and The Baltimore Sun | May 23, 2013
The Baltimore Development Corp.'s board on Thursday morning approved the sale of a warehouse site in the neighborhood just north of Little Italy and east of downtown so that a $45 million apartment complex can be built. The property, at 1107 E. Fayette St. in Jonestown, will be sold for $180,000. That is the appraised value of the property minus $275,000, the amount that it is estimated the demolition of the structure on the site will cost, according to Darrell Doan, the BDC's managing director of real estate development.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | August 28, 2014
City Councilman William H. Cole IV appeared as the new president of the Baltimore Development Corp. at its board meeting Thursday, on a day when the mayor announced six new board members and the board approved three new projects for the city's west side. The new appointments, which include former Mayor Kurt Schmoke, are the latest changes at the quasi-public agency. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake chose Cole about two weeks ago to take over as the BDC's leader, replacing Brenda McKenzie, who cited personal and family reasons for her departure after less than two years.
NEWS
Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | August 12, 2014
In two terms on the Baltimore City Council, William H. Cole IV has earned a reputation as an enthusiastic champion of downtown development. That history - and his close ties to the business community - make him a great choice to jump-start the Baltimore Development Corp., his many supporters say. "He understands the balance that's needed between business interests and community interests," says Aris Melissaratos, interim dean of the business school...
NEWS
August 8, 2014
Whatever the reason for Brenda McKenzie's decision to leave as head of the Baltimore Development Corporation after just two years, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake made a shrewd move by recruiting City Councilman William H. Cole IV to take her place. Ms. McKenzie never fully gelled with the downtown business community that has traditionally been the BDC's chief constituency, but Mr. Cole, who has represented the central business district for two terms on the council, has immediate credibility in that area.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | August 7, 2014
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake appointed two-term City Councilman William H. Cole IV on Thursday to lead the Baltimore Development Corp., the quasi-public agency charged with revitalizing the city. The appointment came as BDC President Brenda McKenzie said that she was resigning this month for "personal" and "family" reasons, less than two years after she came to Baltimore from Boston. Cole, 41, who lives in the Federal Hill area and represents South Baltimore on the City Council, will have to step down from that position.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | April 24, 2014
The Baltimore Development Corp. received a single bid from developers for a group of West side properties made available in February, CEO Brenda McKenzie said at a monthly board meeting Thursday. The site is made up of three vacant buildings and two lots in the 400 block of Howard Street. The lone submission by the April 21 deadline came from an entity called the Howard Street Incubator, LLC, BDC spokeswoman Joann Logan said. She declined to provide additional detail until BDC staff perform further review.  McKenzie said Thursday the BDC received 11 bids for the opportunity to help craft design ideas for a larger chunk of properties bounded by W. Franklin, N. Howard.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | March 31, 2014
When the new head of the Baltimore Development Corp. started 15 months ago, she replaced a man who'd become synonymous with development in the city and accepted the task of changing the agency's focus from real estate deals to economic strategy. Much of Brenda McKenzie's first year, however, has been consumed by projects she inherited, such as winning approval of controversial tax-increment financing for infrastructure at Harbor Point. Many observers said McKenzie, who came to Baltimore from a similar job in Boston, has yet to place her stamp on the agency, one of the most complex and controversial in the city and one not used to change after 16 years under the leadership of M.J. "Jay" Brodie.
BUSINESS
By Edward Gunts, The Baltimore Sun | April 22, 2010
Baltimore's historic Senator Theatre would be leased to new managers and continue to operate as a setting to see first-run movies, under a recommendation to Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake from the Baltimore Development Corp. The development agency's board of directors voted in closed session Thursday to recommend that a group headed by Charles Theatre owner James "Buzz" Cusack and his daughter, Kathleen, be allowed to lease the York Road landmark for up to 40 years and renovate it for continued use as a movie theater, according to BDC President M.J. "Jay" Brodie.
NEWS
November 16, 2006
The directors of the Baltimore Development Corp. need an attitude adjustment. If they didn't understand the recent Maryland Court of Appeals ruling, let us remind them: The city's premier economic development arm is a public agency. And as such, it better start acting like one. In comments published in The Sun yesterday, BDC President M. J. "Jay" Brodie indicated that many of the agency's operations would be protected from public scrutiny because they would fall under exemptions in the state's open-meetings and public information laws.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman | March 12, 2014
The city Wednesday approved the $2.2 million sale of six long-vacant properties close to the Inner Harbor to a developer proposing to turn them into market-rate apartments.   PMC Property Group, Inc., which owns and operates about 700 apartments in Baltimore City, expects to spend roughly $30 million on the 188-unit project, said Steven Bloom, operating partner for PMC Property Group's Baltimore office. The company has been in negotiations with the city since 2012 about the properties, which lie just north of the Brookshire Suites and were once slated for a hotel redevelopment.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and The Baltimore Sun | July 11, 2013
At a packed City Council hearing Wednesday, residents of Perkins Homes public housing, area clergymen and other residents blasted the $88 million in property tax breaks the planned $1 billion Harbor Point development is set to receive, arguing that a portion of the money should be used to help the poor. "You should not have luxury communities by developing off of the misery in the city," said Rev. Alvin C. Hathaway, Sr. of Union Baptist Church.  The committee hearing was called by City Councilman Carl Stokes, who has accused the Baltimore Development Corporation, the city's quasi-public development arm, of drawing an inappropriate map so that Harbor Point could received Enterprise Zone tax credits -- which are meant for impoverished areas -- that it could not have qualified for on its own. Stokes has alleged that Harbor Point is specifically taking advantage of the poverty in the Perkins Homes to receive its tax breaks, an allegation the BDC denies.
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