BDC rejects plan for part of ex-Su­perblock

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - By Sarah Gantz sarah.gantz@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/sarah­gantz

The Bal­ti­more De­vel­op­ment Corp. re­jected a pro­posal on Thurs­day to re­de­velop a prop­erty within the former Su­perblock, while agree­ing to fur­ther dis­cuss de­vel­op­ment plans for an­other West Bal­ti­more site.

Mav­er­ick Man­age­ment Corp., a New York de­vel­oper, pro­posed re­de­vel­op­ing 223 W. Lex­ing­ton St. into eight mar­ket-rate apart­ments and ground-floor re­tail, to be oc­cu­pied by Rain­bow, a women’s cloth­ing store af­fil­i­ated with Mav­er­ick.

The board unan­i­mously re­jected the pro­posal, in part be­cause it did not meet the goal of bring­ing new re­tail to the area. Rain­bow, the pro­posed re­tailer, al­ready is lo­cated nearby, at 319 W. Lex­ing­ton St.

The board also ex­pressed con­cern that the pro­posed pur­chase price, $200,000, un­der­val­ued the prop­erty, which is ap­praised at $1 mil­lion and has us­able re­tail space.

Sharp Dressed Man, the non­profit founded by Chris Schafer Cloth­ier founder Chris Schafer that was dis­placed by a fire in March, has tem­po­rar­ily set up shop at 223 W. Lex­ing­ton St.

Mav­er­ick could not be reached for com­ment Thurs­day.

The board also re­viewed a pro­posal from Wash­ing­ton Bal­ti­more De­vel­op­ment Corp. to turn a cor­ner of West Bal­ti­more north of Lex­ing­ton Mar­ket into a mix of apart­ments and re­tail.

The site, called Howard Sta­tion, in­cludes a park­ing garage at 400 Park Ave., a clus­ter of town­houses along Park Av­enue and an elec­tric sub­sta­tion.

Un­der the pro­posal, WBDC and part­ners TriS­tar In­vest­ing, Cho Benn Hol­back + As­so­ciates, and FLGA LLC would turn the space into 83 mar­ket-rate res­i­den­tial units, four live-work stu­dios and 17,800 square feet of re­tail space, oc­cu­pied by re­gional and na­tional brands.

All the prop­er­ties on the site are con­sid­ered his­toric. The pro­posal calls for his­toric el­e­ments to be pre­served, while con­nect­ing the prop­er­ties by dis­man­tling con­struc­tion that is not orig­i­nal. The pro­posal would elim­i­nate the park­ing garage, which is not func­tional.

Con­struc­tion could start in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2018 and fin­ish in early 2020, ac­cord­ing to a BDC staff pre­sen­ta­tion of the pro­posal.

The group is seek­ing to take over the site, ap­praised at $1.1 mil­lion, at no cost. BDC spokes­woman Su­san Yum said that the board can rec­om­mend the pro­posal while dis­put­ing the pro­posed pur­chase price.

In closed ses­sion, the board dis­cussed and voted on whether to rec­om­mend the pro­posal to Mayor Stephanie Rawl­ingsBlake, but de­clined to dis­close the out­come of the vote. The board’s vote will be­come pub­lic if the mayor ap­proves the rec­om­men­da­tion and it moves on to the Board of Es­ti­mates.

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