City read­ies to sell sites near casino

BARCS shel­ter, park­ing lot will have to make room for planned re­de­vel­op­ment

Baltimore Sun - - BUSINESS MARYLAND - By Natalie Sher­man nsh­er­man@balt­sun.com

Bal­ti­more is pre­par­ing to sell two prop­er­ties near the Horse­shoe Casino Bal­ti­more for re­de­vel­op­ment, re­lo­cat­ing the Bal­ti­more An­i­mal Res­cue and Care Shel­ter.

The City Coun­cil ap­proved changes this week to a plan passed in 2002 to over­haul the in­dus­trial zone, adding out­door recre­ational use to the pos­si­bil­i­ties for the area. The changes were made in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the sale of 1411 Warner St. and 301 Stock­holm St., which are used as park­ing and the BARCS fa­cil­ity.

The goal is to en­able cre­ation of an “en­ter­tain­ment hub” near the casino and sports sta­di­ums, ac­cord­ing to let­ters filed with the leg­is­la­tion. One of the ideas be­ing floated in­cludes an out­door golf driv­ing range, said Coun­cil­man Robert W. Cur­ran.

Bal­ti­more Devel­op­ment Corp. spokes­woman Su­san Yum said there are no spe­cific plans for the prop­er­ties, which would go through a public sale process.

One of the parcels, 1411 Warner St., is al­ready locked up in an op­tions agree­ment with the devel­op­ment team be­hind the casino, CBAC Gam­ing. In April, the city granted a two-year ex­ten­sion to the firm to ex­er­cise its right to buy the prop­erty and nearby 701 Os­tend St., both now used as park­ing lots for the Ravens.

De­vel­oper Arthur Adler of Caves Val­ley Part­ners, one of the firms in­volved in CBAC Gam­ing, de­clined to com­ment. Lead­ers at Horse­shoe have said they want to add a ho­tel to the op­er­a­tion even­tu­ally.

Erin Cham­ber­lin, se­nior vice pres­i­dent and gen­eral man­ager of Horse­shoe Casino Bal­ti­more, said in a state­ment that the com­pany has no “im­me­di­ate plans” to pur­sue a ho­tel, but “we cer­tainly en­vi­sion a time when such a pro­ject could serve as a prom­i­nent com­po­nent of the area’s broader re­de­vel­op­ment.”

The city has not set­tled on a new site for BARCS, which was cre­ated to run the city’s shel­ter op­er­a­tions in 2005, although dis­cus­sions have oc­curred on and off for years, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Jen­nifer Brause said.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion, which pro­vides care for morethan12,000 an­i­mals each year, es­ti­mates that it would need about $18 mil­lion to build a new, ex­panded shel­ter, Brause said last year. Cur­ran, who made an­i­mal wel­fare one of his sig­na­ture causes, said he hopes the sale of the prop­er­ties would help fi­nance those plans.

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