Caves Valley Partners submits high bid for former SSA complex on west side

Twoson developer is top bidder for west side Social Security complex

A prominent Towson developer submitted the highest bid for the former Social Security complex on downtown's west side, the General Services Administration said Tuesday.

The $7.1 million bid from Greene Street Ventures LLC was the highest of eight offers, said Gina Blyther Gilliam, spokeswoman for the General Services Administration, which conducted the auction. The top bidder is an affiliate of Caves Valley Partners.

The General Services Administration has 60 days after Jan. 27 to accept or reject the offer for the complex at 300 N. Greene St., which serves as a link between downtown and West Baltimore.

Arthur Adler, managing partner at Caves Valley Partners, said it was too early to disclose the company's ideas for the roughly 11-acre site that straddles U.S. 40. The Caves Valley portfolio includes major mixed-use redevelopments, such as Towson Row in Baltimore County and Stadium Square in the Sharp-Leadenhall neighborhood in Baltimore. It is also a partner in the Horseshoe Casino.

"We believe as a company in taking on projects that we think can help transform an area," said Adler, adding that it was drawn to the parcel in part by the investments by the University of Maryland, Baltimore and others in the area. "Right now, everything is on the table."

The GSA started marketing the MetroWest property in May, conducting an auction last summer that failed to yield a sale.

The 1.1 million-square-foot facility, which has a skybridge and more than 500 parking spaces, has been empty since April 2014, when the Social Security Administration relocated to a new building near the Reisterstown Road Plaza Metro station.

Of the eight offers submitted last month, two were dismissed for not having met the terms of the deal, Blyther Gilliam said. The lowest bid was $205,000.

The second-highest bid, for $6.15 million, came from Lansdowne Manager LLC. The firm is an affiliate of David S. Brown Enterprises, which is run by Adler's father-in-law and has several projects in various stages of development on the west side.

Adler, who used to work at the company and whose son now works there, said he knew Chairman Howard Brown was looking at the site, but they did not discuss the deal.

"I didn't talk about it and he didn't talk about it," Adler said.

Through a spokesman, Brown declined to comment.

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