By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun
12:48 PM EDT, May 30, 2013
The partners chosen six years ago to develop the "Superblock" on the west side of downtown Baltimore are again asking the city to give them more time before they must buy the property, according to the Baltimore Development Corp.
Brenda McKenzie, the BDC's head, said the agency has not yet decided whether to recommend another extension to city officials.
In December, the city's Board of Estimates approved a six-month extension of the land disposition agreement with Lexington Square Partners LLC. That amendment to the purchase agreement gave the partnership until June 30 to purchase 3.6 acres from the city for its proposed $152 million mixed-use development.
At the time, the partnership told city officials "that this extension will be the last one that is necessary in order to secure financing for the project," according to Board of Estimates records. The partners said they would be able to secure a construction loan once a $22 million tax break was approved by the City Council. That tax break for the development was granted in December.
The city first entered into the sales agreement with Lexington Square Partners in 2007. Lexington Square Partners has agreed to buy the site for $12.2 million, though the developer is receiving credits for all but $2.85 million of that price.
The development, delayed by legal challenges and a floundering economy, would be bounded roughly by Lexington, Howard and Fayette streets and Park Avenue. When complete, it is expected to have about 300 apartments and a parking structure with space for 650 vehicles, plus more than 200,000 square feet for retail.
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