The group responsible for finding someone to redevelop the site of the former Mayfair Theatre received no proposals by the announced March 6 deadline, but isn’t giving up on the project.
“Disappointing, yes, but we weren’t surprised,” said Kimberly Clark, executive vice president of the Baltimore Development Corp. “We’re not giving up. We still think it’s a valuable site. We still think there’s something interesting and creative that could be done with the site.”
Demolition of much of the 113-year-old performing arts center and later movie theater, located on Howard Street between Franklin and Centre streets, began in late summer. The theater had been closed since 1986, and the roof of the building collapsed 12 years later. Today, only the building’s ornate facade and a section extending 35 feet back from it remain standing. Any future developer would be expected to incorporate the remaining building into their plans, according to the BDC's request for proposals.
Clark said there are no current plans to again formally request proposals for the Mayfair site, but her group remains willing to listen. “We’re pressing ‘pause,’” she said. “We’re open to listening to folks that might have ideas.”
Any number of factors could have played into the dearth of redevelopment proposals, Clark said. Continuing work on area water lines may have caused some developers to hesitate, she said, and winter may not have been the best time to ask for proposals. Plus, Clark noted, a lot of work is being done on projects throughout the city, and developers may have little room left on their schedules.
“I was just touring another project, and I asked one of the construction guys” about the Mayfair, Clark said. “He said, ‘Kim, I’m not surprised by that. We are all so busy, trying to finish other projects before taking on anything new.'”