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News Maryland Baltimore City

City loan approved for Senator Theatre operator; Grand Prix deal OK'd

Baltimore's Board of Estimates approved a $700,000 loan to the operators of the Senator Theatre as well as a modified lease for the space at its meeting Wednesday morning.

The loan is part of the financing that James "Buzz" Cusack and his daughter, Kathleen, of the Senator Limited Partnership need to pay for construction of two additions that will house three new theaters with stadium-style seating as well as a wine bar. On Tuesday, the city's Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation approved plans to build the additions as well as to preserve the original theater on York Road.

Under the new terms, the operators will pay the city $3,000 per month once the new theaters are built.

"We're very pleased and eager to get moving with the renovation," Kathleen Cusack said.

In other business, the board approved an amendment to the agreement between Grand Prix organizer Baltimore Racing Development LLC and the city Transportation Department. The three primary differences were changes to roadways to comply with racing rules, Jamie Kendrick, the deputy transportation director, said during the meeting.

The new agreement includes the construction of a removable median on Conway Street between Sharp and Howard streets; construction of a removable curb and sidewalk on the south side of Pratt and Howard streets; and replacing the thermoplastic lane stripes on the race course with painted ones.

The city would be responsible for paying for the improvements this year, but the racing group would remove and replace the median and sidewalk at its own expense within 10 days of the race. In addition, the group must repaint the lane stripes within 10 days of the race, as well as in the spring, before the start of the tourist season, he said.

liz.kay@baltsun.com

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