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Developer hopes to bring stores to riot-damaged and vacant city buildings
Developer hopes to bring stores to riot-damaged and vacant city buildings

For 29 years, Carl Verstandig's Pikesville-based company has been buying rundown, vacancy-plagued shopping centers in distressed neighborhoods and enticing tenants with offers they couldn't refuse — free rent for a time and the ability to walk away with no penalties. The formula worked, and many of the merchants, most of them independent, stayed, breathing new life into centers across Baltimore and 22 states. On Monday, Verstandig, the CEO and president of America's Realty LLC, stood on a corner at North and Pennsylvania avenues in West Baltimore, ground zero of riots that broke out last week, and saw possibilities for redevelopment. His company is prepared to...

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