BDC considers offers to buy and redevelop prime downtown parcel

BDC considers offers to buy and redevelop prime downtown parcel

A strip of city-owned property at the heart of downtown would be sold and redeveloped with retail under proposals for the site the Baltimore Development Corp. considered Thursday.

A subcommittee of the BDC board recommended starting exclusive negotiations to sell the property, located on the northwest corner of Light and Pratt streets, to a team that includes Columbia-based Corporate Office Properties Trust, which owns the adjacent Transamerica tower, and Metropolitan Partnership, which converted nearby 10 Light Street into apartments.

COPT had made an unsolicited offer for the less than one acre site, prompting the BDC to open it up for bids in July. The request for proposals drew three responses for the parcel, which an appraisal for the BDC valued at $1.5 million.

The full BDC board discussed the offers Thursday in closed session. Officials declined to say the recommendation but Kimberly Clark, BDC executive vice president, said the project committee thought COPT's proposal made the most sense, since it owns the adjacent property.

The proposal from COPT would redevelop the area with a two-story, 23,000 square foot building that includes about 15,000 square feet of ground floor retail and a rooftop restaurant, terrace and plaza. The team offered $400,000 or a "mutually agreed upon" appraised value of the site, plus $25,000.

A team that included MFI Management submitted a proposal for a 20,000-square-foot one-story commercial building, with a retailer, steakhouse, café and financial institution. The group offered $1.5 million, the BDC said.

A team that included MLR Partners, MCB Real Estate and Baltimore's Fillat+ Architecture proposed a 17,500-square-foot building with retail, offering $500,000.

A plan for Pratt Street calls for more retail to built along the corridor, reducing the wide sidewalks. The recent addition to 400 East Pratt Street, which now houses a Shake Shack and CVS, falls in line with that plan.

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