Baltimore City

BDC sells city-owned Inn at Government House to developer

A city-owned inn in Midtown-Belvedere has been sold to a private developer with plans to convert the property into a boutique hotel, according to the city's economic development entity.

The corporate buyer agreed to pay $725,000 for the Inn at Government House, a three-building complex that was converted under then-Mayor William Donald Schaefer, said Darrell Doan, the Baltimore Development Corp.'s director of economic development for the eastern half of the city.


Mount Vernon Mansion LLC, the purchasing company, is led by Eddie Brown of the Baltimore investment firm Brown Capital Management and Martin Azola of real estate developer Azola & Associates.

The city Board of Estimates approved the sale of the property at 1125 N. Calvert St. this month. The sale ends a more than three-year effort to unload the structure, which has 21 guest rooms and has been deemed surplus by the city's Space Utilization Committee.


"Most recently, it has been run for the city by a third party," Doan said by phone Tuesday. "It's not what government should be doing."

In October 2008, the BDC requested proposals for the purchase, lease or operation of the inn. Only one group approached the city with a plan. Doan said the city encouraged bidders to keep the space as a hotel.

Last renovated in 1985, the inn will be refurbished into a 17-room boutique hotel with conference areas and a restaurant, said Azola, a minority partner in the project. The building will also house five rooms of expansion space for Brown Capital Management, already located in the neighborhood, he said.

The city needed to receive permission from bondholders before it could sell the property, delaying completion of the agreement, Doan said.

"It's not unusual for a public transaction of this type with financing, title and operating complexities to take several years to complete," Doan said in an email Tuesday.

William Painter, inventor of the bottle cap, lived in the 1890 brownstone mansion that is a part of the complex.