Residential tract brings $2.55 million N. Charles property sold after foreclosure


A 30-acre parcel of prime residential real estate at North Charles Street and Bellona Avenue was sold yesterday for $2.55 million.

Mount Vernon Properties Inc. bought the hilly property north of the city line, known as Cloisters at Charles, in a foreclosure auction after the developer, Faust Homes Inc., defaulted on a $4 million loan secured by the land.

It was the second recent auction purchase for the company, which bought Sorrento Run, a 69-unit luxury housing project on Falls Road in Brooklandville, for $1.6 million at public auction last month

Charles C. Edwards, an investor in Mount Vernon Properties, said residential development would proceed on the site. He said the housing probably would be less dense than the project envisioned by Faust and would include single-family homes.

"It will be built to blend with the neighborhood," he said.

Mr. Edwards said he did not know when construction would begin because revised development plans must be prepared and county permits received before construction can begin.

Signet Bank, which initiated yesterday's auction by foreclosing on the property in November, would not comment on the sale.

Faust, which bought the land from the School Sisters of Notre Dame, apparently fell victim to the region's real estate slump, which particularly hurt higher-priced homes such as those Faust was building at the Cloisters.

The company had planned to build 48 town houses ranging in price from $500,000 to $600,000, but only nine of the units were built.

In early September, Faust lost a

10-acre section of the development when it defaulted on an $8 million loan from Loyola Federal Savings and Loan.

The thrift bought the property at auction in September and is moving to complete the first phase of the subdivision.

Currently, seven of the nine houses on the property have been sold and six of the seven are occupied, neighbors who attended the auction said.

Loyola said it plans to sell new units on the site for $300,000 to $375,000.

Faust tried selling 16 acres on the site to a unit of the Marriott Corp., which was interested in building a housing complex for the elderly. But Marriott dropped its plans after neighborhood groups strongly opposed them.

Representatives from neighborhood groups who attended yesterday's auction said they were pleased with plans to build houses on the site.

"I think that would be wonderful. It's a gorgeous site," said Vernon Bolte, president of the neighborhood association from Armagh Village, which borders the southern end of the property.

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