Capital Gazette wins special Pulitzer Prize citation for coverage of newsroom shooting that killed five

City Council OKs bill to sell sidewalk air rights to builder


In the final session before its summer recess, the Baltimore City Council passed a bill that developer Leonard Attman needs in order to acquire the air rights above the sidewalk along the south side of Redwood Street, east of Charles Street.

Mr. Attman wants to build a 29-story, 343,000-square-foot office tower called the Baltimore Financial Center at the southeast corner of that intersection and wants to use the air rights above the sidewalk in order to construct a less narrow building.

The council ordinance, which needs the signature of Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, would amend the financial district urban renewal plan to permit sale of the air rights. It drew strong opposition from neighboring property owners who argued in public meetings that the sale of air rights would set a bad precedent for downtown development and result in a building that is too large for the site.

Attorney Alan Betten asked the council last week to amend the bill so the air rights could not be used if the developer failed to make progress toward construction after four years, but he was turned down.

Colt property

Baltimore real estate officials are negotiating with the Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. about the possibility of selling more than 38 acres of city-owned land off the 11000 block of Bonita Avenue in Owings Mills -- part of the former training complex of the Baltimore Colts.

Shirley M. Summers, special projects coordinator for the real estate department, says BG&E; officials want to buy the land so they can build a substation to serve the growing northwestern section of Baltimore County. She says she expects the sale to bring about $4.3 million.

The Price Co. of San Diego, developer of the Price Club warehouse shopping centers, was the original high bidder for the Owings Mills property when the city offered it for development more than a year ago, with an offer of $4.75 million. But Price dropped out when the land could not be rezoned quickly for retail use.

Ms. Summers says BG&E; has expressed interest in acquiring somewhat more property than the Price Co. wanted. According to county officials, the area is zoned for light manufacturing, a category that already permits "utility service centers."

Under its plan, the city would retain the training camp and adjoining practice fields for use in case Baltimore gets a National Football League franchise. The city bought the entire 100-acre tract from Colt owner Robert Irsay in 1986 for $4.6 million.

Northern police station

Baltimore's Department of Real Estate is searching for a replacement site for the Northern police station and has set July 14 as the deadline for submissions from property owners with either land or buildings that might suit its needs.

To be eligible for consideration, the land must be from 2.25 to 4 acres, and the buildings must provide 25,000 to 40,000 square feet of space, with parking space for at least 130 cars. All properties must be within the area bounded by 36th Street, Northern Parkway, York Road and the Jones Falls Expressway.

Restaurant scene

Moscow Nights, a large restaurant that featured Russian cuisine and became a popular weekend dining spot when it opened early last year at the base of the Sutton Place apartments in Bolton Hill, has closed. The space is expected to reopen under new management and without the Russian theme.

* The Dame Company, doing business as Linwood's, has signed a new lease for 3,008 square feet at 25 Crossroads Drive in the McDonogh Crossroads Office Park near Owings Mills. The lease represents an expansion for Linwood's. Christopher C. Smith of MacKenzie & Associates Inc. represented the landlord and tenant.

* After five months of construction and an investment of more than $500,000, Jasper's restaurant has opened in the space formerly occupied by the Pimlico Restaurant at Commercenter, 1777 Reisterstown Road in Pikesville.

* June 29 is the "soft" opening date for Bohager's Bar and Grill, a new restaurant at the northeast corner of Fleet and Eden streets near Fells Point. Bohager's will have a grand opening VIP party on July 7 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and will be open to the general public again on that day at 8 p.m.

Around the region

BWJ Architects has replaced Edmunds & Hyde as the associate architect for the $45 million medical biotechnology complex planned for the interior of the former Hutzler Bros. warehouse on Lombard Street, just east of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Edmunds & Hyde went out of business this year. Davis, Brody and Associates of New York is the lead architect for the project.

* Chuck Butler and Randy Willard have formed ButlerWillard Associates, 2701 N. Charles St., a firm that offers full architectural services in the health sciences and high-end residential fields. The firm's projects include research and development for the Dome Corp., renovation projects for the University of Maryland Medical System, and resort and residential projects at Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland.

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