Developers plan to finish complex in Fells Point Hope is revived for Belt's Wharf


Belt's Wharf Landing, the mostly vacant condominium and town-house complex in Fells Point that was the subject of foreclosure proceedings five months ago, has been acquired by a new development team that plans to finish construction and kick off its sales campaign about Oct. 1.

Belt's Wharf Landing Limited Partnership, a group headed by New York-based investors Elliott Sharaby and Joel Gamel, paid $4.2 million this week to acquire the unsold residences in the 102-unit waterfront complex from South Charles Realty, the real estate subsidiary of Maryland National Bank.

The same group paid an additional $735,000 to acquire a 49-slip marina built as part of the development at 930 Fell St.

The Maryland National subsidiary has been seeking a buyer since March, when it foreclosed on the original development group. At the time, a group headed by Timonium contractor Frank Favazza owed the bank more than $21.4 million, according to court documents.

Belt's Wharf Landing is the second residential project in Baltimore for Mr. Sharaby and Mr. Gamel, who are part of the team that bought the 13-story Belvedere Hotel in Mount Vernon last year and have since resold most of it as condominiums. All but eight of the 112 residences and most of the shops and restaurants have been sold in the past 15 months.

Mr. Gamel said yesterday that his group was able to acquire Belt's Wharf Landing for 30 percent of the construction cost by paying cash and now plans to pass those savings along to buyers.

"We thought it would be a good venture," he said. "We thought it would be a good chance to strengthen our position in Baltimore."

The seven-level Belt's Wharf Landing complex includes 85 condominiums, seven town houses along Fell Street and 10 "pier houses" on land jutting into the harbor. Mr. Gamel declined to disclose what the prices would be but indicated they would be about 30 percent of the original price for each unit.

When the project opened in 1991, prices ranged from $89,000 for the smallest condominiums to about $150,000 for the town houses facing Fell Street. The waterfront town houses cost about $300,000 and penthouses cost $500,000 or more.

Mr. Gamel said all 10 waterfront houses were already owned and were not bought by his group. Several condominiums in the development were also previously occupied, he said, but most of the condominiums and town houses facing Fell Street were still available.

He said his group has begun taking reservations for available units and will officially launch its sales campaign when furnished models and a sales center are ready to open in October.

The developers hope to attract a diverse mix of buyers, from young singles and couples to older "empty nesters" and second-home buyers who want to be near a marina.

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