Extra 90 days sought on hotel Angelos requests extension of talks on Grand Hyatt; Development


Baltimore attorney and Orioles managing partner Peter G. Angelos is seeking a 90-day extension on the exclusive negotiating privilege he has with the Baltimore Development Corp. to build a $150 million Grand Hyatt hotel downtown.

An extension for exclusive rights, which expired this week, will be considered at a meeting May 28, according to BDC President M. J. "Jay" Brodie.

Requests for extensions are not uncommon on large projects, he said.

In a letter to the BDC, Thomas Marudas, a spokesman for Angelos, wrote: "While we have made significant progress on a number of the preconditions in the negotiating privilege, we are not yet in a position to announce an operating management agreement for the hotel. Given the complex and costly nature of the project, a $150 million development, we have concentrated our time and effort towards completing a comprehensive and detailed management agreement with Hyatt."

Angelos or a spokesman will be asked to update the BDC board on the progress of the proposed 850-room hotel at the meeting, Brodie said.

"It's a very routine request," Marudas said. "It happens frequently in projects of this size. These are not easy things to keep to the date. The last thing you want to do is rush something like this and get it wrong."

Negotiations continue with Hyatt and city officials, Marudas said. A meeting is to be held soon to discuss financing and ownership structure for both the hotel and garage, according to the letter. The hotel, to be built adjacent to the Baltimore Convention Center, remains on schedule to open in 2001, he said.

The letter also said an agreement for a qualified developer and construction manager has been all but consummated. A site and utility survey has been completed.

About 29 percent of that proposed $150 million project would be publicly subsidized. Angelos wants the city to donate the site, assessed at $10 million. He also wants a 20-year waiver on city taxes, worth an estimated $17 million, and for the city to use its credit rating to win favorable borrowing rates for $16 million in parking revenue bonds to finance two or three levels of underground parking.

Thomas Brodie, a spokesman for New York developer Harvey Schulweis, who plans to build a $124 million Westin hotel with no public money, said he was not surprised by Angelos' request for more time.

"The rumor in Baltimore has been that they might ask for an extension," Brodie said yesterday.

The 600-room Westin, to rise at the old News American site, currently a parking lot next to the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel, is on schedule for groundbreaking in October or November, Brodie said.

"Their plans are of little concern to us," Brodie said. "Our hotel will be open long before theirs, if theirs gets built."

Developers hope to have the hotel open for business in 2000, he said.

The City Council has approved a multimillion-dollar plan that raises public subsidies for a proposed 750-room Wyndham Inner Harbor East hotel to about 30 percent and frees developers from paying property taxes for 25 years. Builders hope to break ground on that 31-story, $134 million project, led by Baltimore businessman John Paterakis Sr., by the end of next month.

Pub Date: 5/14/98

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