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City receives proposals to redo 4 west-side sites

The Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore Development Corp. has received eight proposals to develop apartments, shops, parking and a hotel at four sites that would expand the city's west-side revitalization.

The city's development agency is reviewing proposals to renovate municipally owned vacant buildings in the 400 and 500 blocks of N. Howard St. and in the 300 block W. Franklin St. The properties, including the former Mayfair Theater, lie in an urban renewal area that has Seton Hill on the west and Mount Vernon to the east.

The city has been working to spur private redevelopment of blighted swaths of the west side, where one of the largest projects, the "superblock" bounded by Fayette, Howard, Lexington and Liberty streets, is expected to bring in hundreds of new apartments, parking and shops to Baltimore's old retail district.

The proposals announced yesterday would continue revitalization several blocks north of the superblock.

Under one proposal, the contiguous buildings at 400 and 402 N. Howard St. would be converted into two ground-level stores, with two studio apartments in the rear and on the upper floors. The plan was put forward by French Development Co. Inc. of Baltimore. A rival proposal, by P & D Realty LLC, of Ellicott City, would redevelop the properties into 16 rental apartments with two-ground level stores.

Another French Development proposal would renovate five buildings at 408 to 415 N. Howard St. into four ground-level shops, 14 studio apartments and on-site parking. A rival plan by Mayfair Development Group LLC, of Potomac, proposes 11,400 square feet of ground-floor shops, 27 market-rate apartments, with onsite parking in the rear.

Capital Venture Group LLC, of Baltimore, is proposing to renovate properties at 300-304 W. Franklin St., which include 502-504 N. Howard, into ground-level shops, with two levels dedicated to entertainment. The Mayfair Development Group wants to turn the buildings into 4,000 square feet of ground-level shops and 10 market-rate apartments on the upper floors.

Mayfair also proposes to renovate the fourth site, 506 N. Howard Street, the former Mayfair Theater. It wants to build 54 parking spaces on two levels below ground, with 19,000 square feet of entertainment-oriented retail space and 26 market-rate rental apartments on the upper floors.

Another proposal for that site, by Pioneer Contracting Co., of Odenton, calls for converting the theater into a 64-room Sleep Inn hotel.


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