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Baltimore County puts former recreation office in Towson on the market

Baltimore County government has put up for sale a property in downtown Towson on the northeast corner of Washington and Susquehanna avenues.
Baltimore County government has put up for sale a property in downtown Towson on the northeast corner of Washington and Susquehanna avenues. (Baltimore County Government photo)

Baltimore County government is selling a piece of prime real estate in downtown Towson on the northeast corner of Washington and Susquehanna avenues.

The "Public Sale of County Property" sign in front of the two-story, red brick building at 301 Washington Ave. states that sealed bids for the .395-acre property must be submitted by Nov. 21 at 3 p.m.

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The vacant 13,278-square-foot building and its 19-space parking lot are across Washington Avenue from a Revenue Authority parking garage and two doors down from the Towson Armory.

"It's a pretty little building with a charming gazebo," said Nancy Hafford, executive director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce. "A long time ago we considered moving our office there, but it was too big — and it wasn't for sale at the time."

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Now that the property is for sale, it would be "an appropriate site for redevelopment," said Greater Towson Committee president Chuck Fleury, whose organization promotes development in town.

Indeed, the zoning on the property — Business Major-Commercial Town Center Core — would allow construction of a high-rise structure.

Vacant since 2007, the building once provided office space for 26 Department of Recreation and Parks employees, according to county spokeswoman Ellen Kobler.

The standard process for the sale of a county building involves declaring it surplus after all departments have indicated they no use for it, she said.

"There wasn't a need for it, so we put it up for sale," Kobler said.

"I think the county has every right to be selling off properties like this one," said 5th District County Council member David Marks. "It's a prime piece of real estate in downtown Towson. I think it would be suitable for a high-density use."

Hafford agrees.

"The more people we can get living in the downtown area, the better it will be for all the businesses," she said.

"It is an ideally located site, and lends itself well to additional upscale housing, similar to the nearby Palisades," said Towson commercial real estate broker Bob Latshaw.

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