CAPITAL INVESTMENT IS NO CRIME
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|What do you call a prison without cons? An office building. We'll let you decide whether that's true for you, but there's no denying it for The Azola Companies? $1.7M renovation of the old Towson jail into Bosley Hall. At yesterday's ribbon-cutting, VP Tony Azola told us the deal started in 2008, when his dad Marty (he's the one actually payign attention to our camera) saw a newspaper article about Baltimore County?s plan to mothball the old jail for $700K. Marty called the Department of Parks and Recreation and said his company would rehab the place as office space using its own financing. They gutted and replaced the interior over two years.|
|The project was financed by cash, historical tax credits, and a $1.1M construction loan from Rosedale Federal Savings and Loan. Azola Companies signed a 100-year master lease, paying $1 for rent and $6,000 (with a 3% annual increase) in lieu of property taxes. The company is leasing to individuals, and two-thirds of the space is spoken for. Asking rent is $22/SF (or two cigarettes).|
|The company is also buying the 24k SF former mansion and hotel, The Inn at Government House, on N Calvert St, from the City for $750k, pending final approval. The deal places the building back on the tax records and provides for a historic restoration of a prominent inner-city mansion. Tony tells us it'll probably be turned into a high-end hotel with office and conference room space.|