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This Week's Baltimore Deal Sheet

A 3M SF project planned for 33 acres in West Baltimore's Poppleton neighborhood has suffered a series of setbacks, as residents continue to wait for a revival that was promised two decades ago. 

New York-based La Cité, the developer of the Center/West project, has delivered one apartment building, but a building planned for older adults has faced challenges and has yet to progress, the Baltimore Sun reports

The completed apartment building at the Center/West development.

Those challenges include unpaid water bills and lawsuits filed by contractors and management companies continuing to bedevil the project, the Sun reports. 

Earlier this year, Poppleton residents upset by the lack of progress on the development met with Baltimore Housing Commissioner Alice Kennedy and floated their own development proposals, the Baltimore Brew reported.

The pace of development, much of it financed with tax dollars, has been a concern for years.

After awarding the project to La Cité in 2005, the city filed a failed lawsuit in 2012 to reclaim development rights after spending $10M on demolition and site prep in Poppleton. On its website, La Cité touts its selection to steer the $800M project after the city conducted "an extensive selection process."

Plans for the project include 3.2M SF of development, including up to 1,800 housing units with roughly 293 units of rental housing and 1,200 units of properties intended for homeownership. La Cité planned to make 20% of units affordable housing and the rest market-rate. 

Plans also call for developing up to 200K SF of commercial space, parking and green space. As initially proposed, commercial portions of the development include hotels, a shopping center and office space. 


Avenue Real Estate's Jerry Landsman purchased the former Five and Dime building on The Avenue in Hampden for $1.4M as part of the restaurant's closure in March, the Baltimore Business Journal reports. Property records show the previous owner, 206 Restaurant Group, purchased the property for $2.2M in 2018 and invested another $2M in renovations. 


An affiliate of Kenwood Management Co. completed a pair of leases totaling more than 8K SF at the company's five-building portfolio in White Marsh. Optimal Psychiatry and Phaze Consulting both inked deals at Kenwood's Corporate Drive development, which is now 95% leased.


Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said the city intends to complete a $20M renovation of East Baltimore's Chick Webb Recreation Center. The center, named after the famed jazz drummer who raised funds for the center but died before its completion in 1947, was the first rec center and pool in the segregated city specifically built for Black residents living in East Baltimore. Improvements to the recreation center include a new multipurpose gym, an upgraded swimming pool and a recording studio.


The Baltimore Metropolitan Council's 25-year plan proposes a $4B transit expansion, including a reimagined Red Line project connecting East Baltimore and Howard County, Maryland Matters reports. Metro council panel members include leaders from several Baltimore-area counties. Federal law mandates the council's participation in forming transportation plans in the region.


The Greater Baltimore Committee, which bills itself as the region's leading business advocacy group, has hired Texas-based consulting and advisory firm TIP Strategies Inc. to create a comprehensive 10-year Regional Economic Opportunity Strategy, the Baltimore Business Journal reports. A team of economic development leaders will assist TIP and GBC in developing what the committee's new CEO, Mark Anthony Thomas, called a "bold economic opportunity agenda."