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This Week's Baltimore Deal Sheet

The former Embassy Suites tower in downtown Baltimore avoided the auction block after its owner secured new financing to hold onto the 37-story building it plans to convert into apartments.

The building at 222 St. Paul St., formerly an Embassy Suites hotel.

Steve Schwat, principal at D.C.-based Urban Investment Partners said he’d secured new support for the project and prevented the auction of 222 Saint Paul St.

“We have avoided the auction block. We have financing in place at this time and are [moving] forward with our plans. Lots of good news in Baltimore. We are excited to move forward,” Schwat wrote in an email to Bisnow.

On Tuesday, auctioneer Alex Cooper on Tuesday canceled the foreclosure auction that had initially been scheduled for Wednesday.

Alex Cooper first posted notice of the pending auction of the property in late August. Schwat told Bisnow in August after it was scheduled that he was confident he would avoid the auction block. 

BIH Owner LLC, a subsidiary of Urban Investment Partners, purchased the former hotel — shuttered by the pandemic — for $18.3M in late August 2021, according to Maryland property records.

The developer plans to convert the vacant property into 285 apartments with a top-floor lounge and has signed a term sheet with the owners of Cafe Fili to open an eatery in the building's ground-floor retail space formerly occupied by Starbucks.


A parcel of properties in Baltimore’s Little Italy, including a mixed-use restaurant building and two parking lots, is set for auction next month, according to auctioneer Alex Cooper. The company scheduled the foreclosure auction of 201 South High St., 230 South High St. and 236 South High St. for Oct. 11. According to the auctioneer, the property at 236 South High St. is a three-story building previously used as a restaurant with six market-rate apartments above. 

Restaurant Ciao Bella previously occupied the building, and the parking lot at 230 South High St. served as parking for the eatery's customers and hosted an annual Italian-themed film festival, the Baltimore Business Journal reports.


Anne Arundel County-based Hyatt Commercial brokered the sale of a Class-A Annapolis office building at 151 West St. for $9.5M to regional investor Annapolis 151 LLC. At the time of the sale, the building was 90% occupied. Hyatt Commercial’s Cecil Cummins, Justin Mullen, John Gallagher, Eric Pinkett and Shane Denman represented the seller, 151 West Street LLC, and they worked directly with the buyer to secure the deal.  


Insurance advisory firm RCM&D signed a lease with North Park Ventures LLC, taking nearly 25K SF of office space at 4 North Park, part of the North Park Business Community. It plans to relocate its Baltimore County headquarters from Towson to Hunt Valley in January.

Additionally, financial planning group Jacob William Advisory signed a 4,402 SF lease at North Park Business Community, relocating from the Lutherville area to a five-story building at the property. 


The Village of Cross Keys in north Baltimore.

ZaVino Italian Marketplace and California Closets have signed leases with Caves Valley Partners to open in retail spaces at the Village Shops at The Village of Cross Keys in north Baltimore. ZaVino Italian Marketplace will include an Italian delicatessen and grocery with a brick oven pizzeria and liquor store occupying roughly 3,800 SF near Williams Sonoma when it opens in the spring of 2024. California Closets, a San Francisco Bay Area-based custom closets and home storage manufacturer, also signed a lease at Cross Keys for about 1,400 SF. California Closets expects to open its Cross Keys location next summer.


A Lightbridge Academy franchise has signed a lease with Continental Realty Corp. for 10,288 SF at Padonia Village Shopping Center. CRC's Blake Dickinson and Dominique Threatt brokered the deal for the landlord. Santo Perri of A Premier Real Estate Agency represented the tenant.


The Baltimore County Council voted unanimously on Monday to essentially halt construction of apartments around White Marsh Mall. The legislation sponsored by Councilman David Marks removes multifamily residential projects as a permitted building type in areas zoned for light manufacturing. The ban doesn't apply to projects that held a concept plan conference with the county before June 1.    


Baltimore-based commercial real estate development and management company St. John Properties has promoted Brett Foelber to assistant vice president of marketing. Foelber, who has more than 15 years of marketing communications experience, joined the company in 2021 and was formerly director of marketing.