Mixed-Use Development Planned for Long-Vacant, Former ‘Super Block’ Properties Downtown

| December 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

The Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) announced yesterday that it has obtained approval from the Board of Estimates for a Land Disposition Agreement (LDA) between the City of Baltimore and Westside Partners LLC for the acquisition and redevelopment of 18 properties on the Westside of Downtown.

Westside Partners, which is comprised of Vitruvius, Landmark Partners, Partnered, and Mayson-Dixon Companies, is purchasing 201-231 W. Lexington St., 101-121 N. Howard St., 206-226 W. Fayette St., 221 Marion St., and 106-112 Park Ave., along with three public alleys adjacent to the properties, for $4,500,001 to be paid in cash at settlement.

Westside Partners was selected after a March 2019 Requests for Proposals (RFP) by BDC for the city-owned properties.

The properties have been vacant for many years and was once the site of a proposal called the Super Block that never moved forward as the project dealt with lawsuits and the housing crash of the late-2000s.

Westside Partners is planning a mixed-used development called The Compass. BDC described the project as “a comprehensive, mixed-use rehabilitation of some of the existing structures with a significant new construction component. The concept includes workforce housing, market-rate rental housing, retail, office, co-working, artist live/workspace, an entertainment venue, and a hotel.”

In a press release, BDC said: “Today’s approval is a major milestone in the redevelopment of almost an entire city block, which will serve as the lynchpin of the Westside’s revitalization.  For more than two decades, revitalization efforts have pushed ahead on the Westside.  However, the Howard and Lexington properties remained undeveloped due to lawsuits and delayed design approvals. ”

Vitruvius is currently involved in a redevelopment of the 400 block Park Ave. Downtown and Landmark Partners is involved in a redevelopment of the former Grand Central in Mount Vernon.

“Breathing new life into these historic vacant properties on the Westside have been at the forefront of BDC’s efforts,” said BDC President and CEO Colin Tarbert. “This project will invest over $100 million to create a vibrant mixed-use community that will attract new residents, businesses and visitors to the Westside. The Westside Partners project fits our vision for a dynamic, diverse and thriving arts & entertainment district on Downtown’s Westside.”

BDC said, to date, it has coordinated the disposition of 37 properties in the Westside of downtown, which resulted in more than $90 million in new investments, with another $20 million in the pipeline.

Screenshot of the site from Google Maps

Rendering from SM+P Architects 

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