State Allocates Funds To Prevent Downtown’s Bard Building from Becoming a Parking Lot

| March 23, 2021 | 0 Comments

Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) recently put out a request for expressions of interest (REOI) to partner with the school to turn the vacant Bard Building at 600 E. Lombard St. into a surface parking lot. However, the State of Maryland has stepped in with $7.4 million in supplemental funding to pay for the demolition and convert the site into a temporary green space.

From Baltimore Business Journal:

Ferguson (Senate President and District 46 Senator Bill Ferguson) made a request to Gov. Larry Hogan to fund demolition costs for the building as part of a public works allocation in the governor’s $108 billion supplemental budget. The move succeeded, and this week the funds were included in the spending package now before the General Assembly.

The $7.4 million line item would pay to raze the hulking, red brick building at 600 E. Lombard St. and convert it to a green space “until we can figure out what comes after,” Ferguson said on Friday.

Also from the article:

“Senator Ferguson was adamantly opposed to it becoming a surface lot,” said Jake Weissmann, Ferguson’s chief of staff, on Friday. “The President spoke to (BCCC) President McCurdy after the supplemental budget came out, and both agreed that this was a better path than a surface lot, which they both wanted to avoid.”

The Bard Building sits adjacent to the Power Plant Live! complex and the Baltimore Holocaust Memorial. BCCC was previously looking for a developer to build on the site and had a memorandum of understanding with Power Plant Live! owner The Cordish Companies to build a 45-story tower at the site, but BCCC pulled out of the agreement last year.

Overhead shot courtesy of CBRE

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