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DEVELOPERS OUTLINE PLANS FOR HOTEL IN GRAIN SILO

9.19.2003
Baltimore Business Journal
First came the plans for a Four Seasons at Inner Harbor East, a once-deserted no-man's land.
Now comes a proposal for a hotel in Locust Point, a blue-collared bastion of old.
After waffling over ideas for the Point's former waterfront grain terminal site, a local team of developers made it clear last week that a hotel is -- in fact -- in the works.
While addressing the Locust Point Civic Association on Sept. 11, developer Mark Sapperstein outlined the pending redevelopment of the former Archer Daniels Midland Co. plant as 120 townhouses, a senior housing component and a 40-space parking area, according to meeting minutes.
"The elevator will be converted to a 600-space parking garage and the silo will be converted to a hotel/condo/apartment/ office space," according to the minutes. "Additionally, there will be warehouse/light industrial space on the site."
When residents questioned Sapperstein about different aspects of the property, the hotel was portrayed as more of a reality than in the past.
Further, when quizzed on the amount of tax revenue the project will generate, Sapperstein said about $4.5 million annually. Additionally, there will be about 400 jobs during the construction phase and 100-plus jobs when the hotel opens, the minutes state.
Also in response to questions, Sapperstein nixed the idea of a casino within a hotel. "There won't be a casino and the hours of the events will evolve as the hotel moves forward," according to the meeting minutes.
It was unclear this week whether the development team -- headed by Patrick Turner and financing partner Sapperstein -- have talked with any hotel operators.
Either way, the development team for the property off Beason Street first needs to secure a zoning change from industrial to mixed-use. Without that alteration, the project as it is proposed cannot go forward.
In a previous interview with the Baltimore Business Journal, Turner -- who did not attend the Sept. 11 meeting -- said the blessing of the neighborhood is equally as important as the zoning change. In the end, the community could block an alternative use for the property, which was once home to a bustling grain elevator.
In August, Turner and his partners took control of the 7.5-acre site that belonged to Decatur, Ill.-based Archer Daniels Midland. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The land sale put Turner and Sapperstein in a stronger negotiating position to move forward with the project, known as "Silo Point."
Also involved in the plans are STV Engineers, land-use attorney Stanley Fine, Parameter Architects and Pulte Homes, according to the meeting minutes.
Comcast consolidating space in Howard County
Comcast Cable Communications is consolidating some of its area office, studio, payment and tech operations into a new Howard County location.
The company has leased 43,273 square feet of space at 7195 Troy Hill Center in Elkridge. Financial terms of the agreement at Troy Hill Tech Center were not disclosed.
It was unclear this week whether any employees would be laid off as a result of the consolidation.
The transaction indicates increased movement among companies -- whether as a result of downsizing or growth. The additional activity is keeping commercial real estate brokers busier, after a slow summer that left many digging for deals.
Jon DiVirgilio and Richard F. Blue Jr. of Blue & Obrecht Realty LLC represented Comcast (www.comcast.com), while Alan Grabush of Ryan Commercial represented the landlord, Creaney & Smith Group.
Boggs designs Jewish center at Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy is expected to break ground on its first Jewish house of worship this weekend.
Designed by Boggs & Partners Architects (www.boggspartners.com) in Annapolis, the facility -- called the Levy Center and Jewish Chapel -- will house the Navy's national synagogue as well as space for educational, social and leadership development programs.
The proposed 35,000-square-foot structure will mark the commitment of American Jews who have served and died in defense of the United States. The Naval Academy in Annapolis remains the nation's only service academy without a Jewish house of worship.
Boggs & Partners has completed other high-profile designs, including those for the National Museum of History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and Sallie Mae's headquarters at the Reston Town Center in Reston, Va.

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