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Old April 21st, 2007, 01:41 AM   #3041
getontrac
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I'm convinced I just bought the cheapest new condo (conversion) out there:

The $125,000 unit at 1014 N. Charles St.

I don't think there will ever be a cheaper condo sold on Charles St in Mt. Vernon again.

Double-bonded brick walls and hardwood floors, too.....

(Oh, and my property taxes will be at the pre-renovated assessed value )

Nate
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Old April 21st, 2007, 01:49 AM   #3042
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Originally Posted by mpietropaoli View Post
Does anyone have any recon on the former CVS building on Fort Ave in SoBo (corner of Fort and Patapsco)?

This is about a 10,000 square foot footprint that I had heard was going to be razed for 10 townhomes (5 facing fort ave and 5 facing Birckhead St.). The developer is Federal Hill Development Group

http://www.fhdgroup.com/projects3.html

but I can't seem to get a hold of these folks to find out a status...GREAT site and the neighborhood can definitely support more new construction housing.

On another note, I think one of the most undervalued assets IN THE CITY is the building on the NW corner of Fort Ave and Light St (currently the illustrious vacant "Gold Depot" -- I mean where else can one get gold?). The migration of yupps to Sobo because of outlandish residential prices in federal hill proper leads me to believe that this is a tremendous opportunity for a mixed use (retail/res.) project that could definitely be undertaken by a smaller developer with limited resources.

And a quick 2 cents on the 'outside investment' discussion going on: I think Bmore (and more importantly, its residents) needs/need to revamp their thinking on the go-forward local demographics and go-forward local economics. Historically, this city was an industrial red-headed stepchild sandwiched between 2 of the most high-powered, high-profile political cities in the land. Now people are realizing that its actually a great place to live, and the transplants are a LARGE part of the revitalization of the city (particularly rust-belt migrants). The top-notch academic institutions are continually creating a pipeline of high-quality labor supply. The issue is, to retain that labor supply, this city NEEDS to address its transportation issues to link up its beautifully diverse neighborhoods. So much for a quick thought.

This is what I think about at night...
Yup, it does need to address it's transportation needs.....the governor has said he wants heavy rail studied, but thus far Henry Kay (now back with the MTA) still is saying they aren't going to study other alignments....oh well....they'll study alternate alignments for the Red Line or there won't be one.

Or your main point, I think I'd rather see a 4-story apartment building there. That would create more, smaller, but less costly units. We really don't need more, expensive rowhouse construction. There's plenty of great rowhouses left to be rehabbed in W. Baltimore.

Nate
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Old April 21st, 2007, 02:53 AM   #3043
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
I'm convinced I just bought the cheapest new condo (conversion) out there:

The $125,000 unit at 1014 N. Charles St.

I don't think there will ever be a cheaper condo sold on Charles St in Mt. Vernon again.

Double-bonded brick walls and hardwood floors, too.....

(Oh, and my property taxes will be at the pre-renovated assessed value )

Nate
Congrats on the new home, Nate.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 03:12 AM   #3044
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Thanks.

Keepin' my fingers crossed that I get all the grants and loans I can qualify for. Under Contract...smallest unit in the place--but it'll be nicer than any place you could rent in Mt. Vernon for that price!

I expect to move mid-late summer.

Nate
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Old April 21st, 2007, 03:14 AM   #3045
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
Thanks.

Keepin' my fingers crossed that I get all the grants and loans I can qualify for. Under Contract...smallest unit in the place--but it'll be nicer than any place you could rent in Mt. Vernon for that price!

I expect to move mid-late summer.

Nate
Or you could flip it?
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Old April 21st, 2007, 03:18 AM   #3046
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I doubt it'll appreciate that much that fast to cross the threshold of closing costs and such, plus capital gains....and all.....

Nate
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Old April 21st, 2007, 03:45 AM   #3047
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One of my friends spoke with the Governor recently. They told me that the mayor believes there will be an NHL or NBA team in Baltimore within the next 15 years. When I told my friend that it didn't matter because Ed Hale wasn't planning on building an arena with a decent capacity for an NBA or NHL team, he stated that he was under the impression that the state would pay for the extra seating. Take it for what its worth.

I will say this individual has no reason to lie to me, and also is in contact with politicians regularly.
This is interesting. So now they're saying that it's possible that an arena could be built on the Hale site with the required 18,000 to 19,000 seats?

I don't see this possibly working. If the Canton residents disapproved of the Icon, there's no way in the world that this arena will fly. The traffic situation would be completely out of wack. This will never happen.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 04:10 AM   #3048
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nobody said anything about the canton site. Just what the governor was interested in. I also think its a bit premature to be ruling out anything. Especially when that something has the ability to bring in a ton of money over the next few decades, and apparently has the Governors backing, as well as one of Baltimore's premier businessmen. And I'm willing to bet if O'Malley is on board, Dixon is too.

Basically to summarize. O'Malley just said that he thinks one day in the next 15 years Baltimore will be home to an NBA or NHL team. He didn't say anymore though I could ask my friend. Except for the fact that he hinted at the additional seating being paid for by the city or state.

I will also say that this does seem weird given the fact that Hale stated an NBA or NHL team wouldn't be possible(I called that bunk back then and still do).

I also think there is a Huge difference between an arena and an Icon hotel. The Icon was nice, but having the arena right by a highway exit would not be bad for most neighborhoods and I dont think it would be bad for canton. With that said, I dont think the arena will end up in Canton because of its distance from the CBD.

Last edited by Baltimoreborn1; April 21st, 2007 at 04:30 AM.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 06:16 AM   #3049
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How about the Westport site? Close to mass transit and interstate exits.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 09:29 AM   #3050
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltimoreborn1 View Post
One of my friends spoke with the Governor recently. They told me that the mayor believes there will be an NHL or NBA team in Baltimore within the next 15 years. When I told my friend that it didn't matter because Ed Hale wasn't planning on building an arena with a decent capacity for an NBA or NHL team, he stated that he was under the impression that the state would pay for the extra seating. Take it for what its worth.

I will say this individual has no reason to lie to me, and also is in contact with politicians regularly.
That's believable...this is going to be quite a different city 15 years from now..hope I'm around to see it.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 04:07 PM   #3051
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Really, there's no space in Westport, and the traffic would kill that neighborhood, despite the highway access. Carroll/Camden seems reasonable....

Nate
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Old April 21st, 2007, 05:53 PM   #3052
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Really, there's no space in Westport, and the traffic would kill that neighborhood, despite the highway access. Carroll/Camden seems reasonable....

Nate
Well, the only real reason I suggested Westport was because of the huge project that Pat Turner wants to put there. If done, it would heavily increase traffic anyway. There would be a velodrome, and other attractions as well as major office space, hotels, and condos galore. Why not scratch the bike stadium and build the new and larger seating arena in the plans?

If Pat Turner didn't plan this huge development, then I wouldn't really have even proposed this idea for this area.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 05:55 PM   #3053
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A new name for GM site
Broening birthplace of Monte Carlos and Astros now home to the Chesapeake Commerce Center

By Lorraine Mirabella
Sun reporter
Originally published April 20, 2007
For 71 years, the auto plant on Broening Highway churned out Monte Carlos and El Caminos and, later, Safari and Astro vans.

But neither the Chevy nor the General Motors brands, nor any of their models will live on in the name of the new East Baltimore industrial park slated to replace the demolished van plant.

Instead, its developers, who solicited help from the community in renaming the site, have settled on "Chesapeake Commerce Center," a nod to the purpose and geographical identity of the new park.

The name, announced yesterday amid a shower of confetti at the Bricklayers Union Hall in Dundalk more than a month after the start of a naming contest, ended up being a hybrid of nearly 200 names submitted by community members.

Duke Realty Corp., which said it wanted to acknowledge the neighborhood ties to a site that employed area residents for decades before closing in 2005, wanted a name that captured the "unique history and heritage of the Broening Highway site."

As it turned out, that did not mean incorporating "GM," "Chevy" or "Astro," which are trademarked, said John H. Macsherry Jr., vice president of development and leasing for Duke.

The name suggestions ranged from the lengthy: Chesapeake Harbor International Business and Industrial Park, and Chesapeake Distribution Facility, Baltimore Division, to the confusing: The Plant at Can-Dalk, (a reference to the Canton and Dundalk neighborhoods) to those with GM references: "Astro Commerce Center."

"We had names that if you were local, you'd understand it to some degree, but that would have to have a paragraph to go along to explain what the name meant," Macsherry said. "Then, we had names that might have some trademark violation, that represented other companies."

By combining the best of the suggestions, Duke officials said, they've come up with a winning combination.

"We wanted to come up with a name that would speak to our corporate clients and decision-makers in a manner that would reflect the park's capability for warehousing and distribution," Macsherry said. "We also wanted a name that would identify the area's geographical location."

Or as Duke Senior Vice President H. Andrew Kelton said after a large white sign bearing the new name was unwrapped, "It's time to stop calling it the former GM site and take the next step."

For the developers, who envision building a total of 3 million square feet of office, office/warehouse or distribution centers over the next five to seven years, that means breaking ground by early summer on the first two buildings. Those facilities include a 342,500-square-foot distribution center with loading docks on both sides and a 117,500-square-foot office warehouse.

During yesterday's ceremony, Duke presented a $1,500 check to Southeastern Neighborhoods Development for its outreach programs, to thank the umbrella community group for getting the word out about the naming contest.

Elaine Welkie, chair of SEND, said many in the community had approached her to say they had sent in a name. But most refused to tell her their ideas.

"They were afraid someone else would take their idea," Welkie said. "Everyone was really proud about what they submitted."

Welkie said she had expected that the name would have more of a local flavor, but thought Duke's strategy of appealing to customers on a national level made sense.

"I think it's good as a national name," she said. "It's got enough of a flavor that people know it's a Baltimore location. We're looking forward to new jobs in the area."

[email protected]
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 03:42 AM   #3054
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(Oh, and my property taxes will be at the pre-renovated assessed value )

Nate
Not to burst your bubble but just want you to be prepared since I've been in this situation twice already. What usually happens is the initial property taxes will reflect the old status but as soon as the city figures out the property has changed hands, they reassess the value and hit you with an interim bill reflected the new assessment. I closed on a house in november with a ridiculously low tax bill expecting nothing new to come until the next reassessment, which on the 3 year cycle wasn't due for 2.5 years. Well, I got a letter in january telling me my house was reassessed and I now owed a huge balance! I tried to fight it since it was out of cycle for reassessments but to no avail. Now I did get the 5 year tax credit for new construction cutting the bill down 50% the first year, 40% the second, down to 10% the fifth. At the minimum, you should be eligible for that. Of course, maybe none of this relates to you if you really do have some special program that freezes taxes. Just want you to ask the right questions and be prepared because everytime I think I understand what the city will bill me, they find a way to charge me more!
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 04:10 PM   #3055
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Rockin' on Russell Street

Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
Why not scratch the bike stadium and build the new and larger seating arena in the plans?
Arena will need a larger footprint and more parking than the velodrome. Nate's probably right about Carroll-Camden. Putting it there would make the area similar to the sports complex in South Philly, which has baseball and football stadiums and two arenas. Facilities share parking and events are scheduled to avoid conflicts. (For the most part: two years ago, some friends were tailgating after the NCAA men's lacrosse championship at the football stadium and got the boot to make room for a Kenny Chesney concert at the newer arena.) Another aspect in Carroll Camden's favor is the desire to improve the appearance of Russell Street as one of the city's major gateways. Ray Lewis's project will clean up the right side north of I-95; the arena may do the same for the left side.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 04:13 PM   #3056
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Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
I doubt it'll appreciate that much that fast to cross the threshold of closing costs and such, plus capital gains....and all.....

Nate
If you have Excel, just do up a quick spreadsheet to figure out your all-in cost. my guess is you could still clear 15-25% at a minimum on a flip if your basis is that low. I would move in and list it (and show it yourself with a Mister Lister type service) at something higher than average just to give yourself the option. How many square feet is it? If your settlement company can get you a HUD-1, you will know all of your prepaid items and costs, and you can figure out your potential return pretty easily.

One other thing to be careful of is period of ownership for some of these grants. For example for my CDA grant on my house (3% of PP @ settlement), I'm supposed to stay in the place for four years or I have to pay some of my grant back. I've heard that is not that strictly enforced though.

Good luck
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 04:45 PM   #3057
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David Simon - The Wire

For anyone interested in Urban Revitalization...David Simon, creator of what is, in my opinion, the best show on television, spoke @ my alma mater on the life and death of the American City.

http://youtube.com/results?search_qu...d+simon+loyola
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 07:08 PM   #3058
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Originally Posted by rxsoccer View Post
Not to burst your bubble but just want you to be prepared since I've been in this situation twice already. What usually happens is the initial property taxes will reflect the old status but as soon as the city figures out the property has changed hands, they reassess the value and hit you with an interim bill reflected the new assessment. I closed on a house in november with a ridiculously low tax bill expecting nothing new to come until the next reassessment, which on the 3 year cycle wasn't due for 2.5 years. Well, I got a letter in january telling me my house was reassessed and I now owed a huge balance! I tried to fight it since it was out of cycle for reassessments but to no avail. Now I did get the 5 year tax credit for new construction cutting the bill down 50% the first year, 40% the second, down to 10% the fifth. At the minimum, you should be eligible for that. Of course, maybe none of this relates to you if you really do have some special program that freezes taxes. Just want you to ask the right questions and be prepared because everytime I think I understand what the city will bill me, they find a way to charge me more!

The tax aspect has been foremost on mind. I'm talking with the developer on Monday to figure out exactly what is what, as paying a full property tax rate anytime soon would be a deal breaker.


What I think is the case is that whatever the actual differential in dollars for the pre-renovation assesment (or cost?) versus the post-renovation sales costs as far as taxes are concerned would remain discounted at that amount for 10 years, even if I sell the place before then, the next owner will have that advantage.

So, if my assessment goes up, I'll pay more taxes, but it will still be at that X amount of dollars less than full property tax rate at the time of purchase. I could be wrong here, so that's why I want to shore things up early in the contract in case I need to change my mind. So, I don't think it'll be as bad as what rxsoccer experienced (cross my fingers!)

Nate
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 07:16 PM   #3059
getontrac
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Originally Posted by mpietropaoli View Post
If you have Excel, just do up a quick spreadsheet to figure out your all-in cost. my guess is you could still clear 15-25% at a minimum on a flip if your basis is that low. I would move in and list it (and show it yourself with a Mister Lister type service) at something higher than average just to give yourself the option. How many square feet is it? If your settlement company can get you a HUD-1, you will know all of your prepaid items and costs, and you can figure out your potential return pretty easily.

One other thing to be careful of is period of ownership for some of these grants. For example for my CDA grant on my house (3% of PP @ settlement), I'm supposed to stay in the place for four years or I have to pay some of my grant back. I've heard that is not that strictly enforced though.

Good luck

Yeah, I'm going to have to make sure there isn't anything too wierd with the CDAs........

As for flipping, I talked with the lender and got a good faith estimate and I specifically ask what the threshold would be, and he calculated that out based on the loans/grants and the closing costs and so forth. So I think I've got a fairly reasonable if not exact amount as to what that would be.

Frankly, I'm sick of moving!!! I'd like to stay in Mt. Vernon for a little while. To go through all that hassle as a first time homebuyer and then try to flip would be a headache. In my ideal world, I'd live there for about 2 to 3 years. Sell with an appreciation that is significantly higher than average (because buying in Mt. Vernon is now hot and a really cheap property has more room to move up than the expensive stuff which may be all too prevelant), bank that money after capital gains and use it for grad school and pay no loans and have no debt for it!

Nate

EDIT: 320 SF

Last edited by getontrac; April 22nd, 2007 at 07:28 PM.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 07:22 PM   #3060
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ACHTUNG! all you Baltimoreans!!!!

You'd better be outside today and not on the computer. You should be taking pictures of all our historic neighborhoods and new developments and mass transit vehicles whenever and wherever possible! It is TOO nice a day to be typing!! Go to the [ca-ching] Gwynns Falls Trail!!!! (or our other fine City parks).

(I have an excuse, I'm still eating brunch and I haven't read the on-line newspaper yet )

Nate
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