Economic Revitalization:

Belvedere Square, Waverly Projects Get Funding Nod from BDC

The Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) has received approval from the Board Estimates for financing that will benefit shopping districts in two city neighborhoods—Belvedere Square and Waverly.

Belvedere Holdings, LLC, Inc. has been granted a $400,000 loan for capital improvements associated with the revitalization of the 101,000 square foot Belvedere Square shopping center at York Road and Belvedere Avenue. In addition, a city funding agreement has been reached calling for $500,000 in Motor Vehicle Revenue (MVR) funds for improving and resurfacing Belvedere Avenue.

In June 2002, Belvedere Square was purchased from B-Y Partnership by the development team of Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse, Inc., Manekin Corporation, Hawkins Development Group and Williams Jackson Ewing. After exploring various redevelopment scenarios, including a proposal to clear the site and construct a large freestanding supermarket, a plan to retain the existing buildings and restore the village center ambiance once enjoyed at Belvedere Square was decided upon.

The development team's plan calls for a 20,000 square foot market, a regional or national chain restaurant to replace the former Chili's, new office space for Loyola College in the former Hochschild Kohn building, new restaurants and specialty retailers, and major site improvements at the York Road and Belvedere Avenue site. The cost for this renovation project is estimated at $14 million.

Funding will come from a variety of sources: $2.5 million in developer equity; a $7.2 million bank loan; a $2 million tax increment financing (TIF) bond for site work and parking; $1.2 million in state financing for the market; and the $500,000 in MVR funds for reconstruction of Belvedere Avenue; and a $400,000 BDC loan, both mentioned above.

The Belvedere Square market is expected to re-open this March.

Giant Foods Supermarket Coming to Waverly
The Baltimore City Board of Estimates has approved several Baltimore Development Corporation agreements that will assist in bringing a new Giant Foods supermarket to the Waverly Business District.

The approved measures included a Land Disposition Agreement (LDA) between the Mayor and City Council and VEI Waverly, LLC for the sale of various city-owned properties (along with designated streets and alleys) within the project area; a city funding agreement between the Mayor and City Council and VEI Waverly, LLC for $700,000 in Motor Vehicle Revenue (MVR) funds for public infrastructure improvements; and a City funding agreement between the Mayor and City Council and VEI Waverly, LLC for up to $550,000 to support acquisition and other project expenses.

Vanguard Equities, a Baltimore-based commercial real estate development firm, is proposing to assemble and clear approximately 30 properties around the intersection of Old York Road and 32d Street, creating a 4.5-acre parcel for the development of an $8 million, 60,000 square foot full-service Giant Foods supermarket. As developer, Vanguard will demolish the existing buildings, consolidate the properties, abandon and relocate utilities, and prepare the site for development, which includes a former Super Fresh supermarket that closed in 1999. Vanguard would then ground lease the prepared parcel to Giant Foods, which would construct and own the building.

Principals of Vanguard Equities, Inc. are Leonard Weinberg II and Bradley S. Glaser. The company develops single-tenant build-to-suit projects anchored by “investment grade” tenants. It has completed projects in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware for such clients as Giants Foods, Inc. K-Mart Corporation, CVS Pharmacy, Rite Aid Corporation, Pep Boys, Hollywood Video, Advance Auto, Blockbuster Video and KFC/ Taco Bell. In Baltimore City, the company developed Edmondson Square on Harford Road, a project that includes a freestanding Giant Foods supermarket, Hollywood Video, Advance Auto and a Pep Boys.

Waverly community activists have endorsed the project, but are seeking to work with the developer on issues such as the size of the parking lot, possible damage to existing trees, and increased traffic congestion in the area.

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This story was published on January 8, 2003.