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Howard Park supermarket won’t pay city for 8 years

UPDATE #3: Mayoral candidate Jody Landers comments:

“I think this particular project makes sense given the need and the strong community support. I also think that the way the deal is structured makes sense in terms of protecting the city’s and the neighborhood’s long-term interests. As I understand it, the city will essentially hold a mortgage on the property with the payment and interest deferred. If the mortgage and/or interest is not paid, presumably the city can foreclose on the improved property and take it back. This is a better arrangement for the city than an annual tax abatement, because the city has no collateral to collect when taxes are forgiven and projects fail to live up to the conditions of the agreement. In this case the project will be paying property taxes.”

UPDATE #2: Mayoral candidate Otis Rolley’s comment:

“It is incredibly important that every neighborhood have access to fresh, quality food. But the best way to do that is not by providing project-by-project incentives, but rather by rebuilding neighborhoods. People won’t remain or move to neighborhoods just because there is a grocery store, but a grocery store will thrive if people live there. We need to focus on schools, crime and jobs, not special deals.”

UPDATE: Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said “we fought very hard for this day” as she and the Board of Estimates unanimously approved the ShopRite land deal struck with the Klein family.

The Baltimore Board of Estimates is expected today to defer until 2019 a $2 million payment for city land sold for a new Howard Park supermarket.

The city has reached an agreement with Klein’s Family Markets to build a ShopRite on the site of a former Super Pride store on the 4600 block of Liberty Heights Ave.

Under terms disclosed Monday, Klein’s Liberty Heights Shopping Center LLC won’t pay the $2 million purchase price for 5.6 acres of city land until the eighth-year anniversary of the settlement date. Interest payments would be deferred until 2116.

The city recently allotted $1,030,286 to prepare the site for the new supermarket (including demolishing the present Super Pride building) and $134,875 to help relocate the owner of an existing tavern. It has committed a further $500,000 for employee training.

The Baltimore Development Corp., which negotiated the deal, said the project would produce 150 construction-related jobs, 80 full-time store jobs and $310,000 in city taxes per year.

The abandoned Super Pride store has been a blight on the northwest Baltimore community for more than a decade. Luring a quality grocery store there has been a priority of the Rawlings-Blake administration.

The Klein family operates seven ShopRites in Maryland. At a meeting last Friday, Marshall Klein said the new store would be their largest and would include community meeting rooms, a nurse practitioner clinic, pharmacy and possibly a social services center.

The store is slated to open early in 2013.

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  • Ktrueheart

    Howard Park has waited a long time for this deal to be finalized and we’re extremely HAPPY!

  • Smcarberry

    Kudos!  I actually made this part of my campaign, the bringing of jobs at this location.  When I’m elected to city council, I will begin working on the revitalization of the Ambassador Theater across the street!

  • Ktrueheart

    Mayoral candidate Otis Rolley is absolutely correct.  So I ask him why didn’t he engage Howard Park residents in developing a comprehensive community Master Plan during his tenure as Director at the Department of Planning?  Seems disingenious to critiicize this outcome as flawed, when you squarely held the position and authority to make it all the things you’ve suggested it could be in your public comment.  I hope that your answer to my question will be:  ”I’ve learned from my mistakes”.

    • Dan

      Ms. Trueheart, Otis didn’t criticize the outcome — please re-read his comment.  What he said was that the case-by-case handling of incentives is not the right way to go.  He never criticized the outcome.  And that is the point of developing master plans — so that there are fewer of these deal specific incentives.  I presume from the beginning of your statement that you agree there needs to be more of a process.

  • Cory McCray

    Glad that they are putting something at this site, it’s an eyesore every time you drive pass in such a strong community. I remember that Super Pride when I was a child!

  • Baltimoreplaces

    I like Rolley’s response too.  It is time for the city to start recognizing and addressing the underlying illness and not just treat the symptoms.

  • Gerald Neily

    The city beverage tax discourages these supermarkets, and the city pays anyway by having to make these special deals.

  • Bruce V.

    Aren’t the Klein’s known for their non-union operations elsewhere in Maryland? Will the new store be unionized?

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