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Maryland state grant may be used to buy waterfront property

The city of Annapolis may purchase a vacant waterfront property that was formerly Fawcett Boat Supplies. A $1 million grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources would pay for a portion of the purchase. Another $3.5 million would be paid over five years at an interest rate of 5 percent. Legislation to buy the property would be introduced at a Sept. 22 meeting.

The current owner of the property issued a letter of intent on Sept. 5 to sell the property under certain terms and conditions. While some members of the city council want to purchase and revitalize the property as soon as possible, others are concerned that the city doesn't have that much money to spend. The mayor of Annapolis said that he was concerned that citizens would react negatively to spending $4.5 million on a private property.

Under a proposed plan, the city would retain a portion of the property closest to the water and sell the rest of it. This would allow the city to hold boat shows and also control the view of the water. The property, which was valued by the state at $3.2 million, does not have any tenants lined up at this time. Neither the current owner of the property nor the representative for the seller had any comment on the matter.

Purchasing or developing vacant land or old buildings may revitalize a town or city. Trade shows, festivals or other activities may take place in those areas that can increase civic pride while increasing the tax base. It may also provide jobs for local residents. However, purchasing a building may be a complex process. Therefore, it may be worthwhile to work with a real estate attorney who may be able to finalize and close on a deal as quickly as possible.

Source: Capital Gazette, "Annapolis considers buying old Fawcett lot: City receives letter of intent from sellers", Elisha Sauers, September 22, 2014

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