The Red Line Gets a $550K Ventilation Shaft

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Light Rail Red Line

Maryland just bought a downtown building for $550,000, leaving the state to curse under its breath, while the bank that held the mortgage can wipe a little sweat from its brow.

The building is a four-story vacant on E. Lombard Street. It was recently appraised for $240,000. But there was $550,000 left on the mortgage. And it is “exactly positioned” to house a Red Line ventilation shaft.

According to Maryland Reporter, the Board of Public Works approved the purchase — at $550,000 — “reluctantly,” given that they were paying more than double the value.

The building’s owner, who purchased the property as part of a failed commercial development project, originally asked for “four times the estimated value.” They talked him down, but $550,000 was as low as the bank that held the mortgage would approve.

State Comptroller Peter Franchot was so incensed at paying $310,000 on top of the building’s appraised value that he suggested transit officials “start litigating on these things” and that the state should start “flexing our muscles” with uncooperative sellers.

I hope those Woodlawn residents appreciate their light rail service!


four times the estimated value”


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