Friday, October 07, 2005

More Market House Mayhem

Today, the Baltimore Sun reported that the City of Annapolis had received 7 bids to redevelop the Market House down by city dock. The bidders are the Site Realty Group, which operates Eastern Market in Washington; the New Market Group, led by Annapolis business partners Gavin Buckley and Jody Danek; H.B. Properties, led by Annapolis restaurateur Harvey Blonder; O'Leary's Seafood in Annapolis; Foundos Realty in Annapolis; Siganos Management of Northfield, N.J.; and Caribee Associates LLC of Ocean City.

In the wake of the Dean & DeLuca debacle, the City (read, the Mayor) is anxious to get this issue dealt with as quickly as possible, though it seems unlikely to be resolved before the November 8th election.

The list of bidders has some interesting prospects. The folks at Eastern Market have done a great job there, and as I've said in the past, would likely turn the Market House into a real asset for the City. The other bidding team that has me intrigued is the New Market Group. Buckley and Danek have done a beautiful job restoring the "West Street Four", now Lemongrass, Metropolitan, a salon, and a couple of boutique shops. They also own the successful Tsunami a bit closer in on West Street. These two are among the leading local entrepeneurs, possessing both a respect for the City's past as well as a constructive vision for its future. My guess is that losing the Dean & DeLuca contract will ending up being better for the City in the long term.

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