t has to be a curious process: determining the market value of a historic landmark. Assuming Baltimore’s Board of Estimates approves the contract today, that’s just what the Department of General Services will pay appraisal firm Westholm & Associates to do. For $46,500, the Annapolis-based company will analyze 15 city landmarks deemed “underutilized” by City Hall.
The city is hoping that leasing or selling the buildings will earn them revenue they’re not seeing now, with offices as a potential use for developers. Preservationists are of course worried that such transactions could jeopardize the state and status of such landmarks. But the city hopes that historic tax credits would encourage developers to protect the sites that now sit vacant, uncared for, and in some cases even vandalized.
Sites include (click to enlarge):
Thomas Stosur, Baltimore’s director of planning, previously stated, “I don’t know that every single one of them is officially a designated landmark.” Determining such bears much importance on the matter, as only those that are would be protected under laws governing historic properties. It was announced today that 12 of the 15 are in fact protected by historic landmark designation.
Whatever the turnout, a result that sees these landmarks put to better use for their communities, while also ensuring their continued protection, has my vote.