We stumbled across this building while on a walk through one of the more…marginal…areas of the city. It’s a huge building — SDAT says 17,000 square feet — and it takes up most of the block where it’s located. It appears that it was once used as a school, but not for a few decades, at least. Since the 1990s, it was flipped several times, and has been in a constant state of disrepair.
From an architectural standpoint, it’s a lovely building. Unfortunately, it seems to have suffered some fire damage, and was obviously neglected by all of its owners. It’s gone through five ownerships since 2005, which is typical of Baltimore City abandoned buildings. Everyone wants a piece of the action, but the buildings (and surrounding neighborhoods) continue to decline — whether through deliberate neglect or ignorance, we’re not sure.
From what we’ve been able to patch together, the building was owned by Calhoun Pratt Associates (no record of this company as a registered Maryland corporation exists) and was then sold to Mooring Tax Asset Group, LLC (not in good standing with the state of Maryland) in 2005. From there it was sold to 200 South Calhoun, LLC (corporate charter forfeited) in 2007, back to Mooring Tax Asset Group in 2009, and in February of this year, it was sold to Masjid Bait Allah of Baltimore (corporate charter was forfeited, not in good standing with the state of Maryland), whose resident agent, Abdel Razzag Alraggad has been the subject of multiple assault charges in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County.
It’s also interesting to watch the steady decline in purchase price — from $479,000 to $270,000 to $100,000, despite its current (July 2010) assessment of $342,000.
This building could serve as a community center for the surrounding neighborhood, and be a catalyst for change in this section of the city — we don’t have a lot of hope for the current owner, however, but perhaps they’ll prove us wrong. It’s a shame to see the decline of this building along with the decline of the neighborhood. Yet again we wonder if Agnes Welch, City Councilwoman for the 9th District, ever walks around her district, and truly understands how bad things are for her constituents. This building could be a beacon in a sea of blight, yet like most of the 9th District, it’s in disrepair and ignored by the very person who should be working hard to make things better.