Mayor Byron Brown is planning to list the City-owned Erie Basin Marina for sale with an asking price of $5 million or best offer, with all offers being due to the City by November 1st. The City is facing a budget deficit that could reach $100 million due to the pandemic-related shutdown of economic activities.
The Erie Basin Marina anchors the Waterfront Village neighborhood adjacent to the burgeoning Inner Harbor section of the city. The marina’s large surface parking lots are likely to be developed by a private operator, but city zoning regulators would be unlikely to approve structures on the parcel taller than two stories.
“A private operator is likely to remove lots of asphalt in order to ‘green’ the pier, peeling back the vehicular roadway several hundred feet,” posits one developer who asked not to be named. “Several of the surface parking lots can be repurposed for restaurants and souvenir retail.”
He imagines brick facades in the style of daylight factories, with wide glassy storefronts aligning the water’s edge. The developer even postulates that hundreds of truckloads of sand could be dumped along the property’s rocky lakeside edge, expecting the erosive power of the lake to mold a residual sloping sandy beach.
The Brown administration is contemplating the sale of dozens of city-owned properties to close the historic budget deficit, including un-utilized school buildings, a vacant public housing complex, and hundreds of vacant residential lots.