Remember those four parking garages then-Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake wanted to push into a fire sale before she left office? The now-former mayor said she could make $40-60 million by selling the garages; 11 S. Eutaw St., 22 S. Gay St., 101 S. Paca St. and 210 St. Paul Pl. And the funds would go to a plan she proposed that would revamp the city’s rec centers. Price tag of the plan: $136 million.
Rawlings-Blake wanted to sell the garages so badly; she did an end run around the city council. She convened commission last November (Baltimore Sun) that had not met in nearly a decade to approve her plan; just more than two weeks before she had left office.
Her successor, current Mayor Catherine Pugh, said at her first availability Dec. 7, 2016 that she would evaluate Rawlings-Blake’s plan.
Nearly four months later, Pugh said the garages are not for sale…for now.
“I’m not looking at selling assets at this point; we’re reviewing all of that,” the mayor said. “I think often times when we think that we need to solve a problem it’s about selling something.”
“Assets are important; they contribute to the double-A rating,” she added, “so we’re looking at all of these things.”
Before making it clear, the mayor talked about what has been done without selling the garages and what’s to come.
She asked me if I had gone to the C.C. Jackson Recreation Center in Park Heights that reopened last June (was there on Election Day; it’s one of the city’s polling places.) She then asked if I had visited the James Mosher Field (I have not since I moved out of the neighborhood last year; Baltimore Business Journal says it’s opening in the spring) and if I have seen the Under Armour Community Center (have not seen it in person (WMAR-TV).)
The mayor’s point is that no one is talking about the $29 million that is going towards building new rec centers.
MORE ON SRB GARAGE SALE PROPOSAL:
Stokes Agrees With Mayor On Garage Sale Bill Hearing…Sort Of (Mar. 26, 2015)
Mayor Unveils Rec Center Plan (Jul. 14, 2015)
Making Dollars And Sense Out Of City Rec Center Funding (Aug. 27, 2015)