Release: Baltimore Announces City-Wide Real Estate Process Review

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Bill Henry
Comptroller,
Baltimore City
204 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-5410

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
KC Kelleher
(410) 804-4289

[email protected]

 

The Comptroller’s Department of Real Estate, together with the Mayor’s Office, will lead a collaborative effort to ensure greater transparency, data accessibility, and a system of stewardship that maximizes the value of Baltimore’s real property assets and real estate transactions


Baltimore, MD - Acting Real Estate Director Andy Frank announced that his Department will lead an interagency collaborative effort to review the City’s current real estate assets, management and transaction systems and processes, and real estate expertise across all city agencies. This effort, akin to a multi-agency performance audit, will continue the critical examination of operations and workflows already started within the Department of Real Estate.


The Comptroller’s office transition report, released this past January, began the information gathering. It will be the basis for the process review.


The overall goals are:


• Identify immediate and short-term improvements in real estate practices
• Establish shared guiding principles for agencies charged with stewarding city assets
• Understand how the Department of Real Estate and City agencies can work together to better support the City’s vision for community development
• Identify longer-term changes, policy recommendations, and investments that will improve practices and maximize value for the City
• Develop a 3-year road map towards comprehensive reform


This process review will be closely coordinated with the Office of the Mayor and agency stakeholders. The DoRE’s process review will support other intra-agency efforts already underway including:


• Department of General Services (DGS) has been working on assessing the condition of the 130 buildings in their portfolio and using that information to inform the capital budgeting process for their improvements.
• Mayor’s Office has been coordinating bi-weekly meetings to track information about the disposition of key properties, including surplus schools.
• Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and DoRE are working together to purchase software to automate various real estate workflows and processes.


The necessary work to revitalize Baltimore City’s real estate programs is happening – this process review will pull it all together.

Acting Real Estate Director Andy Frank expects the process review to begin this summer with the goal of sharing preliminary findings and recommendations as early as December 2021.


Quotes
Comptroller Henry: “We are taking this assessment on as the initial and most important step in meeting the mandate of the Comptroller’s office by first holding ourselves accountable and leading a collaborative, interagency effort to assess our current systems, our needs, and our goals for improved management and stewardship of the City’s real property interests.”


Mayor Brandon M. Scott: “Transparency, accountability, and integrity are essential ingredients for progress in my administration. A comprehensive assessment of City real estate underscores my approach towards building public trust in local government, and I look forward to leading this effort with the Comptroller and the new Department of Real Estate.”


Acting Real Estate Director Andy Frank: “This first step will prepare us and our partner agencies to update practices and policies and implement long-overdue investments in how we collectively manage our real property interests – with a primary goal of making that stewardship transparent and accessible to our residents.”


Background
The Department of Real Estate (DoRE), under the Office of the Comptroller, is mandated by City Charter with responsibility for the acquisition and disposition of real estate in Baltimore City. Dore manages real estate assets and is responsible for the disposition of real property owned by the City; leasing City-owned property to agencies and other parties; acquisition of real estate for the City; and reviewing real estate-related transactions and development proposals for City-owned real property.
The Department maintains the repository of unsold tax certificates after the annual tax sale, as well as a public inventory of all City-owned property and associated leases.

Press Resources below

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