Press Release: Department of Real Estate Seeking Proposals for City Property
Monday Jan 24th, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Baltimore, MD - Comptroller Bill Henry and Real Estate Officer Andy Frank today announced a new request for proposals (RFP) for a historic property at 2001 Park Avenue.
The 15,194-square foot stone mansion sits on 1.835 acres in Baltimore’s Reservoir Hill neighborhood. Over the decades the property has been known as the Birckhead Estate, the Bond House, Mount Royal, Norse Hill Home and the Norwegian Seaman’s Merchants Home. The oldest structure in Reservoir Hill, the building is located in the Mount Royal Terrace Historic District and is designated a Baltimore City Landmark.
The RFP is directed by the Office of the Comptroller through the Department of Real Estate (DoRE), on behalf of the Mayor and City Council. The Reservoir Hill community also played an active part through the RFP process and will participate in the developer selection process.
“We’ve worked with the Reservoir Hill community to ensure their ideas and concerns have been heard,” Frank said. “The neighborhood must be the first to benefit from any potential redevelopment.”
Built in 1792 by Dr. Solomon Birckhead, the mansion served as a private residence until 1922 when ownership transferred to the Baltimore Monthly Meeting of Friends who used it as a home for aged members. In 1957 the Norwegian government purchased and renamed the property to the Norse Hill Home, also known as the Norwegian Seamen’s Merchants Home, to house sailors. The City eventually took ownership and refitted the property for various uses including a Pratt library reading room, mayor’s station and multi-purpose neighborhood center.
Because of the mansion’s prominence and historic significance, development will need to meet Historic and Architectural Preservation (CHAP) and the Urban Design Architectural Review Committee (UDARP) guidelines, the Mount Royal Terrace Historic District review, and requirements related to properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“The Birckhead Estate should be a heart of activity for Reservoir Hill residents,” District 7 Councilman James Torrence said. “My office will continue to work with the community and other city leaders to make sure this project lives up to its potential.”
The mansion will be offered in as-is condition. A pre-bid proposal conference open house will be held for potential buyers to ask questions of members of the community, representatives and city staff. More can be found on the Department of Real Estate’s website: https://comptroller.baltimorecity.gov/opportunities
“We are thrilled that this beautiful building will get another chance,” Comptroller Henry said. “With the right vision and oversight, this property can become a major resource for the Reservoir Hill neighborhood and for all city residents.”
Proposals are due by April 8th. Full details are available on our website.