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Good action at auction in Mt. Vernon Historic District

Last week, 27 multi-unit properties in the Mt. Vernon Historic District were auctioned by Alex Cooper Real Estate — an event that included 50 registered bidders and a renewed air of optimism about the market. The bankruptcy auction, held in Towson at the Alex Cooper office, centered on several apartment houses along Calvert and St. Paul streets, and on other historic streets in center city, many three- and four-story stately brick buildings that hold up to 2,100 square feet of space. Auctioneer Paul Cooper reported that the buildings that sold went for up to $60,000 per unit with a 25-day close. Some were bought back by lenders. Locations like 10 E. Biddle St. sold for $388,500; 1210 N. Calvert St. for $220,500 and 802-804 Cathedral St. for $630,000. “The pace of bidding and activity” of the auction rivaled 2005, Cooper reported. In addition, Cooper said a 24-unit apartment project on Melrose Avenue between York Road and Charles Street was also auctioned last week and attracted 18 registered bidders. “I see a definite uptick of investors into the marketplace,” he said, of both auctions. Two days prior to the Mt. Vernon auction, bidders were required to submit bids in writing, and some started as low as $100,000. That paced the sales, Cooper said, at a fast-moving clip. Overall, it was an example that the investment market is ramping up locally again, Cooper said. “It was like taking orders at a deli at lunch time,” Cooper said jokingly, of the Mt. Vernon auction. ***** A new branch of the upscale BRIO Tuscan Grille opened March 2 at the busy corner of Pratt and Calvert streets, a prime restaurant space that’s been vacant for five years since Legal Seafood closed. The restaurant’s menu features a variety of Italian fare including soup, salads, pasta, steaks and grilled fish, chicken and lamb and pork chops.

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