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REAL ESTATE INSIDER

Bust honoring Cuban hero is safe, city says

Despite rumors swirling about the fate of the bust of José Martí, the Cuban poet, journalist and independence advocate, a spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake assured concerned residents the monument is fine.

9a REI José_Martí 1885

A bust of José Martí is located in the Washington Hill neighborhood north of Fells Point that has a growing Latino population. Although Martí was Cuban, the bust is an important symbol to many Spanish-speaking immigrants from various countries who have made the area home in recent decades.

A bust of Martí, which was placed at the intersection of North Broadway and East Fayette streets in 1998, was taken off its stand to keep it safe as Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center continues construction on the $100 million, 184,000-square-foot Skip Viragh Outpatient Cancer Center at the northeast corner of the intersection.

“The reason it was moved is there’s construction all around it,” Anthony McCarthy, a spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, said.

The bust is located in the Washington Hill neighborhood north of Fells Point that has a growing Latino population. Although Martí was Cuban, the bust is an important symbol to many Spanish-speaking immigrants from various countries who have made the area home in recent decades.

Some residents became upset after the Spanish language Latin Opinion Baltimore Newspaper posted a photo on its Facebook page with the stand but no bust under the heading “Decapitan a José Martí en Baltimore y nadie dice nada,” which roughly translates to “Beheading of José Martí in Baltimore and no one says anything.”

McCarthy said that since the photo was posted the administration has been inundated with residents expressing concern about the fate of the bust. Some residents, he said, even believed the city destroyed the monument.

“It’s not destroyed. We’re protecting it,” McCarthy said.

The bust is in storage and will be returned once construction in the area is complete. He said the administration intends to put out more information about what’s happening in the next few days.

According to an article in the Baltimore Sun at the time of the bust’s dedication, the more than six-foot high monument highlighted the “expansion — and permanence — of a thriving Spanish-speaking community intent on making its mark on the city.”

Finding a place for the monument was a challenge, the article continued, but eventually supporters received permission from the Citizens for Washington Hill Inc. and raised $40,000 in private donations to make the monument a reality.

Martí, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica website, was born in Havana in 1853 and was a Cuban patriot who backed the island’s independence from Spain. Twice exiled from Cuba because of his political activism, he continued to publish political essays and poetry while living abroad in Spain, France and the United States. He returned to Cuba in 1895 in an attempt to lead a revolution, during which he was killed in battle.

 

Report blasts Baltimore’s housing market

A recent analysis of the nation’s housing markets by personal finance website WalletHub found Baltimore’s housing market among the worst in the nation.

Baltimore was ranked No. 291 out of 300 markets reviewed after looking at factors such as median home price appreciation, housing affordability and growth rate. The housing market was also ranked No. 60 on the rankings for large cities, placing ahead of only Cleveland and Detroit.

Baltimore particularly ranked low in terms of percentage of homes with negative equity, population growth and number of unsold home owned by banks.

 

Womble Carlyle latest Transamerica tenants

Law firm Womble Carlyle is the newest tenant at the Transamerica Building, Baltimore’s tallest skyscraper.

The firm will take up the building’s entire 26th floor in the 40-story building. The firm, in a news release, touted its leasing of space as proof of its commitment to Baltimore and particularly the downtown area.

“Womble Carlyle has been in downtown Baltimore for more than nine years, and this move assures that we will remain a key player — and great neighbor — in downtown,” said David Hamilton, managing partner of Womble Carlyle’s Baltimore office.

 

Patrick’s Pub auction date set

The auction for the historic Patrick’s of Pratt Street is scheduled for September

Earlier this year Patrick Rowley, owner of the oldest Irish bar in Baltimore, announced he was closing down the business that has been in his family since 1847 and in its current space since 1862.

Rowley and his wife, Anne, said they were stepping away from running the bar, which they’ve owned since 1999, because they were getting too old to run a pub.

The auction includes real estate, liquor license, bar equipment, commercial kitchen equipment along with the furniture and fixtures.

Alex Cooper Auctioneers is handling the auction set for 11:30 a.m., Sept. 14, at 934 W. Pratt St.

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