Mystery Of The Eastside Community Recreation Center
While most of Baltimore’s media is concentrating on the fur coats, the expensive shoes and trips that are the sexy part of the state prosecutor’s investigation of Mayor Sheila Dixon, it is the land deals being examined and outlined in court documents that are more intriguing.
Although Dixon has not been formally charged of any wrongdoing, the state prosecutor is investigating the buying practices of City Hall when Dixon was president of the City Council.
This includes, according to court documents, land deals such as the one the city made on a building located at 2101 East Biddle Street in East Baltimore.
Follow this carefully
The property, which you can see at the top of this article (Unfree State drove by and took several photos of the boarded-up building) was supposed to have become the “Eastside Community Recreation and Learning Center,” by June of 2006.
Obviously, this has not happened. But this is just the beginning of the mystery!
According to court documents filed by the state prosecutor, the city-owned property is to be conveyed to Lambda, which is referred to as the “fee developer” for Ronald H. Lipscomb, as RHL Development LLC. Of course, Lipscomb is the minority developer with whom Dixon has had an admitted personal relationship.
Here’s where the plot thickens.
So far, the state has sunk $1 million dollars in bond money to the project, along with the City of Baltimore putting up $500,000 in bond money, according to state records obtained by Unfree State. Yet, it appears that no construction has begun.
The state prosecutor appears to be equally puzzled by this land deal, but for other reasons.
In court documents, ( linked above) the prosecutor noted that when the project is completed, Lipscomb’s company is supposed to turn the renovated recreation center and $800,000 in renovations over to a company called “Biddle Street Sports LLC.”
But guess what?
After the searching tax records, Lexis/Nexis and even Google, the prosecutor found no company by that name.
Meanwhile, I’d love to know where the $1.5 million dollar bond money on this project is sitting, and what happened to the plans for the recreation center. Wouldn’t you?
In the near future, hopefully we will all find out.
Here’s a second photo of the mystery recreation center.