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Visions For Vacancies: 8 Maryland Avenue

A closer look at one vacant store front or building in the city.

Drive or walk around downtown Annapolis, and you will notice a surprising number of empty storefronts and buildings.

I've decided to post a series of articles entitled Visions for Vacancies that highlight these abandoned opportunities. I'll tell you where they're located and a little about the property.

Then, I’ll leave it up to you to share your thoughts on what you’d like to see there. I want to know what types of businesses you think belong in Annapolis.

This building is located at 8 Maryland Ave., and it sits just outside the 's Gate 3 entrance. The three-story building was constructed in 1900 and boasts 13,926 square feet of unused space inside, according to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation website.

In 2010, the city of Annapolis issued a permit to renovate the building, which it lists as a multifamily shell building. 

The building strikes me as the perfect size and location for apartments or condos.

What do you think?

Have a vacant store or building suggestion? Email Anna.Staver@patch.com.

CMS2774 July 09, 2012 at 12:13 PM
I don't understand why developers are building new condos on West Street and Spa Road when there are amazing rennovation opportunities in downtown Annapolis. It seems the City should be encouraging rennovation of existing buildings rather than new construction in an already congested area.
BJC July 09, 2012 at 12:47 PM
You asked why developers build new condos, simple it has a lot to do with the Annapolis historical society. It costs significantly more to restore rather then renovate so contractors decide just to build new and avoid the hassle.
Johnson navin July 09, 2012 at 12:47 PM
It's pretty simple... Since your new to town here is the skinny... It is owned by Ron Hollander aka king property's. It had a fire clearly and he could have renovated it but...... He didn't want to fix the multiple code violations and tried to sell it for way too much money via daughter Ali Hollander ... Best of luck ever getting a comment on the building or future plans.
Melissa July 09, 2012 at 12:58 PM
My family used to sponsor midshipmen, and one of their girlfriends lived in a basement apartment in that exact building. I agree with the previous comment; there are some beautiful properties downtown that just need some love!
Anna Staver (Editor) July 09, 2012 at 03:17 PM
A reader emailed me suggesting that the site be razed and converted into a parking lot. She wrote, "Close the Naval Academy and great spot for the merchants on Maryland Ave. Of course, the Hysterical Society would never permit it, but it makes perfect sense." What do you think?
Hannah Perry July 09, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Apartments would be wonderful. Perfect location. Maybe part of it could be studio space for artists. So sad it's not being used!
GAD July 09, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Historic Preservation Commission refuses to allow the Landlord to renovate the building completely "lead free" for the safety of tenants and the community. After five months of hearings in front of the Commission with historic architects and attorneys, the Commission still will not allow the building to be remodelled in a " lead free" condition. As a side note the City of Annapolis has approved the architectural plans for a new 17 unit apartment building; however, the Preservation Commission continues to not permit the Landlord to remodel in a " lead free condition" All interior structural work has been completed,only waiting for approval from the Commission.
amiee coffey July 09, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Since so close to the Academy. Why not make into rental apts. for midshipmen/womrn'n parents, friends, etc, during special events.
Johnson navin July 10, 2012 at 11:33 AM
GAD You know that is not the only hang up....
Ham Tilton July 10, 2012 at 03:08 PM
This building is on my street. It is indeed owned by Mr. Hollander (SPAHW, LLC), and so are the buildings on either side. It was originally a single family home, was converted to apartments and was being sold for condo conversion as pointed out above. The owner applied for permits to upgrade some of the accesses, windows and other items related to present code. The HPC is looking into having the building designated as being "demolished by neglect". The city has asked the owner to provide several studies of the historic value of the windows, etc., which apparently has not been complied with exactly. The building would be a good single family residence (which it was originally) - no need for low rent apartments (like the ones on either side) or a ridiculous parking garage. Since there is not enough parking in district 1 for the level of density, condos would also be a bad option.
Tony Taylor July 11, 2012 at 08:04 AM
As a child in 1945 I lived on the first floor of this building with my mother and older brother; our father was still in the Pacific on ADM Halsey's staff on MISSOURI and then to Tokyo Bay for the signing of the Peace Treaty. I still recall going in my pajamas with my mother to the Naval Academy while the midshiipmen were ringing the bell in front of Bancroft Hall in celebration of VJ Day. By the way, this place on Maryland Ave. was pretty run-down as I recall even in 1945. For some reason we later had to move around the corner to a basement apartment, but we were in that awful place for about a month before moving to a new home on Cherry Grove off of West Street when my father came home.
Lisa Craig July 11, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Just want to let folks know that rehabbing in the Historic District provides financial incentives you can't find outside of the Historic District. If any one wants more information about the City of Annapolis 10% Historic Property Tax Credit, the State of Maryland 20% Historic Tax Credit and the 20% Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit, feel free to call the City's office of Historic Preservation and ask for me, Lisa Craig. Number is 410/263-7941.
BJC July 11, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Several studies for historic value of windows, again I take you back to my original comment the Annapolis historical society is making a simple window renovation and updating of accesses a major investment. Low rent apartments are needed in Annapolis for the 20 to 30 singles that would like to live in the city.
Ham Tilton July 13, 2012 at 08:24 PM
I would like to point out that there is no "Annapolis historical society" (also commonly referred to as "Hysterical Society". The city of Annapolis has the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) which is an arm of the city government charged with enforcement and regulation of the City Historic District. There is also the Historic Annapolis Foundation (HAF), which runs the Paca House, the downtown museum and other exhibits. Some of the founders of the predecessor organizations of the HAF were instrumental in saving the historic treasures located in the Historic District as well as in establishing the District.
Ham Tilton July 13, 2012 at 08:28 PM
One of the major concerns about the Annapolis Historic District is the regulations that penalize the use of certain modern composite materials in the maintenance of historic properties while the Commission allows wholesale trampling of the spirit of the District by allowing property owners and organizations to create buildings and additions that are ridiculous for a historic area. Take a look at #7 State Circle for an example of a totally ugly, out of place building.
Marina July 16, 2012 at 02:31 PM
.. and while the HAF, HPC and other busybodies are deciding what to do with this building owned by Ron Hollander (who owns 1/2 of Annapolis buildings) under the latest LLC he formed, the broken windows are ready to collapse everytime there is a strong wind. Annapolis is over built - look at the disaster of 1901 West street from condos it became apt. rental, Acton Place couldn't sell units and auctioned off, Park Place the same... and of course more townhouses are coming up on West Street a few yards from Park Place where, we were told, will have elegant stores.. so far we have only a couple of chain restaurants and a Subway !!! n prostituion and drug dealing still strong, 'tho. Annapolis has too much on the market - houses, condos don't sell and business are leaving after a couple years... MD ave is a mess and the wires etc... but nothing is been done... of course the City found $$$ to fix one section of Hanover Street so that about 20 houses have a nice re-done streets... talk about corruption !!! Mr. Hollander for years is fighting with the city and winning... having a daughter who is a RE lawyer and another daughter who is RE agent makes his position strong... shame of a City that can be dominated by one individual..
BJC July 16, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I would not call Annapolis over built I would call it not properly economically demographic. Try being 20 to 30 single looking to live in Annapolis I belong to a lot of young social organizations in Annapolis and the majority of them live out side of Annapolis because they can not find a affordable place to live inside the city. All of your above referenced places were built just before or right after the finical disaster of 2008. As a result some were turned into apartments and some were auctioned off.
Ben Farrell June 30, 2013 at 10:03 AM
This blurb was written almost a year ago, yet I assume the story is much, much older. 8 Maryland constantly lingers on the periphery of my consciousness. It represents so much of what motivates me about under appreciated old buildings. It has history, charm, location and (best of all) potential. I've never met Mr Hollander, so I can't comment on his role as current owner (?), but I have worked many long hours trying to force reason into the conversation with historical preservationists. Not all old things are worth saving. Darwin would agree. On the other hand, this building at 8 Maryland has a clearly apparent potential value to it's owner, future occupants, neighborhood, USNA and the city. Right now it's in a dormant state that benefits no one. Any improvement would be better, right? Let's get 8 Maryland back as part of the community and worry about perfection later. I'd love to work on this one...
Andrew Young January 03, 2014 at 12:22 AM
I lived here at 8 Maryland Ave from 1995-1998. Before the fire and well occupied, it was a great apartment. I wish something could be done to update it. It seems to me that with the right investment you could convert into high end condominiums. While the parking would be a challenge (as it was in the late 90's), the location is great. Whether it be the current owners or someone new, I would think the ultimate goal should be to convert it back to live able space as soon as possible.

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