June 12, 2013 | by Steve Charing
GLCCB building sold
GLCCB, Baltimore, Maryland, gay news, Washington Blade

GLCCB (Washington Blade photo by Steve Charing)

The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore (GLCCB) announced that the building at 241 W. Chase St., which has been the headquarters for the 36-year-old organization since 1980, has been sold. Closing took place on May 31.

In a statement released by the board of directors, the decision to sell the building was made to address ongoing community concerns with the inadequacy of the GLCCB’s present space to meet the goals outlined in its strategic plan.

The board is “assessing a variety of options for relocation to meet the growing and changing needs of the community. The 241 W. Chase St. building is old, in need of continuous repair, has limited accessibility and sorely needs to be updated to accommodate the community needs, including ADA compliance all of which have significant costs associated with them.”

4 Comments
  • Caroline Temmermand

    While I understand the reality & complete logic of the reasons cited here for the sale, I will miss the building that has meant so much for so many of my friends and for me, too. It is the end of an era – another transition of sorts for me. This place has been a Godsend for so many that I doubt anyone can list them all.

  • The reasons don’t quite make sense, in my opinion. The building was sold at a price far below its value according to SDAT records. Did the GLCCB sell the building due to financial strains of a mortgage it could not afford or have a revenue stream to cover? Why would they sell the building with no transition plan in place? Where is the capital campaign to achieve this new space? What kind of space requirements do they have that were not being met by the building? ADA law is somewhat flexible and while a ramp or restroom would not be too expensive, to be fair, an elevator requirement would be.

    Most of the strategic plan on their website focuses on changing target client base, building diversity and unity, strengthening community ties and fund raising, etc. [[URL REMOVED]] These do not require a change in the physical space. The plan also looks to serve central Maryland, not just Baltimore and seeks to partner or open a SGM (Sexual and Gender Minorities) homeless shelter by 2017 – which could be a space location issue. However, the plan does not state to sell the building they owned to achieve these goals (unless I missed it) or spell out renovation requirements. The plan also does not mention ADA. The GLCCB was among the first gay and lesbian community centers in mid size cities to own its building outright. For a long time, the center was thought not to have any mortgage debt.

    The building was sold to what appears to be a contractor/developer. It is possible they are allowing the GLCCB to stay or rent until they are ready to renovate. Are we witnessing the beginning of the demise of the Center? Is the strategic plan now one of survival? Will they become nomadic or utilize space in churches or at Chase Brexton? Why is none of this information on their website? Why would this be timed right before Pride? Did the sale on the SDAT record just get updated? How much money did the Center net with the sale? This is not quite the level of transparency that has been promised by the Center, in my opinion.

  • To clarify, the Strategic plan does mention the building is need of a rehab to accommodate disabled people, be more energy efficient, help utilize space better, but asks how do we make this happen. It does not list the specific building issues or ADA requirements. Later, the plan has “Goal 4″ to consider options to relocate or stay and conduct a capital campaign for rehab. It also states to resolve all financial issues and make decisions about the center’s location. I apologize for any misrepresentation.

    However, the plan leaves the solutions to these issues open ended. The action of selling the center –without warning and without any kind of plan seems less desirable then staying in their current faciltity until a known option is in place. A faciltiy that needs work is better than an uncertain future space. There must be another explanation, and given the economy and state of community organizations, why not come out and say it is financial if that is the case? What are the financial issues mentioned in Goal 4?

    We need to build the glccb up but we need transparency.

  • It appears to have been sold for almost half the assessed value to a buyer named, “241 W CHASE LLC” at 2711 MOORES VALLEY DR, BALTIMORE. As Angela does, I wonder why the community was not involved to save the building? At a selling price of $235K it is primed to be flipped. The agent of the LLC is Eugene Poverni – The LLC was filed and approved by the State of Maryland on 5/13/13 – the LLC paid an extra fee to have it expedited. The stated purpose of the LLC is “real estate and other business services”. A similar looking Eugene Poverni’s is the Principal of Poverni Ventures, which, according to linked-in public profile, is a real estate development firm and asset manager in the Baltimore metropolitan area, with a particular focus on distressed urban scatter-site redevelopment and public/private real estate partnerships.

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