|By A, The Baltimore SunMcClatchy-Tribune
August 11, 2010 --Auctions of two downtown Baltimore office buildings that were undergoing conversion to hotels have been cancelled after the developers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection.
The buildings that are no longer up for auction are the former Keyser Building on Redwood Street that was being converted into the Hotel Indigo, a $24 million project with 130 rooms, and the former Jefferson Building on Charles Street that was being converted into a 100-room Staybridge Suites in a $22 million project.
Both auctions, by Alex Cooper Auctioneers, were foreclosure sales on behalf of BB&T Bank. The developers are 207 Redwood Management LLC and 101 Charles LLC. Both are affiliates of a development group headed by businesswoman Annie Kim. The two hotels were originally expected to open by the end of 2009, but construction work had been halted.
James Vidmar, an attorney with Logan, Yumkas, Vidmar & Sweeney LLC of Annapolis, represents Kim and her investment partners. He said the separate development entities filed for bankruptcy court protection Friday to prevent the back-to-back auctions set for Thursday.
Cost overruns and "the economy in general" led to the filings, Vidmar said.
He said the development team intends to resume work on the Redwood Street conversion and hopes to complete it within 180 days. "The plan is to get it open and operating as soon as possible," he said.
He said the developers are exploring options for the Charles Street building.
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