I was happy to read that the former Fawcett’s building located at 110 Compromise St. will finally be fully occupied (The Capital, March 26).
The Atlas restaurant group, a local Baltimore business that has world-class restaurants all over the country, will bring their very successful Choptank concept to Annapolis. It’s a classic fish and crab house which will be a great fit for Annapolis.
Seeing this vacant property was one of the biggest complaints of residents, businesses and visitors. For close to a decade the building sat empty on one of the best pieces of property downtown.
When I was elected mayor it was a priority to redevelop this property along with other vacant buildings downtown. First, our goal was to preserve the maritime heritage of the building but allow flexibility with commercial space to make the business sustainable. The maritime aspect was complete, with the Boston Whaler dealership.
The first challenge was stopping the idea some aldermen had of using eminent domain to take the property from private citizens, rezone it and then try to flip it in a real estate deal and make money. If we have learned anything from the city government wasting $6 million on the market house it is that the government should not be in the business of business.
The city and public dedicated hundreds of hours and made countless amendments until we got it right.
Even though the council and I helped change the zoning, the real credit for making this happen goes to John Bruno and Mike Keenan, two men that had a vision to help redevelop a building that had been vacant for years. They saw the potential and took the risk. They put up their money and a tremendous amount of time and we should all be grateful to them for helping to make Annapolis a better place
Mike Pandelides, Annapolis
Editor’s Note: Mike Pantelidies served as mayor of Annapolis from 2013 to 2017.