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Collapse: 2200 Bryant Ave.

January 27, 2010
By

2200 Bryant Ave. | Image by Alexander D. Mitchell IV

(HT Alexander Mitchell, who supplied the photograph)

Neighbors say the city began demolishing this house several weeks ago, but stopped, supposedly to wait for gas and electric service to be cut off. This morning they heard a crash as the building collapsed amid 50 mph winds, and a near-simultaneous explosion that Mitchell says he took to be a power transformer. Electricity service to the neighborhood stopped.

The home, which is just off Reisterstown Road, two blocks due east of Mondawmin Mall, is owned by SLD Investors, which purchased it for $17,600 in late 2006 from Mitchell Property Management, which in turn had picked it up from Andre J. Hall a few months earlier for a reported $5,303. That sale is dubbed “not arm’s length” in tax records. The house was assessed at $22,090.

SLD Investors is helmed by Steve Karras of Cheverly* (PG County) and located in a one-story house there that Karras bought from HUD in 1998 for $19,900, according to tax records. That place is currently assessed at $164,500.

It’s not the only house he owns, though. Online court records indicate that Karas has an interest in at least eight Baltimore City properties. The city has sued him regarding conditions at four of those. On Dec. 16, Kyle Doniff filed a foreclosure action to collect $226,000 that Karas allegedly owes on a total of eight houses. Karas could not be reached for comment.

A call to Baltimore Housing about the situation was not immediately returned.

*UPDATE: A kindly reader named Dan emailed to correct Mr. Karras’s address. “He’s outside of the limits of our awesome town in unincorporated Prince George’s County,” Dan insists, claiming to have conducted a “crack investigation” of the matter.

Fair enough. But Karras apparently believes himself to be a Cheverly resident, as this excerpt from his corporate filing indicates:

STEVE KARRAS

1602 KINDLEWOOD STREET

CHEVERLY, MD 20785

However, the State Department of Assessments and Taxation may have a different idea. Or ideas. On Karras’s street card, the premises address is given as “Hyattsville,” while the mailing address—the same street address and zip code—is dubbed “Landover.”

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