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Baltimore Trying To Sell Historic Landmarks To Raise Much-Needed Cash

Posted: 03/29/2012 4:37 pm Updated: 03/29/2012 4:37 pm

Baltimore Historic Landmarks Revenue

Looking to own a building with a storied past? You might be in luck.

Baltimore's budget crisis has gotten so bad that the city is considering selling off some of its historic landmarks, according to Businessweek. With the city confronting a $48 million budget gap, Baltimore officials may sell the home of a 19th century U.S. Senator, among other historic buildings, in an aim to put a dent in the shortfall.

So far, the city has only taken the first step in the process, hiring a consulting firm to determine the market value of the 15 buildings in question, according to the Baltimore Sun. The ultimate goal of the project would be to find tenants or buyers with ideas to turn the landmarks into revenue-generating enterprises.

Baltimore is just one of many localities across the country confronting budget woes. To deal with declining revenues, more than half of U.S. cities said they cut staff, cancelled construction projects or raised fees in 2011, according to a September report from the National League of Cities.

Some have used tactics similar to Baltimore's to close their budget gaps. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer sold the state’s capitol complex in 2009 to help plug the state’s shortfall. She led a push in January to try to buy the complex back.

Even the federal government has taken to getting rid of to make a little bit of extra cash. President Obama proposed selling off underused pieces of government land including airstrips, islands and other property to close the nation's budget deficit.

Other localities are finding different ways to tackle their budget shortfalls. Highland Park, Michigan voted to tear out 1,000 of its 1,500 streetlights in November. In Denver, residents were forced to deal with moldy mattresses, dirty diapers and broken TV sets gathering up in alleyways when the city voted to scale back on trash collection in 2010, according to the Denver Post.

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Filed by Jillian Berman  |