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Quick and Dirty

On the Block

By Edward Ericson Jr. | Posted 4/11/2007

In what might be fallout from Southeast Baltimore's cooling real estate market, Canton developer and financier David Carey ("Where Credit Is Due," Feb 21) is auctioning off the eastern Baltimore County waterfront property of his protégé's former top lieutenant.

The half-finished three-bedroom house at 2609 Bauernschmidt Drive in Essex will go under the gavel on April 11, according to public notices and auctioneer A.J. Billig and Co.'s web site. The house is three stories tall with multiple decks overlooking Greyhound Creek, but as yet has no finished floors, appliances, or fixtures.

According to land records, Gregory A. and Colleen M. Morris bought the property in August of 2005 for $385,000, eventually borrowing more than $770,000 from Carey's 1st Equitable Funding, which charges high interest over short periods for construction loans. According to loan documents, the Morrises have also pledged their Federal Hill townhouse as collateral on the loans. 1st Equitable foreclosed on Feb. 28. On March 7, Carey's lawyer entered a judgment of $777,506.34 against the Morrises in Baltimore City Circuit Court.

Until recently, Greg Morris was Bayside Properties' project manager, overseeing several hundred home renovations in and around Canton ("Walls Come Tumbling," Mobtown Beat, Nov. 8). Reached on his cell phone on April 5, Morris said he no longer works for Bayside. He said he would call back later to elaborate but did not.

Çayside Properties is controlled by Matthew Riemer, a friend and business associate of Carey's. Riemer's home, complete with a pier, is just up the street from Morris' Bauernschmidt Drive property.

If the April 11 auction goes on as announced, it will be the third foreclosure auction that lawyer Anthony Palaigos has conducted on Carey's behalf since the beginning of February, according to records maintained at the Billig Auction web site. On Feb. 1, a renovated three-story rowhouse at 914 S. Ellwood Ave. in Canton sold for $650,000 and a rowhouse shell at 3316 Fleet St. sold for $345,000, according to the auctioneer. Land records indicate those foreclosures came after the souring of a complicated deal between Carey's companies and Gary W. and Michelle Locklear and Brian E. and Christy Kopp, Port City Builders, and Gunner Bay LLC--another lender. The loans encumbered at least four properties before the two were auctioned. Christy Kopp says she cannot talk about the matter and referred a reporter to her lawyer, Todd Heise, who did not return a phone call.

Carey, meanwhile, has borrowed heavily against his own properties over the past six months. In January he took an additional $100,000 loan from his 1st Equitable Funding business partner, John Alascio, using his Ocean City condominium as collateral. That loan appears to have brought Carey's indebtedness on that property to more than $1 million. The condo is assessed at $568,000 for tax purposes.

As of Feb. 7, Carey owed at least $1.4 million on his Ellicott City home. Baltimore County land records also indicate that Carey has borrowed $649,000 against a 3,000-square-foot riverside summer home Carey built for his parents in Dundalk. Calls to Carey and Palaigos were not returned.

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