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Developer Files $50M Suit Against Baltimore To Block Bids For Redevelopment Project

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BALTIMORE (AP) — A developer is suing the city of Baltimore for at least $50 million in an effort to block officials from entertaining new bids for a redevelopment project.

The Daily Record reports Lexington Square Partners sued the city Tuesday. The developer claims the city and its development arm breached a 2007 contract by calling off a proposed redevelopment project at the southwest corner of Park Avenue and West Lexington.

The city’s mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, said in June that the city was unwilling to grant the partnership a sixth extension of time to obtain the financing needed to start the first phase of the project. She announced the city would issue a new request for proposals this fall.

Lexington Square Partners is based in Atlanta and New York. The developer’s lead attorney, Charles O. Monk II, says the city canceled the contract prematurely. Monk says a provision in the contract called for the city first to declare the Lexington Square Partners in default and then give the developer up to 180 days to cure the default. Only then could the contract be terminated, he added.

The group filed its lawsuit in Baltimore City Circuit Court. The lawsuit asks the court to order the city to call off the reopened bidding and allow the partnership to proceed with its plans. Alternatively, the developer wants the court to find the city breached the contract and award the partnership at least $57 million in damages. Lexington Square Partners also has a $50 million claim against the city’s development arm, Baltimore Development Corp. The complaint also seeks an unspecified amount in punitive damages.

Lexington Square Partners has for years been working to transform the vacant four-acre plot of land into a mixed-use development with apartments, retail, hotel and office space, but plans have hit constant snags. The property is referred to as the “Superblock.”

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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