Commercial property owners in Baltimore, Maryland’s business district filed a lawsuit against two state agencies in Maryland and a group of developers over Baltimore’s State Center redevelopment project. The commercial property owners are seeking to stop $1.5 billion project, which, as they claimed, did not follow procurement laws and will draw business away form the city’s commercial area and core office.
The commercial property owners’ suit claimed that the project violated state laws by ignoring and replacing the State Center’s original developers without competitive bidding requirements, which, according to them, should be called invalid. The lawsuit was filed in Baltimore Circuit Court.
According to Attorney Alan Rifkin, the commercial property owners representative, in a press conference, the planned redevelopment project of 1.5 million-square-foot building into a residential complex, retail, offices, and other facilities will draw off tenants from Baltimore city’s downtown, which will eventually hurt businesses and commercial property owners in the area.
David Johnson, Lexington Charles Limited Partnership’s senior vice president and one of the case’s plaintiffs said the result of the redevelopment to business owners will be irreversible if not stopped.
Current tenants that occupy downtown Baltimore’s commercial spaces include 18 state agencies, which occupies almost 705,000 square feet of commercial buildings, like the Office of the Attorney General that occupies 111,000 square feet of space.
The redevelopment project is said to be constructed for more than a decade—15 years to be exact starting January 2011.
The commercial property owners filed the lawsuit against the Department of Transportation and State Center, the Maryland Department of General Services, and the project’s private development company.