The local port authority, which owns the land along the channel on which the plaza sits, also sued Ashkenazy for more than $300,000 in unpaid rent and poor maintenance, according to court records. The port authority did not respond to requests by The Sun for comment.

Despite sending the plaza into receivership in 2010, Ashkenazy recently resurfaced as a player in Channelside's future.

The owner of Tampa's professional hockey team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, has been negotiating with the bank to purchase the mall — a plan that appears to appeal to the port authority and to businesses in the floundering mall, according to The Times. The Lightning plays in an arena next to Channelside.

But under the receivership agreement Ashkenazy negotiated with the Anglo Irish Bank, the real estate firm has a "right for first refusal" to be given the opportunity to match any purchase offer made for the mall. This opened the door for a local developer, who wants to raze the mall and replace it with a baseball stadium, to negotiate with Ashkenazy for the property, according to reports last month.

In an interview with the Boston Globe, Alpert denied doing wrong by Channelside, saying that Ashkenazy more than doubled its occupancy rate.

He told The Sun that he sees few similarities between Harborplace and the properties in Milwaukee and Tampa. Harborplace is more similar to the historic Faneuil Hall, he said. Both were developed by the Rouse Co. and rely more heavily on tourists than the Milwaukee and Tampa malls.

In Boston last year, the association of merchants at Faneuil Hall Marketplace encouraged city officials to take a closer look at Ashkenazy because of the Channelside and Grand Avenue failures. They wanted the city to pressure struggling General Growth Properties, which owned Faneuil Hall's leasing rights, to consider other buyers.

"We were concerned because we had not had the best relationship with General Growth," said Susan Elsbree, communications director for the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the city's planning and economic development agency. Ashkenazy was an "unknown quantity" in Boston, she said, and the city wanted to make sure it wasn't inheriting another problem.

So far, Ashkenazy has not made significant changes to the look and feel of Faneuil Hall, she said, but the firm hired a well-respected management company, Jones Lang LaSalle, and the difference has been noticeable. (Jones Lang LaSalle also was hired by Bank of America to manage the Shops of Grand Avenue after Ashkenazy lost that property.)

The new managers have worked hard to market Faneuil Hall, she said. On Tuesday, CNN used the shopping center as a set for its election coverage.

"That was very creative and allowed the Marketplace to be on the world stage," Elsbree said. Boston officials are optimistic that Ashkenazy will make the most of Faneuil Hall, she said.

But, she added, "it's the beginning of the relationship."

Baltimore Sun reporter Luke Broadwater contributed to this article.