Howard board, superintendent in legal battle as they run county school system

Ex 'Superblock' developers seek third appeal

Round three of appeals for ex 'Superblock' developers.

Denied twice already, the former developers of the so-called 'Superblock' are petitioning the state's highest court to review what they say is the city's improper termination of a deal that granted them exclusive rights to build on city-owned land.

Lexington Square Partners LLC filed a petition June 25 asking the Maryland Court of Appeals to review the case. In May, the Special Court of Appeals in May dismissed their suit upholding a 2014 circuit court ruling that the city was within its rights to end its land disposition agreement for the area.

Lexington Square, which is seeking more than $50 million in damages, maintains the project was slowed by events beyond its control and it was making enough progress at the time of cancellation to protect against automatic expiration of the deal. It says it is a victim of the city's decision to "about-face" so that it could change the scope of the project.

"Under the ruling of the Court of Special Appeals, the City now has a blueprint for extricating itself from contractual obligations it chooses to discard for whatever reason," Saul Ewing LLP attorneys wrote in the petition on behalf of Lexington Square.

Baltimore first selected Lexington Square, formerly known as the Chera Feil Goldman Group, to develop the Superblock site with apartments and retail in 2005, reaching the land disposition agreement in 2007. The Superblock is located on the city's west side, roughly bounded by Lexington, Howard and Fayette streets and Park Avenue.

In 2013, the city declined to grant the firm a sixth extension of the agreement, citing lack of financing. The lower courts have upheld the expiration of the contract.

nsherman@baltsun.com

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