Nick's Inner Harbor Seafood at Cross Street Market files legal action to prevent eviction

Nick's Seafood at Cross Street Market has filed motion to keep its spot.

Nick's Inner Harbor Seafood is fighting to stay at Cross Street Market after the market's developer terminated its lease earlier this month.

Nick's filed a motion in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on Monday requesting an injunction to prevent its eviction. Caves Valley Partners, which is redeveloping Cross Street Market, gave Nick's owners notice on Jan. 1 that their lease would be terminated as of Jan. 31, citing health code violations.

The motion, filed against CSM Ventures LLC, the Baltimore Public Markets Corp. and Robert Thomas, the executive director of Baltimore Public Markets Corp., seeks a declaration that Nick's did not default on its lease through health violations, a temporary restraining order, and temporary and permanent injunctions barring the market's owners from evicting Nick's at the end of January.

Nick's pays approximately $9,600 per month in rent, according to the court documents. Its lease ends June 30, 2018, with the option to renew for five more years.

Although Nick's has been found with health code violations, they have been corrected on-site, and the business has never been forced to close.

Caves Valley took over the market at the start of the year, with Mackenzie Management running the space, as part of a partnership with the city to revamp the tired market. A $6.5 million overhaul is set to start in May, and construction will last 10 months. The market would close during renovations and reopen in spring 2018. 

Although Caves Valley plans to keep the majority of the market's existing tenants, the Towson-based firm has received backlash from community members concerned about eliminating Nick's, a market anchor, and forcing other vendors to close or relocate during construction.

Attorneys Gary Maslan and Peter Prevas, who are representing Nick's, did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Thomas, the public markets' executive director, could not be reached for comment. And Arsh Mirmiran, a partner in Caves Valley Partners, declined to comment.

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