State officially seeks interest in redeveloping State Center, attracting one developer already

Maryland officially launched a do-over for the stalled redevelopment of the State Center project in Midtown Baltimore and already has attracted interest from at least one firm, Owings Mills-based David S. Brown Enterprises.

The Maryland Stadium Authority and the Maryland Department of General Services issued a request for “expression of interest” in taking over the redevelopment of 28 acres of state offices, a project seen as key to economic development in the city.

The site is considered a transit-oriented development by city and state officials for its location adjacent to subway and light rail stops. It’s also near Symphony Center, a complex of apartments, offices and shops, developed by David S. Brown.

Howard Brown, the development company’s chairman, said he has the financial wherewithal and expertise to complete the State Center project and said Friday he remains “strongly interested” in taking over the redevelopment.

The project, however, remains mired in lawsuits with a developer that began working on it in 2009. Baltimore-based Ekistics LLC was planning a $1.5 billion redevelopment that included new offices for hundreds of state workers, residences and shops.

Gov. Larry Hogan had called for a new developer, citing slow progress and runaway costs. The state sued Ekistics last year to force it out of its leases and Ekistics countersued. A lawyer for Ekistics did not respond to request for comment.

It’s not clear how the litigation will be resolved, or if the project can proceed.

State officials say the request seeking interest from experienced firms is the first step in a multi-step process of selecting a new master developer for the complex off Howard Street.

Stadium Authority officials say they intend to invite qualified respondents to the latest request for interest to also respond to a request for information, which will serve as a basis for creating a short list of firms invited to respond to a request for proposals.

Responses from interested developers are due Aug. 22 and results are expected in September.

meredith.cohn@baltsun.com

twitter.com/mercohn

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
39°