Westport development lawsuit dismissed, to be filed again

A lawsuit over the ownership of the Westport waterfront that was dismissed last month by a bankruptcy judge will be re-filed in a different court, an attorney for real estate developer Patrick Turner said Monday.

Kenneth B. Frank said the suit against potential investors, alleging they conspired to gain control of a 43-acre waterfront in southwest Baltimore, will soon be filed in federal district court. Frank, who represents Turner, his partner Thomas B. Fore and their Westport-related companies, said Judge Robert A. Gordon determined bankruptcy court was not an appropriate venue for the suit.

Turner and Fore allege the two firms, Vision Capital Partners LLC and Warhorse-Baltimore Real Estate LLC, and their principals orchestrated a bait-and-switch to get around confidentiality and non disclosure agreements, thereby allowing them to attempt to purchase a loan that is secured by the waterfront land.

In 2006, Turner revealed plans for a mixed-use development on the western banks of the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River. To make it happen, Turner negotiated a roughly $30 million loan. When plans for the development derailed, the loan could not be repaid.

Turner and Fore allege the principals of the two defendant firms schemed, by posing as investors, to get information about the land and loan. They then used that knowledge to try and buy the note directly from the bank, the lawsuit alleges.

An attorney for Vision Capital Partners declined to comment on the case, and a call to the lawyer representing Warhorse-Baltimore Real Estate LLC was not returned late Monday.



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