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State Center developer calls state lawsuit 'lose, lose'

State Center developer calls state lawsuit 'lose, lose'
Baltimore, MD -- The State Center complex in the early evening as workers leave their offices. Amy Davis [Sun Photographer] (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

The spurned developer of State Center is trying to keep the pressure on Gov. Larry Hogan, after the state moved to cancel a deal that would have overhauled a large section of mid-town Baltimore with new shops, residences and offices for state workers.

Caroline Moore, president of lead developer Ekistics LLC, sent another letter to Hogan on Monday seeking an audience to try to resolve the matter out of court. The state sued to cancel the agreement in December, shortly after formal mediation ended.

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"Your lawsuit against us is wasting taxpayer dollars on attorneys, further delaying the redevelopment of West Baltimore, and burning up state operating funds, which are continuing to pay for the outrageous costs to keep the dilapidated State Center buildings open in inhumane worker conditions," she wrote in the letter. "This is a lose, lose, proposition."

Moore has said she wants to move forward with the $1.5 billion State Center project, and is open to changing the plans in response to state concerns. She and others also have tried to keep the project alive by promoting the project, which they hope will include a grocery store, at a community meeting last month at the Union Baptist Church.

Hogan spokeswoman Shareese DeLeaver-Churchill called the decision "bipartisan." (The vote to terminate leases with the developer was supported by Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp, both Democrats.) She said Hogan and other leaders plan to redevelop the site "into something great for the local community, the city and the state as a whole."

This story has been updated with comment from the Hogan administration.

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