Food & Drink

Nicholas Piscatelli loses libel lawsuit, still can't unload megaclub Redwood Trust

Nicholas Piscatelli's annus horribilis seems to be extending into 2012.

On Tuesday, the Maryland Court of Appeals sided against the developer in a four-year-old libel lawsuit against Baltimore City Paper.  Meanwhile, his former megaclub, Redwood Trust, is still up for sale, and at half the price from when it was first listed six years ago.


Last year, Piscatelli tried to auction off 200 E. Redwood, the nearly 130-year-old building that once housed Baltimore's Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust, and that Piscatelli spent $2.5 million in 2000 to turn into the megaclub Redwood Trust.

It was a last-ditch effort to unload a building Piscatelli had first listed for sale in 2004 for $3 million.


The starting bid was $1.2 million, and after 11 bids were deemed unaacceptable, was reduced to $800,000 to attract more attention.

Still, the building didn't sell.

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On Tuesday, Piscatelli's realtor, Leo McDermott, said the building was still for sale, now listed at $1.5 million.

McDermott blames "a slow market."

Redwood's sole tenant is the club Dubai, whose lease ends in May, McDermott said. The club, which was formerly the troubled Velvet Rope, has the option to renew.

Piscatelli got more bad news Monday, when Judge Glenn T. Har­rell ruled against him in his legal battle with City Paper.

Piscatelli had sued the weekly over a pair of stories that appeared in 2006 and 2007 that included allegations he may have been involved in the shooting of of club promoters Jason M. Convertino and Sean M. Wisniewski.

Harrell said the allegations in the story, made by Convertino's mother, were "based on disclosed, privileged statements, those opinions are themselves privileged as fair comment."


City Paper has the full ruling here. For a brief history of 200 E. Redwood, click here.