The lawsuits claim the vendors were displaced from Cross Street Market as a “direct result of the rehabilitation of the market” that began this year. Baltimore Public Markets Corp. entered an agreement in 2016 with real estate development firm Caves Valley Partners to operate and redevelop the Federal Hill market.
The business owners say new terms set forth by Caves Valley made it difficult for them to continue operating at Cross Street Market. These terms included higher rents, decreased stall space and menu changes, according to the lawsuits.
Sara Gross, chief solicitor in the city's legal department, declined to comment.
Cross 10 Grocery owner Inkyung Lee said in the lawsuit that Caves Valley asked her to leave the market because her products — lottery tickets and cigarettes — “did not fit into the plans for the renovated market.”
Judge Barry G. Williams said each vendor made a “business decision” to leave the market.
Murphy said he is representing three other Cross Street Market merchants who have also filed lawsuits against the city: Rosie's Posies Flowers and Gifts, Wireless One Inc. and Cheese Galore & More.
Wireless One’s lawsuit will be heard in the Court of Appeals in November, Murphy said.
Rosie's Posies Flowers and Gifts' lawsuit will also appear in the Court of Appeals, but a court date has not been scheduled yet. Murphy said he does not know if the florist’s case will be heard at the same time as the suits filed by Bruce Lee Wings, Baltimore’s Best Bar-B-Que, Cross 10 Grocery and Cross Street Seafood.