Takeover may delay reopening of Fishmarket


A Baltimore corporation obtained ownership of the Fishmarket yesterday, casting doubts on a new plan to reopen the failed nightclub complex as early as this summer.

Just hours after Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke reiterated that a prominent Baltimore developer was poised to revive the Fishmarket, a corporation holding a lien on the property gained ownership.

The turn of events surprised Mr. Schmoke. "Obviously it would complicate this matter, and the timetable [for reopening] would probably be changed," he said last night.

The new owners would not spell out their plans for the property.

"We are happy to be cooperative with the city in their efforts to reopen the Fishmarket and clean up the area," said Harvey Nusbaum, president of G.A.A. Inc. Neither he nor Jack Stoloff, vice president of the company, would elaborate.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Joseph H.H. Kaplan signed a decree granting ownership of the Fishmarket to G.A.A. Inc. and a sister corporation yesterday -- minutes after a Boston judge dismissed a bankruptcy petition filed by the former owners of the Fishmarket. The Boston judge's move cleared the way for the foreclosure action in Baltimore.

Mr. Schmoke announced two weeks ago that he and developer David Cordish had reached an "agreement in principle" to lower taxes on the Market Square property, the main obstacle to getting the doors open again. The mayor predicted that part of the nightclub complex, which has been closed for four years, would open as early as June.

Mr. Cordish and the Boston-based McCourt Co. -- the Fishmarket developer that had filed for bankruptcy -- were to have been 50-50 partners in the revival effort.

Mr. Cordish and Frank H. McCourt Jr. of the McCourt Co. could not be reached for comment last night.

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