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Possible reconciliation in Maryland real estate litigation

Real estate transactions can cause local and regional controversies, especially when deals include historical landmarks or public finances. A number of issues are involved in real estate litigation associated with downtown Baltimore, Maryland. Recent reports indicate the litigation may come to a settlement, but not everyone is happy about that news.

The controversy over an area known as the Superblock began years ago. A group of buildings was purchased by the city several decades ago. The purpose of the acquisition was to revive the area, but the project was encumbered by a number of Commercial real estate woes.

Litigation from a local sports team owner, outcry over the demolition of historic buildings and tax breaks for developers all sparked ongoing controversy over the project. A contract with a developer ran into several problems because the company could not obtain private financing for the work. The developer received five extensions from the project before the agreement was terminated.

The termination of that agreement led to even more real estate litigation. The developers filed a lawsuit for $50 million for violation of exclusivity rights - a judge signed off on the suit, which was set to go to trial. A trial could hold area development up for years, as no other company could work on the Superblock until the issue was resolved.

The mayor, who was elected in 2010, has made the Superblock area a top priority. She has pushed reconciliation between all parties, including preservationists. She is also one of the sources stating litigation in the case could be settled soon. Even if a settlement is reached, the Superblock development is unlikely to move forward immediately. Decisions will have to be made on whether the project should continue with the developers in the settlement or with new partners.

Source: BaltimoreBrew, "Mayor weighs settling lawsuit by former Superblock developers" Mark Reutter, Dec. 12, 2013

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