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Listen to the Baltimore Sun's Dan Rodricks and Caroline Moore, CEO of Ekistics, the Baltimore development firm and leader developer of State Center discuss Maryland’s governor, comptroller and treasurer — the state’s Board of Public Works — vote to cancel the $1.5 billion State Center redevelopment plan on mid-town Baltimore’s west side, a project 10 years in the making.
If reasoning and rationales don't go anywhere, political pressure is what is left. It was impressive to see Delegates, Senators and council people unite behind a project that had obtained so much consensus and praise for its design, its concept and its ability to create a win-win for the State and surrounding communities.
Dozens of community leaders, lawmakers and city residents — frustrated by the stalled State Center redevelopment — rallied Monday outside City Hall, calling on Gov. Larry Hogan to move forward with the West Baltimore project.
It occurs to me that Hogan has a great opportunity to respond personally, get out of the litigation and perhaps spare the state a costly settlement. Before he took office, the governor ran a successful company that, according to its website, "completed $2 billion in real estate transactions by bringing sellers and buyers together to create win-win scenarios."
Given that, the governor should strive for a win-win with State Center instead of scrapping a decade of hard work — especially when it includes a chance to show how much he loves Baltimore.
Baltimore lawmakers called on Gov. Larry Hogan Friday to drop the state's lawsuit against the developer of the $1.5 billion State Center project and come to the table to discuss how to get the midtown development plan back on track.
"This community was supposed to be the renaissance of the new West Baltimore," she said. "There has not been anything in 14 years. That's a long time to make a dream deferred."
One of Governor Hogan’s key messages is that “Maryland is open for business.” His commitment to fiscally responsible growth should be commended. However, his arbitrarily pulling-the-plug on large projects with profound long-term benefits calls into question the State’s reliability as a business partner. In this case, I refer to State Center.
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.
"At a time when State Center could be contributing to the city's depleted tax base, we are instead wasting money on inactivity and a politically motivated lawsuit filed by the State against the development team. There is too much at stake for the community of West Baltimore, the entire city, and the state for us not to come together."
Our community could only watch as Governor Hogan slipped a last-minute agenda item into the final Board of Public Works’ meeting of 2016, pulling the plug on the State Center Redevelopment Project. With little explanation and no public comment, the State of Maryland flushed a project down the drain, taking a lot more down with it than most realize.
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