State Center heads to mediation Thursday

Formal mediation between the developer of State Center and the state begin Thursday in an effort to resolve disputes over the long-delayed project.

The plan, in the works for more than 10 years, would redevelop a 28-acre swath of midtown Baltimore with homes and stores anchored by offices rented by the state. It has been stalled since 2014, when the Board of Public Works postponed a vote on a change to the size of of the project's state parking garage, deferring to the new administration.

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Melissa Heuer
Mt. Royal residents strongly support the State Center project

The benefits agreement is the first of its kind in Baltimore and is unique even at a national level. It defines the community support and cooperation between the parties involved, and it is something that we should all be proud of.

We are not alone. All the area neighborhoods, including Seton Hill, Mt. Vernon-Belvedere and Heritage Crossing, have repeatedly voiced their support for the redevelopment project.

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Melissa Heuer
Community groups support State Center project

The state's annual cost of operating the complex in its current condition is almost the same as it would be to occupy new LEED silver state offices built to spec for their unique needs. Furthermore, there are no subsidies. The new State Center plan is 100 percent private investment, period.

Reverend Alvin Hathaway of Union Baptist Church reminds us, "before they came in and artificially changed the street patterns, this was all one community." The spirit of this project is to reunite neighborhoods, bring opportunity and improve walkability and the use of our underutilized mass transit system. It's in all of our best interests.

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Melissa Heuer
Why Baltimore needs a new State Center

In an attempt to stabilize and revitalize neighborhoods in West Baltimore during the 1950s, the Maryland developed the State Center campus, a poorly planned office park that failed to take into account the needs of the surrounding neighborhoods.

Over time the buildings have deteriorated and state employees have been left to work in substandard conditions. The proposed project will update the aging office buildings while providing a link between Midtown-Belvedere and West Baltimore.

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Melissa Heuer
State Center redevelopment is long overdue in Baltimore

The state of Maryland and the State Center developers officially begin mediation this week aimed at resolving their long-held differences over proceeding with the redevelopment of the State Center complex in West Baltimore.

Our State Center Neighborhood Alliance, Inc. (SCNA) — composed of nine diverse communities working together — has been engaged in every step of this project for over 10 years, through three different governors. We were on board before there was a development team and even participated in its selection. We believe that the time for redevelopment is overdue, and we look forward to a positive outcome — positive for the state, positive for the project and positive for our neighborhoods surrounding the site.

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Melissa Heuer
State Center project should go forward

This project will transform an underdeveloped section of the city into a world-class business, entertainment and residential center. It will create, over time, tens of thousands of new jobs and tens of millions of dollars in new tax revenues and ground rents while eliminating the millions of dollars a year the state pays to maintain and operate the current campus.

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Melissa Heuer
An Update On The Faded State Center Complex

For years developers and community leaders have seen in State Center the potential to support shops and updated office space.  But the re-development has been stalled for various reasons – we’d like to understand why, and what’s happening now. So we invited John Kyle.  He has lived in nearby Bolton Hill for about three decades, and is President of the State Center Neighborhood Alliance, a coalition of a dozen surrounding neighborhoods.

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Melissa Heuer
Why is State Center project still on hold?

State Center was a failed urban renewal project, and now we finally have the chance to correct it. This is a project that will benefit all, not just a privileged few. Peter Angelos and his cronies have been thwarting this project because they think it will take development away from downtown. So let him develop downtown and stop sitting on derelict buildings while doing nothing to improve them.

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Melissa Heuer
'Ecodistricts' discussed for new Baltimore developments

For State Center — where plans were first approved in 2008, before the new stormwater rules went into effect — the delay caused by the lawsuit means rethinking the designs, Moore said. The suit, brought in 2010 by a group of business owners backed by attorney Peter Angelos, contends that the award of rights for the $1.5 billion project to build state offices, residences and stores on did not follow competitive bid procedures. The MarylandCourt of Appeals dismissed the lawsuit this spring.

"I want to be really smart in having State Center be able to crack that code on stormwater management," Moore said. "We could look district-wide for solutions. We should figure out how to do that incredibly well and do it economically and smartly and elegantly."

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Melissa Heuer