Hotel Owners Block Auction

August 28, 2009|By Ed Gunts | Ed Gunts,Ed.gunts@baltsun.com

Attorneys for the owner of Baltimore's historic B&O Building, home of the new Hotel Monaco, have taken legal steps to block a possible September auction of the property by appealing a Baltimore Circuit Court decision that enables a Millersville lumber company to hold a sale on the premises.

Attorneys for Baltimore and Charles Associates, owner of the B&O Building at 2 N. Charles St., on Monday filed a notice of appeal of an Aug. 5 ruling by Circuit Judge Evelyn Omega Cannon. Cannon had issued a final order establishing a mechanic's lien and directing the sale to move forward unless the building owner pays the J. F. Johnson Lumber Co. $184,000 plus interest and attorneys' fees by this coming Monday.

Johnson had sued Baltimore and Charles Associates and general contractor James M. Jost & Co. of Columbia, claiming it is owed more than $230,000 for lumber products used to renovate the building, which opened July 30 as home of the $65 million, 202-room Hotel Monaco Baltimore. The filing of the appeal was intended to halt the auction so the case can be heard by Maryland's Court of Special Appeals. To avert the auction, the notice of appeal had to be accompanied by a bond sufficient to cover the $184,000 judgment plus interest and fees. Robert Ferguson of Ferguson, Schetelich and Ballew P. A., the attorney for Baltimore and Charles Associates, said the bond was "at least" $184,000. Laura A. Bates, a representative for Hillman, Brown and Darrow P.A., the law firm representing Johnson Lumber, and Robert W. Johnson, president of the lumber company, said they could not immediately confirm that the sale has been averted.

Representatives for the Hotel Monaco say it is not a party to the lawsuit and will remain open regardless of the outcome in the Court of Special Appeals.

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