Injunction request dropped in city search for slots developers

Lottery Commission filing releases developer's initial $3 million bidding fee

May 04, 2011|By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore City will be able to continue seeking new proposals for its 17-acre slots casino site in South Baltimore, after a rejected bidder dropped a legal request to halt the process for finding a developer.

The Baltimore City Entertainment Group — the sole bidder in 2009 for the site near Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium — has withdrawn its request for an injunction, according the company's attorney, John F. Dougherty.

A hearing had been scheduled for Thursday morning, after Canadian developer Michael Moldenhauer filed motions in Baltimore City Circuit Court last month for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction. Moldenhauer's filing had come after city and state officials announced plans to issue a new request for proposals for the casino project.

"Based on admissions made by the city and the lottery commission in their filings, BCEG withdrew its motion requesting a [temporary restraining order] and injunction," Dougherty said in an email Wednesday.

In a filing, BCEG said it decided to withdraw its request after state regulators said they would release a $3 million fee submitted with the company's initial bid.

Previously, Moldenhauer's lawyers said the group would've suffered "irreparable injury" if the state is permitted to seek new bidders for the city casino, because the new round of bidding would force the company to submit another $3 million, putting it at a competitive disadvantage.

BCEG was the only developer to submit an application, and other developers who had considered bidding later said that they had not understood where they could build. City officials, who said revenue from slots would be used to reduce the property tax rate and build and repair school buildings, are again seeking prospective for the slots site, which sits along Russell Street, south of the stadiums.

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