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NEWS
March 24, 2011
As the president of the largest trade group of commercial contractors in Maryland, I want to add my voice of support to the State Center redevelopment project planned for Midtown Baltimore. Given the tumultuous couple of years the construction industry has endured (of course, as difficult as things have been, we recognize that Maryland has fared significantly better than the rest of the country), State Center represents a tremendous opportunity for local contractors. But moreover, State Center represents a substantial opportunity for the fortunes of Baltimore and surrounding regions, as this project taps into the heart of the city's untapped market potential.
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SPORTS
By Aaron Dodson, The Baltimore Sun | July 7, 2014
All Ian Chiles wanted, whether he was drafted or not, was a chance to play in the NBA. The 7-foot-2, 260-pound former Morgan State center didn't hear his named called during the NBA draft June 26, but soon he'll get his long-awaited chance to play for an NBA team. On Monday, the Washington Wizards named Chiles to the team's 16-man roster for the Las Vegas Summer League, which begins Friday. The news came as a surprise to Ian's father, who knew the Wizards were considering his son but was unsure whether he'd make it. "I didn't know whether he made it or it was a tryout," Joel Chiles said.
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NEWS
June 7, 2011
John E. Kyle's recent letter ("Angelos and other critics late to weigh in on State Center," June 1) is yet another example of a proponent of the $1.5 billion State Center project refusing to explain how and why the state's competitive bidding laws were ignored. Time and again, State Center advocates refuse to address the critical issues. Instead, they divert attention by attacking one of the messengers. Contrary to critics' aspersions, Peter Angelos has done much to better our city and state.
NEWS
March 29, 2014
A decade ago, the redevelopment of the state office complex in midtown Baltimore — now known as State Center — looked like a no-brainer. Built in the 1950s and 1960s, the five buildings in the 28-acre complex, which hadn't exactly been architecturally inspired to begin with, needed to be replaced. And the site's access to Baltimore's Metro subway system suggested great potential for transit-oriented development. But wait, it was even better than that. State Center is also convenient to the city's major cultural attractions and to the light rail line as well as MARC commuter rail, so state and city officials thought big — a $1.5 billion mixed use project with apartments for a variety of income levels, a grocery store and shopping as well as a parking garage and office space for state employees, all of which could be accomplished as a public-private partnership.
NEWS
June 11, 2011
State Center opposition plaintiff David E. Johnson recently attacked a community volunteer, John Kyle, in his letter ("Critical questions about State Center left unanswered," June 7) calling Mr. Kyle's recent letter in support of the project sensationalism. That characterization is, frankly, offensive to the residents of this community and clearly a point of view from someone who is out of touch with the many neighborhoods that surround the State Center project. This is not sensationalism, it's realism!
NEWS
May 16, 2011
We are writing as representatives of the state of Maryland to provide facts regarding the State Center project in response to inaccurate statements made in several letters to this paper. First, the 28-acre project site, which now yields zero tax dollars, will be placed on the tax rolls to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new city and state taxes over the course of the project's life. Second, the developer will pay to the state an estimated $135 million over the next 50 years for a ground lease on the property — a site appraised at $1.8 million but currently generating zero dollars for public benefit.
NEWS
March 29, 2014
A decade ago, the redevelopment of the state office complex in midtown Baltimore — now known as State Center — looked like a no-brainer. Built in the 1950s and 1960s, the five buildings in the 28-acre complex, which hadn't exactly been architecturally inspired to begin with, needed to be replaced. And the site's access to Baltimore's Metro subway system suggested great potential for transit-oriented development. But wait, it was even better than that. State Center is also convenient to the city's major cultural attractions and to the light rail line as well as MARC commuter rail, so state and city officials thought big — a $1.5 billion mixed use project with apartments for a variety of income levels, a grocery store and shopping as well as a parking garage and office space for state employees, all of which could be accomplished as a public-private partnership.
NEWS
April 10, 2011
The two sides in the controversy over the plan to redevelop the State Center complex of government offices in midtown Baltimore were in court this week, but the arguments there over the methods used to select the project's development team are a mere sideshow. Whether the state followed the appropriate procurement law is certainly important, but it is not the real reason why a group of downtown property and business owners — most notably, attorney Peter G. Angelos — have filed their lawsuit.
NEWS
January 26, 2013
A Baltimore Circuit Court judge's decision to void the proposed $1.5 billion public-private partnership to redevelop the State Center office complex in Baltimore puts the state in a severe bind. It now faces both the immediate, practical concerns about how to replace aging and inadequate office space that is increasingly expensive to maintain, and the broader implications of a ruling that could, theoretically, put at risk other public-private partnerships that are under way or in the works.
NEWS
January 30, 2013
The ends don't justify the means in State Center deal. You are right that a redeveloped State Center can be a good thing for Baltimore ("State Center debacle," Jan. 27), but we disagree with the implication that the ends in this case justified the means. Our institute's research shows that state government offered $127 million in taxpayer-financed assets to State Center's developers without any competitive bidding process. These assets included bond issuances, state-owned land, and above-market rental rates.
SPORTS
By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | January 7, 2014
At 7 feet, 2 inches and 260 pounds, Ian Chiles is not difficult to spot on the Morgan State campus. The senior center is beginning to get some attention outside of Baltimore, too. Chiles was selected by College Hoops Daily to the website's “Best of 2013” All Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team, which is composed of five players from the league for their performances in the non-conference portions of their schedules. Chiles ranks second on the Bears (3-10) in points (14.5) and rebounds (5.5)
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar | March 4, 2013
Maryland's highest court plans to wait until its next term to hear the State Center lawsuit appeal, according to the court's website. The Court of Appeals' term starts on the second Monday of September. In mid-February the court said it would hear the appeal, allowing the case to skip the state's intermediate appellate court. Both sides are interested in having the case resolved as quickly as possible. Here's some background on the case from an earlier Real Estate Wonk post: In January, Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Althea M. Handy voided the development contracts that set up a framework for a mixed-use overhaul of a 28-acre site in midtown Baltimore that houses several state agencies.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar and The Baltimore Sun | February 12, 2013
The state's highest court will review a Baltimore judge's declaration that contracts at the heart of the long-planned State Center redevelopment are void. Maryland's Court of Appeals granted the review on Tuesday. The decision means the case will skip the state's intermediate appellate court. In January, Judge Althea M. Handy voided the development contracts that set up a framework for a mixed-use overhaul of a 28-acre site in midtown Baltimore that houses several state agencies.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | February 1, 2013
The state is appealing a circuit court judge's January ruling that voided contracts essential to the planned redevelopment of the State Center complex in midtown Baltimore, according to court records filed Friday. The Department of General Services and the Department of Transportation, joined by the project's developers, are petitioning the state's highest court to bypass the intermediate appellate court and hear the appeal quickly. The ruling by Baltimore City Circuit Judge Althea M. Handy creates confusion about the state's business practices and therefore needs to be dealt with swiftly, according to filings by Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler's office and lawyers for the State Center development team.
NEWS
January 30, 2013
The ends don't justify the means in State Center deal. You are right that a redeveloped State Center can be a good thing for Baltimore ("State Center debacle," Jan. 27), but we disagree with the implication that the ends in this case justified the means. Our institute's research shows that state government offered $127 million in taxpayer-financed assets to State Center's developers without any competitive bidding process. These assets included bond issuances, state-owned land, and above-market rental rates.
NEWS
January 26, 2013
A Baltimore Circuit Court judge's decision to void the proposed $1.5 billion public-private partnership to redevelop the State Center office complex in Baltimore puts the state in a severe bind. It now faces both the immediate, practical concerns about how to replace aging and inadequate office space that is increasingly expensive to maintain, and the broader implications of a ruling that could, theoretically, put at risk other public-private partnerships that are under way or in the works.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | October 24, 2010
Redwood Tower, two blocks north of Harborplace in downtown Baltimore, boasts spacious corner offices, harbor views, a brick-and-glass exterior and a unique perch atop a historic building. It also offers parking and access to shopping, restaurants and mass transit. What is missing, its managers say, are workers to fill the half-empty, 15-story building, which lost a key tenant when the state Department of Business and Economic Development moved out more than a year ago. The tower is one of many buildings in downtown Baltimore struggling with a high vacancy rate — a problem at the heart of criticism over plans for a $1.5 billion development project on the western edge of the Mount Vernon neighborhood.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | February 1, 2013
The state is appealing a circuit court judge's January ruling that voided contracts essential to the planned redevelopment of the State Center complex in midtown Baltimore, according to court records filed Friday. The Department of General Services and the Department of Transportation, joined by the project's developers, are petitioning the state's highest court to bypass the intermediate appellate court and hear the appeal quickly. The ruling by Baltimore City Circuit Judge Althea M. Handy creates confusion about the state's business practices and therefore needs to be dealt with swiftly, according to filings by Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler's office and lawyers for the State Center development team.
BUSINESS
By Candy Thomson, The Baltimore Sun | January 18, 2013
The state has a long list of public-works projects but little money. The private sector is willing to invest but has been starved for work. From that simple equation comes a business model called public-private partnerships — or P3s — that Maryland hopes will help alleviate its backlog of transportation and other infrastructure needs. The O'Malley administration is expected to unveil legislation this week that would offer a channel for tapping into a reservoir of corporate money and expertise.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar | January 17, 2013
The $1.5 billion overhaul of State Center in midtown Baltimore is effectively dead after a judge voided development contracts essential to the project. “The court's ruling reconfirms the significance of following the competitive bidding laws,” said Alan M. Rifkin, the attorney for a group of business owners and landlords who sued the state, alleging that the contracts were illegitimate. Unless the state mounts a successful appeal and can resurrect the public-private partnership deal, the court order Thursday requires the state to go back to the drawing board on the project, in the pipeline since the administration of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. A new start would mean following the state's procurement laws, which require finding public financing for the project - a tall order in austere times.
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