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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.