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Maryland voids leases for long-stalled State Center project, plans to study other options

December 21st, 2016 by WCBC Radio

The Board of Public Works voted unanimously Wednesday to cancel lease agreements at the $1.5 billion State Center project. Gov. Larry Hogan vowed the action would clear the way for major redevelopment in midtown Baltimore.

Hogan, backed by Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, in effect pulled the plug on the project as envisioned under Gov. Martin O'Malley. Hogan said the plan as it stood made "absolutely no sense" but promised to work with city officials to find a new way forward.

"Our administration is absolutely committed to the redevelopment of the State Center project," he said. The project first received board approval about seven years ago but has been stalled by court challenges, debt concerns and the change of gubernatorial administrations.

While the governor promised to immediately launch a new redevelopment effort at the aging state government complex, a lawyer for the current developer warned that the board's action could delay groundbreaking on the project for as long as a decade.

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