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June 21, 2011

City clears legal hurdle over slots site

City officials have agreed to pay a local development team $1.2 million to settle a 2007 deal on a portion of land included in the 17-acre parcel slated for a slots parlor, clearing one of the last legal hurdles before the site can be developed.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's office announced today that it had reached the agreement with Gateway South LLC, headed by Samuel Polakoff, over the 11-acre site off of Russell Street. The deal is slated to go before the five-member Board of Estimates tomorrow.

The quasi-public Baltimore Development Corporation awarded the exclusive negotiating rights to Polakoff for the 11-acre waterfront site in 2007. Polakoff, whose company was then called Cormony Development LLC, had plans to team with Ray Lewis to build offices, shops, restaurants and a sports entertainment complex on the site.

Polakoff had initially asked for as much as $4 million to repay the investment he had made in the property, but the city negotiated the amount down, according to a statement from Rawlings-Blake's office.

One last legal challenge remains on the site. Canadian developer Michael Moldenhauer, who was the sole bidder on the casino in 2009, is appealing the state's decision not to grant his company a slots license.

The state slots commission issued a new request for proposals for the site in late April and applications are due at the end of next month. Moldenhauer is among the developers who are considering placing a bid on the project.

Posted by Julie Scharper at 2:59 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: City Hall, Slots
        

Comments

What a waste of taxpayers dollars.
Who is responsible for this latest slots boondoggle?
An unnamed young employee does not cut it-the head of the BDC has some explaining to do and fast.
Callous disregard for taxpayer money!

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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