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Developer's Lawyer Says 25th Street Station Changes Don't Impact PUD

Jon Laria, WV Urban Developments lawyer, calls open-ended delays such as lawsuits "the largest risk to the project."

The lawyer for the developer of the proposed 25th Street Station mixed-used project in Remington sent an email to community leaders asserting that Lowe’s decision to not have a store there does not fundamentally change plans to build the development.  

Jon Laria, who represents Rick Walker's WV Urban Developments, wrote that losing the big-box home improvement store as a tenant does not impact the planned unit development, which is granted some flexibility in its uses.

“Please help us make clear to your constituents and communities that the PUD does not specify or require particular tenants, but rather a development plan and other parameters (which many of you know too well),” Laria wrote to community leaders. “A change in tenant does not necessarily mean a change in the PUD, though people often assume otherwise.”

Last week, Lowe’s, one of the development’s anchor tenants, announced it was no longer interested in building a store at the proposed mixed-use development along 25th Street in Remington. The project has been a divisive issue in surrounding neighborhoods. 

Laria also wrote in the emqil that the project’s other anchor tenant, Walmart, continues to be dedicated to the project, and he asked community leaders to dispel rumors about the discount chain pulling out.

He also wrote that the economy and lawsuits challenging the proposed development’s planned unit development played a roll in Lowe’s decision to pull out of the project.

“While disappointing to all of us, it is not unusual for the tenant mix of a large development project to change over time, especially when a soft economy affects the business operations of so many retailers,” Laria wrote. “Unfortunately, the pending PUD appeals have created further delays and exacerbated the risk of this kind of thing happening, a risk that will continue until the appeals are resolved with finality.”

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments in January regarding the Baltimore Circuit Court’s decision to dismiss two lawsuits challenging the project's planned unit development. Laria wrote "open-ended delays continue to pose the largest risk to the project."

Joe Stewart October 28, 2011 at 12:54 PM
How many residents would have actually supported a redevelopment plan where Walmart was the main attraction?

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