In view of recent media coverage, Rick Walker asked me to send you a quick status summary. As evident from our statements in the media, it is true that Lowe’s has decided not to pursue 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. 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. In the meantime, we are determining what changes, if any, are required to the approved plans as a result of the Lowe’s decision and we will keep you informed of our thinking about next steps. 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). A change in tenant does not necessarily mean a change in the PUD, though people often assume otherwise.
Walmart has spoken very clearly for itself in the media reports, and remains fully committed to the project. Rumors to the contrary are not unexpected, but they are wrong, and we would appreciate anything you can do to quell them.
Finally, to summarize the status of the PUD appeals, both the Armstrong/Hicks and the Ray/Coyne appeals were dismissed by the Circuit Court months ago, but the petitioners appealed the Circuit Court’s dismissal to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. The cases are at last scheduled to be heard in January, but the appellate court has no obligation to decide the cases by a date certain. These open-ended delays continue to pose the largest risk to the project.
I am sending this to the most comprehensive community leader list we have used in the past. Please feel free to forward to others or to post on your websites or message boards.
Thanks for your continued support and patience. Please feel free to call or email me with any questions.
Jon Laria, Esq.
Ballard Spahr LLP
300 East Lombard Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202-3268
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.ballardspahr.com