BALTIMORE — After nearly a decade and a half, redevelopment of Maryland's State Center is picking up steam.
On Tuesday, Governor Larry Hogan announced that the State has been given the green light to immediately begin the Request for Information and Request for Proposals process.
These new steps come amid legal battles that have been ongoing for years between the State and past developers over a prior agreement.
But Hogan says last June, he had the State's Department of General Services put out an expression of interest for any investors that may be interested in redeveloping the State Center site. According to Hogan, the State received numerous responses from interested developers.
Once the request processes are complete, Hogan said employee relocation will start, beginning with the Maryland Department of Labor.
The plan would have state workers placed in over 1 million square feet of office space throughout Downtown Baltimore.
With around 3,000 employees, State Center is located in West Baltimore, and is currently one of Maryland's largest state agency hubs.
Hogan says the goal is to have affordable housing and retail space be apart of the redevelopment.
During the announcement, Hogan blamed past administrations on the long stalemate.
Following Hogan's announcement, Attorney Michael J. Edney, representing State Center in lawsuits against Maryland, released a statement criticizing the Governor's decision to move state employees out of State Center.
Today the Governor announced the hollowing out of State Center. By transferring every government agency out of State Center forever, he has broken the State’s decades-long commitment to the surrounding communities and to the City not to do so.
It is no coincidence that today’s surprise announcement comes days after the Court ordered some transparency into what this Governor was up to in cancelling the State Center Project. Citing allegations of “government misconduct,” the Court observed how the Governor “abruptly reversed course” on its “long-term partners.” The midtown Baltimore community must feel the same way today, as it forever loses the government employees anchoring State Center. The Governor is long on details for cleaning out State Center, but short on any description of the future.
There still is no timetable for completion of the redevelopment project.
Read a court memorandum on the case below.