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Yeah, those stores ain't playin'

We've discussed frequently in this spot the plight of about a dozen tenants of the Carousel Center mall. They risk losing their leases to an eminent domain taking because their landlord doesn't want to negotiate with them, and three weeks ago, the state supreme court said that's just fine.

Because, you know, those stores don't have millions invested in their leases or anything, and their "we get to voice our concerns over how a mall expansion might hurt our business" clauses were just put in the leases because, well, because it's a poetic phrase that doesn't really mean anything.

Right. I've been saying all along that this might be the right time for the stores to just say, "OK, we're gone." They haven't done that, but they have taken an intermediary step: they've asked their lawyers to prepare an appeal to the SCOTUS.

The SCOTUS has in the past upheld some rulings for taking property by eminent domain for private development, but the court might take this up, because it's only taking some of the lease by eminent domain – the companies will all have to keep paying their rent in order to keep their stores open, but they would have no say over a loss of nearby parking spaces and mall entrances.

Voice-over: Meanwhile, not far away in a not-too-distant part of town...

Just west of the Inner Harbor – perhaps a mile away from the Carousel Center – Salt City Enterprises has bought 10 lake front properties and has started to rehab the buildings into what will surely be a thriving commercial area.

Yes, Pyramid did great things with Franklin Square. And while they may be the end-all as far as development goes in this town, they are certainly not the be-all.
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