Development of Foundry Row in Owings Mills, Maryland, has not been easy. The project, a shopping center with office space, ran into opposition from other businesses in 2012 when the developer sought to rezone the site for retail. With that hurdle out of the way, the developer moved forward with planning and with the demolition of the Solo Cup Co. plant that occupies the site.
Solo Cup sold the site in 2011. In October 2012, Solo Cup filed a lawsuit against developers Greenberg Gibbons Commercial Corp. and Vanguard Commercial Development Inc. In the months that followed, the parties accused each other of breaching their lease. Last week, the parties announced they had failed to reach an agreement through mediation, so they will likely be heading to court. It could be a year before the matter goes before a judge, though, and no one is sure what the impact on Foundry Row construction will be.
The Solo Cup site included an energy plant that had provided electricity to the plant. Solo Cup had leased the equipment in the plant in an agreement scheduled to end in 2017. The Foundry Row developers signed a sublease with Solo Cup, agreeing to continue to pay the rent and to maintain the equipment.
Solo Cup says that the developers have damaged some of the equipment and, as a result, have breached the sublease agreement. The damage puts Solo Cup on the hook for $7.2 million under its lease with the equipment's owner.
The lawsuit also accuses the developers of barring Solo Cup from entering the plant and failing to make the rent payments.
Solo Cup claims a water leak led the company to discover the damage to the equipment. The developers responded to the discovery by trying to terminate the sublease, claiming that Solo Cup had breached the agreement by misrepresenting that "the plant was in good working order and was properly maintained."
The developers are insisting that Solo Cup pay to have the equipment removed. Solo Cup is asking for almost $450,000 in unpaid rent and an injunction to stop the developers from moving the equipment.
Baltimore Business Journal, "Solo Cup, Foundry Row developers fail to settle dispute through mediation," Kevin Litten, Nov. 8, 2013
Baltimore Business Journal, "Solo Cup, Foundry Row developers headed to mediation to settle dispute over Owings Mills plant," Kevin Litten, Aug. 30, 2013