Sent via a tipster, which has by now been (being?) covered by the “full-time media” and is now a matter of public digestion, comes this blurb from Jeanne Knight, President of the Old Goucher Association (Remington’s next door neighbor):
I was asked to attend a brief meeting today at 5:30 that included only neighborhood leaders and took place in the Honda building [25th and Howard]. The meeting was called by Bruce Mortimer, the dealership and property owner, and he wanted to tell us something before the press releases it. He filed a lawsuit today against Rick Walker, the Walmart developer. Bruce was sketchy on details but it has something to do with a cloud on the title of his land and a breach in the agreement that he had renewed 4 times but had called an aspect into question last September that was not cured
He cautioned that there is a possibility the agreement may still go through. The Daily record and that Perlman guy from the Sun affiliate both interviewed him so it will hit the press tomorrow or so.
He did say the PUD goes with the land and that he was very confident of his position. He also has learned something from this experience and asked for recommendations of developers we trust. Seawall/Manekin were unanimously agreed upon, although Judith Kunst was head lowered and practically in tears agreeing on this.
In case you’re a bit behind on what all of this means, three years ago it was decided that a rather large chunk of Remington was to become a, for lack of a better term, strip mall – with a Wal-Mart at the forefront, a Lowes (which has since dropped out of the project), and several other businesses slated to convert the pocket of land abreast Howard Street into a mixed use blah blah blah blah.
The expected reaction was one of distaste, distrust, and a back and forth ranging from “Wal-Mart is never the shining beacon of hope that a just-about-to-rebound neighborhood needs” to “Wal-Mart means jobs.” The development group behind the project blew right past the opposing neighborhood associations and pointed straight at the other residents of Remington who were excited at the prospect of new jobs in the area. In 2010. If interested, you can read a bit of history on the saga here and here including the group’s rather dicey traffic study on the area, multiple responses on all fronts to the project, and so forth.
Well, it’s three years later and no development has occurred, leaving a great many folks wondering what the hell has been going on, and it would seem that the development was simply stalled by numerous mitigating factors including a lawsuit which was recently dismissed by the highest court in Maryland, allowing the project to move forward.
But as we see above in the blockquote, the guy that owns the land for the car dealership is suing the guy that wants to build the Wal-Mart – probably not putting a halt to development, but suing nonetheless.
It’s interesting to see how in three years Remington is now on the lips of everyone, with glowing praise and op-eds here and there, a sense of rebound completely absent a Wal-Mart. And yet here it comes, like it or lump it, with the gentle waves of gentrification sweeping through from Woodberry to Hampden to Remington, communities coming together and making things right entirely on their own. No artisanal butchers or cutesy vegan coffee shops, no sir, say hello to $5 six packs of underwear and that sense of luxury that only Port Covington can give you.