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State Center dealt another blow, but downtown hotel gets new life

The State Center project is no stranger to tough times, but this week’s blow likely hurt more than the rest.

It’s been nearly a decade since plans surfaced to redevelop the 28-acre government complex on Baltimore city’s West Side. First, the project was derailed because the recession caused the main developer to withdrawal. Then, after the state thought it found a way to reinvigorate the project, it was further delayed by a lawsuit that dragged on until this spring.

The state overcame the court challenge, and the project finally appeared to be gaining traction. But those hopes were likely dashed this week, when news broke of a recent analysis that determined the project may no longer be viable.

The analysis revealed serious questions about affordability, at a time when the state can’t even buy paper clips for its universities. State officials will review the findings at a hearing next week.

So although the State Center was our pick for having the worst week in Maryland, it wasn’t all bad news in the real estate world.

Our pick for best week goes to the Keyser office building, a historic property in downtown Baltimore.

Red Lion Hotels Corp. breathed new life this week into the 10-story building, which was built in 1905 on the corner of Redwood and Calvert streets. Red Lion Hotels bought the partially renovated building for $15.7 million and plans to sink another $3.5 million into it to finish the renovations.

The building was previously being developed as a Hotel Indigo, but that project collapsed.

The 130-room hotel is expected to open in the summer as the company’s first Hotel RL, a new brand.

About Alissa Gulin

Alissa Gulin covers health care, education and general business at The Daily Record.