May 28, 2024
Annapolis, US 80 F

Something’s Fishy In Annapolis’ Market House

Things are always fishy at Pike Place Market in Seattle.  They are always flinging fish from one end to the other and it has a vibrant business model to sustain the tourists and residents alike.

But here in Annapolis, our Market House has been vacant for many years. There are no fish being flung. The only thing the Annapolis Market House has is a few vendors hoping for company.

On March 16, 2010, the City solicited proposals from interested parties for the Market House. The intent was to have “full occupancy” by the end of May 2010. They received 15 responses.  Initially, the proposals were to be for short term leases and it was subsequently changed to allow for more permanent solutions.

Yesterday, The Annapolis Sound broke a story that the City has a deal in place with Lehr Jackson to manage the Market House. The City’s PIO, Phill McGowan said he could not comment as they were still in negotiations. Yet the Mayor came out and said there were no such negotiations. Actually, his words were “no formal negotiations”.

Lehr Jackson was one of the proposals submitted for a long term solution to the Market House. You can read the details here.  This proposal was submitted at the last minute on April 23, 2010 and was submitted under the name Gone To Market, LLC.

Last night, an alert reader advised us that Gone To Market, LLC did not exist until last Friday, July 16, 2010–right about the time that Lehr Jackson reportedly began introducing himself as the new developer/manager of the Market House. This morning, we verified that information with the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation.

While Lehr Jackson and his partner in this venture, Drew Scallan, may very well be qualified for the task, it is apparent that they misrepresented themselves as a non-existent corporate entity back in April to the City when they submitted their proposal.

Subsequent to the publication of the proposals online, there has been no publicly visible forward progress. Eye On Annapolis has also learned that another late entry proposal by an apparently qualified team of entrepreneurs (and endorsed by many local merchants including current tenants of the Market House) was summarily dismissed by City Hall.

Eye On Annapolis is reviewing the Campaign Finance Reports for the past election to determine what amounts Lehr Jackson, Drew Scallan, their affiliated companies or families may have contributed to the campaigns of the Mayor and Council.

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