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The Dripby Brew Editors6:38 pmJan 30, 20170

For Nick’s, a reprieve; for the other Cross Street Market merchants, limbo

Merchants holding a “Last Stand” event on Thursday

Above: Weekend crowd at Nick’s Inner Harbor Seafood, whose lawyer reached an agreement with Caves Valley Partners that keeps it open for now.( Fern Shen)

Nick’s Inner Harbor Seafood, scheduled for eviction tomorrow, will not have to vacate its location on the west end of Cross Street Market thanks to an agreement its lawyer negotiated with Caves Valley Partners to let it stay open past its January 31 lease termination date.

The agreement came after Nick’s attorney, Gary Maslan, filed a motion seeking a temporary restraining order on Monday.

On Thursday, Nick’s signed a consent agreement with Baltimore Public Markets Corp. and CSM Ventures LLC, the management company hired by Caves Valley.

Under the agreement, any further action in the matter would have to go through Baltimore District Court.

Nick’s will remain open in the meantime, said Maslan, noting that Caves Valley has the option of refiling its action against the establishment in the form of a breach-of-contract claim.

Caves Valley, which is leading a $6.5 million renovation of the South Baltimore fixture, informed its owner on January 1 that its lease was being terminated as of tomorrow.

Caves Valley’s Arsh Mirmiran has said health code violations including rodent problems prompted the lease termination.

The city Health Department has said none of the violations at Nick’s was serious.

Last Stand for Merchants?

Also in limbo at the city-owned market are its other existing merchants, who have been told they must leave for the start of renovation work in May.

The renovation is expected to take at least 10 months.

The merchants, some of whom have received “letters-of-intent” from Caves Valley that include hefty rent increases, aren’t sure they will be able to come back.

The merchants and their attorney have been seeking help from officials from the city, which is providing $2 million towards the renovations and signed off an agreement that won’t give city taxpayers profit-sharing until 2028, the developer has said.

Last week, the merchants button-holed Mayor Catherine Pugh, mayoral advisor James T. Smith Jr., Comptroller Joan Pratt and City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young – so far to no avail.

On Thursday at 6 p.m., the merchants are staging a “Last Stand at the Cross Street Market” event to rally interest in their cause.

Another date for those following the issue: the next meeting of the Cross Street Market Advisory Board Meeting on Monday February 13, at 6 p.m. at Leadenhall Baptist Church, 1021 Leadenhall Street.

Mirmiran declined to comment, instead referring a reporter to his Cross Street Market website.

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