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City Pays $82,500 to Former Market House Vendor

The city of Annapolis and Vaccaro's, an Italian pastry shop, have reached a settlement after more than a year of litigation.

The city agreed to pay $82,500 to Vaccaro's—a former Market House vendor—in a lawsuit settlement reached Thursday afternoon.

"The settlement is the last step in closing the disappointing Site Realty chapter of the Market House and allows the city to continue to move forward with a new beginning," according to a joint statement. "Both the city and Vaccaro’s are pleased to resolve the litigation in a financially responsible and practical manner."

The Baltimore-based Italian pastry shop run by Nick Vaccaro had a stall inside the Market House from 2006 until Dec. 31, 2010 when the City Dock icon shuttered its doors.

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In Jan. 2011, Patch reported that the city announced it had finalized negotiations with Lehr Jackson’s Gone to Market and drafted a new lease for the Market House.

Steve Wise, an attorney representing Vaccaro's at the time, warned City Council members that trying to impose a new lease violated a 2009 settlement the pastry shop had with the city.

As part of its 2009 agreement, Vaccaro's received a $70,000 rent credit, a $15,000 cash payment and a new lease. Wise said when the city told Vaccaro’s to vacate, “the city broke the deal.”

Gone to Market's plans fell through, and Vaccaro sued the city in June 2011 for $600,000. He alleged breach of lease, breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, deceit and detrimental reliance. Annapolis filed a counter complaint against Vaccaro’s alleging it failed to pay rent and common area maintenance charges.

The two parties were set to square off court on Wednesday, but they reached an agreement on Tuesday and finished writing a joint statement Thursday afternoon.

Both sides agreed the statement would be their only comment on the matter.

The settlement—which is $50,000 for Vaccaro's and $32,500 for attorney's fees—will be broken up into three equal payments of $27,500. The first payment is due within 10 days, and the next payments are due on or before Nov. 15 and Dec. 15 of 2012.

Mayor Josh Cohen failed to meet a self-imposed deadline of re-opening the Market House by Oct. 1, 2012, and the historic building remains closed.

Read more on this issue:

Vaccarro's Files Lawsuit Against the City
Public Speaks Out on Market House Lease
Vaccaro's Closing its Doors

Mike October 05, 2012 at 02:38 PM
SELL the Market House. SELL IT. The City is not has no business being a landlord, but also has demonstrated COMPLETE and PERSISTENT incompetence. And get rid of the Mayor, and the rest of the crooked clowns who are costing the taxpayer money needlessly.
Marina October 05, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Well said..
Paul Bowling October 05, 2012 at 05:32 PM
I agree. I loved the OLD Market House and the several food vendors there at the time. It gave local vendors a small place that was well received by the visitors (and residents) of Annapolis. This "landlording" has cost the city in lost revenues, law suits and public trust. Make restrictions on the property if you must - but put it in the hands of a private business so it isn't the eye sore and can actually be useful. Heck, who knows, with private businesses there it actually may bring some tax revenue to the city.

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