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.
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