BALTIMORE, MD-The ongoing saga of whether the planned $165-million Residences Ritz-Carlton Inner Harbor will ever come to fruition continues, as developer L.I. Square Corp. watches yet another deadline on its option to purchase the property come and go. There has been no clear word on whether an agreement has been reached. The owners of the approximately 5.6 acres on Key Highway–one of whom is Richard Swirnow–and developers have been haggling over terms for more than two years, and the option to buy has already been extended twice. Construction was to have begun in the spring of 2001.

If the project gets underway, the luxury facility will offer 250 guest rooms in its hotel, about 125 condominium residences, and a 500-space underground parking garage. Completion of the project is scheduled for two years from the still unknown start date. Baltimore’s Marks, Thomas & Associates and Nichols, Brosch, Sandoval & Associates, Inc. of Coral Gables, FL are part of the project’s design team. None of the aforementioned parties were available for comment.

Stephanie Platt of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company tells that “in general, we’re not going to speak on behalf of the ownership.” However, a call to Weinberg Harris & Associates Vice President Greg Harris reveals that negotiations have not broken down. Harris and his firm are serving as consultants to L.I. Square. “Everything is still moving forward with the project,” Harris says. “Things are in the hands of the attorneys now. Everything’s going fine.” Harris notes that more decisive news will be made public toward the end of the week or by early next week. Financing for the project is in place, according to L.I. Square President Edward V. Giannasca II. And while no condominiums have been sold, many individuals have submitted the $25,000 deposit to stake a claim to one of the units.

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