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I just spoke to Christopher Rose, a senior vice president at Marriott International. He said the company’s decision to withdraw from Ballpark Village was based on the economy — not the fallout from Nancy Graham’s tenure at the Centre City Development Corp.
“Given the current condition of the capital markets we have made the very difficult decision not to proceed with this project,” Rose said. The decision was made within the last week, he said.
CCDC, the city’s downtown redevelopment agency, launched an investigation last week to determine whether Graham, its former president, unduly influenced negotiations designed to clear the way for the hotel. Court records show Graham received income in 2007 from Lennar Corp., part owner of Ballpark Village, where the hotel would be built. Graham was involved in negotiations about the project that year. State and local laws prohibit public officials from influencing decisions that can benefit their business partners.
“That was not a consideration,” Rose said. “It was strictly a capital markets issue.”