The Maryland Court of Appeals has dismissed a suit by the Promenade Tenants Association Inc. challenging the conversion of the big Bethesda apartment complex to cooperative ownership.

The state's highest court based its 5-to-2 decision on a legal technicality that the association could not sue on behalf of tenants because the organization lacked "standing" to sue without a property interest of its own.

Attorney Lawrence Levitan, whose Montgomery County firm represented the tenants, said he was disappointed that the decision was based on a "technicality rather than on the merits of the case itself." He said he had hoped the court would rule on the validity of the formation of the cooperative by the developer, American Invsco.

Invsco, a major Chicago-based condominium conversion firm that bought the two-building, 1,072-unit Promenande complex last year from Washington developer Nathan Landow for about $50 million, has Robert Gould as project director.

Gould, recently an official with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and formerly on the staff of the National Association of Home Builders, said he was "very pleased" that the suit was dismissed.

Although admitting that all new home and apartment-conversion sales have been sluggish in recent weeks because of high financing costs, Gould said more than 400 Promenade units have been sold.