This blog has always been wide open to anonymous posters. This policy invites both benefits and detriments such as the occasional spam post that exists solely to divert traffic to a different site or god knows what else. I routinely delete this spamoola as soon as I see it but that’s about the only thing I’ll delete.
I enjoy all dialogue, both fine wine refined and sushi grade raw. And sometimes, just sometimes, I’ll get an anonymous comment on a post that I’ll really like because it gets me to thinking a different way. I got one of those yesterday.
Anon 10:49 AM commented on my Friday post about the county putting the Ridge Road property up for sale. The current administration intends to “return this land to the county tax rolls.” This would ultimately result in the heavily wooded ground being developed in some fashion. From a pure economic perspective the highest and best use of this property would be retail. It is currently zoned POR. (Planned Office Research).
Anon 10:49 AM believes the county would get a greater value if it preserved these twenty four acres as a park. Anon 10:49 AM’s park would include a pedestrian overpass over Route 40.
Anon 10:49 AM estimates that the county would likely net $6 million from the sale of this property. Anon 10:49 AM wonders if the county could ever buy 24 acres of heavily “forested” in Ellicott City at that price.
In my opinion, with current POR zoning, the county is more likely to net around $5 million.
Ironically, it was then County Executive Jim Robey who got the county to purchase this property. It was also his administration that developed the Route 40 Enhancement Study.
The current administration says that it needs the proceeds to fund the renovations of the existing county complex. No one can argue that those buildings need renovating, they’ve never been right. Jim once quipped to me that he’d throw the builder in jail if he could. You may recall that Jim was also the former chief of police.
The thing is, according to an article by Larry Carson in the Howard section of the Sun today, the renovations will cost $22 million. The county also plans to purchase office space in the Meridian Square project in Oakland Mills. That will cost an additional $3.9 million for a total of about $26 million.
It sort of puts that $5 million dollar profit into perspective and I’m starting to like the park idea a lot. Maybe the now "Senator" Jim Robey can cajole some extra funds out of the state coffers to make up for the shortfall.