Thursday, August 27, 2009

Throwing in the Towel

For Sale. Historic Manor house, circa 1738 on 82 acres in Elkridge, MD. Comes complete with irascible neighbors.

According to this story by Larry Carson in The Sun today, Howard Community College has put the Belmont Conference Center up for sale after five years of tumultuous stewardship.

“The decision comes as the state Board of Public Works voted to cut $10.5 million cut from state funding for community colleges as the sour economy drives more students to the cheaper two-year institutions.”

Since the college foundation originally acquired the property under a controversial financing arrangement with local homebuilder Harry “Chip” Lundy, the college had found itself continually at odds with the neighboring property owners. The relationship is further strained by the easement that allows access to the property through a one lane road that goes through their properties.
Earlier this year the college had signaled its intention to sell off Dobbin House and its surrounding 13 acres as way to raise cash and pay down debt it incurred to acquire the estate. Now it appears that they have decided to throw in the towel completely.

It’s tough time to sell a multi million property, let alone one that has issues.


Anonymous said...

With or without annoying watch dog neighbors, the travesty here is the original decision for a community college to acquire this sort of white elephant. What the heck were they thinking? And, why didn't the county executive or the council "just say no" to spending taxpayer funds this way? How many county dollars have been wasted on this 5 year journey filled with self interests?

Anonymous said...

HCC tried to retain Belmont as a unique and wonderful community resource. There were a few missteps, but the intentions were good and noble, and if it had worked, Belmont could have been that gift to the nation so often mentioned by the neighbors. But, alas, the original intentions are no longer feasible. Belmont, I am afraid, will belong to the ages since no business activity will be allowed by the few neighbors on Belmont Woods Road and the County won't buy it. This means it will either become a private home or will be purchased by some other entity for purely private purposes. No longer will Belmont be available to the Elkridge community, specifically, or the Howard County community, in general. We have lost a real gem of Howard County.