Tuesday, April 26, 2011

HoCo Buys Another Columbia Building

As expected, Howard County has purchased another building in Columbia, once again taking advantage of a soft market for commercial real estate. This month the county settled on the purchase of 8930 Stanford Boulevard in Columbia near Dobbin Road. The county paid $26 million for the160,000 square foot two story office building or just $162.50 per square foot, a little over 50% below the going rate just three years ago.

The county now owns four large former commercial buildings in Columbia in addition to schools and firehouses. Two were bought by Democratic county executives and two were purchased during Republican Chuck Ecker's reign. In 1990 Liz Bobo’s administration purchased a former Ryland Homes panel factory on Oakland Mills Road for just under $2 million. The 8 acre property is now the headquarters of the Recreation and Parks Department. Two years later the Ecker administration purchased the five story 93,540 square foot office building at 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive for just under $4 million and in 1997 the 200,000 square foot Dorsey Building and 29 acres of land for $7.5 million.

The Dorsey Building purchase was actually part of an incentive package offered to keep the buildings original occupant, Allied Signal (formerly Bendix), from moving out of the county, so the county sort of got a twofer on that deal.

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