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What Will Become of the WMAL Transmitter Site?

WASHINGTON DC 09.14.2017

7TH ANNUAL FUTURE OF PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY

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Jane Cafritz -- Calvin Cafritz Enterprises
Steve Schwat -- Urban Investment Partners (UIP)
Nina Albert -- Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)

Montgomery County officials are considering making a bid to buy the WMAL transmitter site from Cumulus Media, the Sentinel reports. The 75-acre site at 7115 Greentree Road hit the market last month, and residential developers are eyeing its potential for up to 300 homes. But the de facto dog park has become a community gem, attracting cross-country runners, sports teams and residents with four-legged friends, so council members are looking to work with the county and state government to see what kind of competitive bid they can submit to preserve the green space.

This is no easy feat as CBRE is expecting to get more than $1M/SF, or $75M-plus for the site. And while the deadline remains March 12, it’s unlikely the county will be able to make an offer by then. Meanwhile, additional options being tossed around, according to BethesdaNow.com, include a mix of residential development that can cater to Baby Boomers and Millennials alike. Developers could also get a special exception for commercial development, like a hotel, a resort, a much-needed school, or a medical facility like Inova Hospital’s new campus at the ExxonMobil site.

Whatever happens to the site, it’s bound to generate discussion simply because of how big it is. For instance, traffic could be an issue, and rezoning or getting a special exception would require reviews and a lot of community input. But the space is large enough to include public amenities even amidst private development, so developers could set aside land for the community to butter up residents and make the approval process a bit smoother.

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