The county wants to purchase a 15,000 square foot floor of the proposed 60,000 square foot Meridian Square office project in Oakland Mills. The project is proposed for the site that formerly housed a gas station next to the village center. The developer says that he needs the county commitment in order to secure financing for the building.
The developer needs the county commitment so that they can secure “favorable” financing for the project. The project could move forward without the county purchasing a floor. It would simply require that the developer put up more equity.
I have no problem with the notion of having the county spread offices and services around the county as opposed to one central location. If the county can serve as a catalyst to redevelopment I am all for it. My problem with this deal is the way it has come down. The developer buys the site, announces the project and then says he can’t do it without county support. To me that says he should have never bought the site in the first place.
The way it should happen is that the county buys the site, solicits development proposals and then picks a proposal that offers the best terms to county.
If the county does proceed with this deal they should get the space below cost in recognition of the contribution their commitment makes to the project. In other words, the county needs to get a real sweetheart deal from Metroventures.