January 30, 2014 3:02 pm ET
County asks for more money than bid offer, but Vanguard says, “Zip It!”
In the latest of the many twist and turns in the Government Center saga, a new one has surfaced.
And—surprise, surprise—this one is over … money!
Not that this is important, especially after everyone has signed on the dotted line, but this reminds of the (here I go again) song “Signs.”
Apparently Vanguard read the sign, but the county did not based on what I have uncovered. Just read the PDF file posted at the top of the blog (note: click on the right hand “thingy” and it will enlarge the document so you can take a look) and you’ll see at the county’s plea, which goes something like this:
“Since your proposed price is less than the most recent appraised value for the property, please provide your ‘Best and Final Offer.’”
My mind is flowing with music:
Sadly, the county missed the beat on these tunes (except maybe the last one). But I will digress on the musical interlude for a moment. After all, it’s OUR money that is being discussed here, folks.
The end result, as if you couldn’t have guessed, is that Vanguard isn’t going to give back any of that money. A deal is a deal, after all.
Although, the second verse may say, “a deal is a deal until the PUD.”
Since everything is “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” (sorry, there I go with music again), Vanguard told the county—in no uncertain words—a polite “No Way!” I get the feeling that the conversation included the phrase, “you made your bed, now lie in it.” But that is just a hunch.
However, according to the document at the top of the page, there remains a question about the old and infamous tax credits. Now, in my opinion, this question should have been asked last as a sort of “if we don’t get ours you won’t get yours” type of statement. As you know, tax credits refer to the tax breaks the developer gets … at our expense, of course.
No hardball being played here, folks.
Again, let me refer to the PDF file at the top of the page.
Now, as those of you that know and love my work (that should draw some comments), I love dealing with cold hard facts, which is what the county should have done.
And away we go…
First, in order to accept the RFP bid, the county had to appraise the land. No musical interlude here, because the appraised value of the North Point Government Center was a tad skewed, and I can’t find an appropriate song to express that one.
Actually, the appraisal process was rather easy for the county because the county staff did not have to do any work—the state did it for them. To that end, the Maryland State Office of Budget and Management appraised the property at $8 million.
Gee, $8 million seems to be a far cry from $2.1 million, doesn’t it? I suppose now the county is “Crying” alright.
I know that I would shed some tears over a $5.9 million gap.
So, now we ask what is to come next. The answer is the infamous PUD. This is where the rubber hits the road, or—in this case—the wallet. There are rumors that current Councilman John Olszewski Sr. may not write the PUD, instead leaving it for the “New Kid in Town.” (Dang, I love these musical segues!) However, I need to reiterate that this is speculation at this point.
Sources say there is an eerie quiet that has settled over this issue. Certain Rec Council members have been alerted that there already may be a change in the RFP regarding the proposed amphitheater. From what information I can gather, it could have to do with the safety issues involving the underground gas lines and the high tension wires.
We’ll know better during the PUD process, but—until then—we have to play the waiting game.
Hopefully, though, I’ve given you some good entertainment while we continue to twiddle our collective thumbs.
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