I had a post a couple of weeks ago about whether the University of Maryland and the City of College Park could reach consensus on the university’s purchase of the Washington Post Plant.
Here is what I wrote: “The environmental community in College Park has been on the edge of its seat since it was brought to light that the University of Maryland had made a bid for the abandoned Washington Post Plant in College Park. The point of the purchase was for UMD to relocate its facilities from East Campus to the plant, so they could do their East Campus development. This move would mean that the fight to save the Wooded Hillock, 9 acres of forest, would be won by the environmental activists advocating for its preservation. However, the City is upset about this decision because of the lack of transparency that led up to it, along with the fact that College Park would lose tax revenue from UMD owning the plan since they’re a state institution, and thus tax exempt. The Maryland Board of Public Works has to approve the purchase, and the approval is likely contingent on the support of the city.
So the question is, can UMD and the city agree to a PILOT(payment in lieu of taxes) where the university would compensate the city for some of all of its lost revenue? I think that answer is yes because both parties badly want to see the East Campus development completed, and they won’t let something as petty as a few hundred thousand dollars get in the way of a 900 million dollar development that would generate a lot of tax revenue for the city, and graduate housing for the university.
The following is the letter the city council sent to the university after their meeting on Tuesday, and the response the university recently sent back. It looks like they’re moving towards an agreement.
I recently received a new letter the city sent to the board of public works supporting the purchase. The two parties came to an agreement. Here is the letter.
The noteworthy environmental excerpt from the letter: “We are also pleased that UMCP has confirmed that, with the purchase of the Post Plant, the University has no plans to use any part of the wooded hillock area on campus for building sites, and is currently studying the best uses for this area that meet the expectations of the academic community”