Frederick Towne Mall for Sale in Online Auction

November 23, 2016 / / General, News

By Brandi Bottalico, Frederick News Post
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Frederick Towne Mall is up for auction online.

A live auction runs Dec. 6 through 8 on the internet auction site Ten-X.

The minimum bid is $2.5 million.

There is an undisclosed reserve price, said Mike Besack, a spokesman for Ten-X’s commercial division. In general, a seller agrees to sell a property when bidding reaches the reserve price and does not have to sell the property if the reserve is not met.

The Frederick Extra first reported news of the auction.

Frederick Towne Mall has sat vacant since 2013. Property owner Rockwood Capital planned to demolish the former mall at 1301 W. Patrick St. and construct a four-building shopping center with a 155,000-square-foot Wal-Mart anchoring the project. Wal-Mart pulled out of the deal at the beginning of September.

Rockwood Capital considered selling the property or continuing with the project if another retailer stepped forward to replace Wal-Mart, but there was no interest in a replacement project, said Dave Severn, attorney for Rockwood Capital. The decision to auction the property was made about 30 days after Wal-Mart pulled out.

“I think we’ve known from the get-go that Wal-Mart was really the only tenant possibility,” he said. “[The online auction] is a nationwide approach to selling property,” he said.

After investing what Severn estimates is likely millions of dollars in the property, Rockwood Capital has made it clear it is very interested in selling the property, he said.

“We’re hopeful that someone buys it who is willing to move forward to get it redeveloped,” Severn said. “I think everybody wants to see something positive happen there. The current owners — I think they’re just exhausted at this point.”

The property is 46.1 percent leased by local and national tenants, according to the Ten-X listing. Boscov’s lease expires in November 2023. The second-largest tenant, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, has a lease that expires in August 2021.

Home Depot is an anchor tenant.

The property is listed as having about 639,000, with nearly 520,000 rentable. The parcel is 37.35 acres.

Justin Kiska, president of the Golden Mile Alliance, said the sale is just the next step and they had been expecting it after news of Wal-Mart pulling out.

“It was just a matter of when and how,” he said. “This just means that somebody with fresh ideas will come in.”

He said real estate auction sites seem to be the way many big properties are sold now. The alliance will wait to see if it’s a national or local buyer.

“I would hope it would be somebody who isn’t just looking for a tax break but somebody who is going to come in and recognize the potential of what that type of land has,” he said.

Continued …

Possible Attendance Maps for Butterfly Ridge to be Presented in January

November 22, 2016 / / Uncategorized

By Jeremy Bauerwolf, Frederick News Post
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The public will learn in January which Frederick neighborhoods might attend a new elementary school being built in the western end of the city.

Frederick County Public Schools intends to unveil at least three choices of attendance boundaries for Butterfly Ridge Elementary School, Ray Barnes, the district’s chief operating officer, said on Monday.

The school system plans to open Butterfly Ridge by 2018 to alleviate significant overcrowding in other city schools, namely Hillcrest, Waverley and Orchard Grove elementary schools.

Though the district will accept feedback on all of the options, only one will be presented to the Frederick County Board of Education as the superintendent’s recommendation. The district hopes the board would approve a plan by June 2017 to allow a full year for bus routes and more to be developed, Barnes said.

The redistricting process can be arduous. Families often feel deep loyalty to their home schools and have many questions, Barnes said in an interview.

To that end, the school system has held a number of meetings at the schools primarily affected by the boundary changes, including one on Monday night at Tuscarora Elementary School that was sparsely attended. Fewer than 10 people braved the chill to hear a presentation on Butterfly Ridge.

Earlier meetings were more crowded, with up to 30 people, Barnes said.

At the recent round of meetings, parents and the community were presented with large maps of the city and the surrounding area on which they could create their own school attendance boundaries.

This is the first time the district has tried an interactive activity, Barnes said. It has yielded mostly written comments, but a few have delved into the nitty-gritty of shifting students around, he said.

Parents are concerned with issues such as which middle or high school their children will attend. The district first needs to establish the elementary school boundaries before seeing how they will influence the middle and high schools, he said.

At a previous meeting in late September, parents were worried that minority and low-income students, primarily at Hillcrest and Waverley, would be excluded from the new school.

Butterfly Ridge, which will accommodate 725 students, will be on Butterfly Lane opposite McCain Drive, in the current Orchard Grove attendance area.

The system has said it will seek to avoid creating pockets of poverty in the community while also following Frederick County Board of Education policy.

Continued …