Proposed Silver Spring Arena Fails To Generate Developer Interest

No one responded to county's request for a private partner to develop two downtown parking garages into a 5,000-seat arena

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Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett’s plan to build an arena near the Silver Spring Metro station did not generate any proposals from local developers.

The county had issued a request for proposals in December to find a private partner to redevelop two underused county-owned parking garages at 1100 and 1101 Bonifant Drive that are connected by a bridge and turn the 2.8-acre site into a 5,000-seat arena complex—possibly with additional space for residential units and retail outlets.

However, the deadline for developers to submit proposals was April 10 and it passed without the county receiving a single proposal, according to Esther Bowring, a spokeswoman for county’s transportation department.

Bowring said Al Roshdieh, the department’s director, plans to talk to developers to determine whether there were concerns about the proposal request that caused them not to respond.

“There is some surprise on this end,” Bowring said Tuesday. “But we need more information.”

The news that no firm responded to the request for proposals was first reported by Montgomery Community Media.

The county stated in its pitch that the venue could be used for high school, collegiate and professional sporting events, as well as graduations, children’s shows and concerts—and could serve as a home for one or more minor league sports teams.

The private developer would have been responsible for replacing the 1,770 parking spaces at the two garages and the county would have maintained ownership of the parking at the site, according to the proposal.

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