2021 | Real Estate

4-H Council still trying to sell its Chevy Chase conference center

Initial projection was that a winning bidder would be selected by June

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The timeline for selling the National 4-H Conference Center at 7100 Connecticut Ave. in Chevy Chase remains unclear despite an initial projection that a bidder would be selected by June.

The National 4-H Council announced in mid-March that it was selling the building due to the economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. The commercial real estate firm CBRE listed the property for sale on its website.

An initial statement from the town on March 26 stated that 4-H and CBRE representatives told town officials that they planned to select a winning bid by the end of June and close the sale by the end of the year.

As of Friday, the property was still listed for sale on CBRE’s website. It is listed as 12.3 acres in an R-60 zone, allowing residential units with a minimum lot size of 6,000 square feet.

On Wednesday, CBRE Executive Vice President Scott Gabrielsen wrote in an email to Bethesda Beat in response to a question about whether a winning bidder had been chosen that “our standard response is no comment.”

The National 4-H Council, in a statement to Bethesda Beat on Thursday, wrote that it has “continued to receive great interest from potential buyers” for the site and is “moving towards closing on the sale before the end of the year.”

“We are in the early stages of moving this process along with a potential buyer and look forward to sharing updates on the sale process accordingly,” it read.

Chevy Chase Mayor Barney Rush told Bethesda Beat on Friday that the town hadn’t heard from CBRE or 4-H about the latest on bidding process.

Rush noted that 464 people participated in a survey, published last month, that gauged the preferences people have for the future of the property.

Of those who took the survey:

  • 132 indicated that their top priority for the property is an institution, such as a religious institution, nonprofit or foundation organization
  • 127 want the property to be primarily for a residential purpose
  • 59 want it to house a private school
  • 74 indicated a preference for another use
  • 72 gave no preference

Some respondents also submitted comments with recommendations for the property. Those included:
• preserving forest and open space
• providing amenities such as a clubhouse and a dog park
• a mix of different housing types
• preventing traffic congestion.

“There’s a keen interest in certain objectives like having a pathway through the woods, which we want to see preserved. And also an interest in additional land that can be used for different purposes,” Rush said. “Frankly, we’re all just waiting here for an official announcement.”

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com