County Puts Three Properties Up For Sale

New plan to sell Towson Fire Station, Woodlawn police substation and North Point Government Center includes new site for replacement fire house.

UPDATED (2:37p.m.)—The Towson Fire Station, North Point Government Center and a police substation on Liberty Road are now officially on the sales block.

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced the expected requests for proposals today in an emailed statement. The plan, as announced, also includes a new site for the construction of a fire station in Towson.

"As always, the market will tell us whether or not our valuation of the properties is correct," Kamenetz said in the statement. "If we are right, then we will be able to replace a police precinct and a fire station for free at no cost to the taxpayers. "We will also be able to dedicate funds for badly needed school renovation projects. Difficult economic times require us to devise new ways of doing business.  We have to find creative ways to rebuild our aging infrastructure while protecting taxpayer dollars."

The properties are expected to draw some attention from developers.

Kamenetz, in an interview last month, said the Towson Fire Station and the North Point Government Center are the focus of intense interest.

John Vontran, a former amusement and vending machine vendor turned developer and political ally of Councilman John Olszewski Sr., has expressed interest in a land swap with the county for the North Point Government Center. In 2008, Vontran, with the support of Olszewski, bought the site of the former Yorkway Apartment complex for about $1.6 million–less than 10 percent of the $22 million the county paid for the property.

The current site of Eastwood Elementary school is one possible location for a new police station. That school is slated to be closed at the end of the year. Students from that school would be combined with those at Norwood Elementary and Holabird Middle School.

In Towson, Kamenetz said the county still hopes to use the proceeds from the sale of the current fire station location at Bosley Avenue and York Road to build a new station.

Originally, the county considered building the new station on the current site of Towson Manor Park. Neighbors opposed that location. Left over funds would go to purchase technology improvements and air conditioning in schools including Dumbarton Middle School.

Kamenetz, in his statement, said he plans to build the new station at the corner of Bosley Avenue and Towsontown Boulevard—currently the site of a fueling station for the county fleet.

"If we are able to move forward with the construction of a new fire station, I am delighted that we will be able leave Towson Manor Park intact," Kamenetz said in his statement. "That park is an important amenity for the community and valuable open space in Towson.  I appreciate all of the input that I received from community members and Councilman [David] Marks as we worked through this process."

Marks, in that statement, said "private discussions" with Kamenetz "yielded such great news."

"Putting the station on the site of the County's fueling station at Towsontown and Bosley Avenues makes perfect sense," Marks said.

Towson community activists said they felt 'blindsided" by the initial plan to build the station on the park but applauded the new site announced by Kamenetz. Now they want Towson Manor Park permanently protected.

"We're thrilled that the park has been taken out of consideration but it really never should have been in the first place," said Ed Kilcullen, a Towson Manor Village resident and former president of the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations. "We're looking through what we can do make sure it isn't targeted again."

JOHN January 08, 2013 at 03:00 AM
JDStuts January 08, 2013 at 03:50 AM
Actually, that's simple planning based on market rates and ROI. I'll be happy to submit a plan as soon as you provide the name of the fiscal agent who allegedly misled the county administrators on the Mainsail II investment. Since you'll never respond to this with either the truth or a comprehensive understanding of local politics just go ahead and get bent now.
DundalkArea GreenEvents January 08, 2013 at 04:13 AM
Hundreds of vacant homes and store fronts are in Dundalk, this is the last thing our town needs. Other portions of Baltimore County reap the benefits and Dundalk always pays the price.
Timmy January 08, 2013 at 01:14 PM
Enough is enough, the building is an eye sore. The location is a great spot for new and different businesses to come into the area. We have plenty of rec spots for children to play, half the fields arent even used any way. True, you may need to travel alittle bit of a distance for your child to play a rec sport or be involved in a program. But, why slow down progress for the many when only a few will be slightly inconvinced? If a few investors make money to bring in more stores good for them. They are taking a big risk and could lose millions, thats capitalism.
Kelly Blue January 08, 2013 at 01:32 PM
My name is not the issue,however you can look me up. Cole Weston or JDStuts, many firms, corporations, and governments lost money during that time. To do nothing about that would have been the crime but everything you read, hear and see says that's not the case. So lay out your plan, make sure you cover off on wages, health insurance, new facilities without raising taxes. Please show us your plan.
Kelly Blue January 08, 2013 at 01:33 PM
Leroy, where' your plan are are you just another "anti" with no ideas. Please explain your plan.
JDStuts January 08, 2013 at 02:49 PM
Kelly Blue, Are you here to say the county is unable to cover daily operations expenses? Are we running a long term deficit and unable to cover wages and health insurance and that information is being kept secret? The issue with new facilities is long term planning. One solution - hold off on the construction of a new fire house until the money is appropriated. Another idea, don't sell assets like CRE in a down market. What's your plan? Relocation of wealth from public assets to developers for political donations? Are you stupid or is this a performance piece?
Chuck Burton January 08, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Timmy, of course people don't mind being slightly inconvenienced...as long as they aren't the ones being inconvenienced. And, maybe an action is progress to some, but regress to others. And, there is capitalism, then there is cronyism. Take your choices.
TOM January 08, 2013 at 05:06 PM
Timmy, a sale of the Government Center property cannot be considered progress. Dundalk is going down the wrong road again. The location is a great spot for kids and sports. It is a great spot for the community to come together. Losing this open space would do much more than inconvenience a few.
Timmy January 08, 2013 at 06:35 PM
Tom I would have to disagree with you. I live in the area and my two children would use that field for sports. However what i mean by alittle inconvenience would be having to drive to Stricker, or Gray Manor, or Bear Creek. There are so many places where children can play sports. I dont think some teams even use Bear Creeks fields. As for the indoor activites public schools are open to these events as well. There are plenty of options for these programs to go. What we need is a store to come into this area to give the other businesses, like walmart, some competition.
DundalkArea GreenEvents January 08, 2013 at 06:46 PM
There is pleanty of room for other retailers to expand into Dundalk currenly wihout demolishing the North Point Government Center and its Recreation fields. Currently there are well over 120 vacant stores very close by. Follow the attached link to a photo detailing this for more information: http://flic.kr/p/dJWiaG
Earl F Spangler January 08, 2013 at 07:43 PM
This so Awesome! Target! Here we come!
TOM January 08, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Timmy, you are wrong! There are not enough fields in the Dundalk/North Point area. Public schools also have limited indoor space. Dundalk is not getting another big box store....No Target! This is simply a ploy to get some land. Take a look at Seagram's.
DundalkArea GreenEvents January 08, 2013 at 08:28 PM
Unfortunately, most big box stores require a median income of $50,000 a year in an area before they decide to open a new location in a community (Exceptions include Kmart, Wal-Mart, and a few others). Dundalk’s median income was $39,789 in 2010 before the steel mill closed. With the loss of these jobs, the median income in the area has declined even more….
Tony Solesky January 08, 2013 at 08:29 PM
Leroy the politicians actually don’t really or realistically can they spend time representing the citizens. They truly represent the interest of those that both anointed and propped them up as candidates to do what those who got them elected, got them elected to do. KK is no different or worse, he and the councils job is to protect these interest from the people not the reverse. This is simple party politics, it is nothing new or fishy. It is something like getting a raise at work no one gripes about it regardless of cost when they or their party be it Republican or Democrat are the benefactors of it. KK is installed in a line of political party figures as they all are. If the job was that of acting as a public interest fiduciary which it is actually what it is supposed to be, then it would be one that would not require campaign finance reform as one of the many approaches the common man believes would solve the problem. The problem with the average voter is they think that things that are not theirs are theirs and things that are their are not. Kind of why we lost the COLTS
Kelly Blue January 08, 2013 at 09:08 PM
Bucky boy, Cole (JDStuts), Leroy and friends right now we need the great actor Paul Ford screaming from the top of the Dundalk Marine Terminal as Mayor Shinn did (The Music Man), "where's your plan,where's your plan". You add nothing to the conversation except be against, be against, be against.Get together, figure it out then post it. You all know the ins and outs, at least you claim to. You guys figure out how to move forward with new facilities, better roads,increased police presence, periodic pay increases, immediate snow removal (regardless of how much snow falls), health care coverage (with employees paying minimum amounts) BUT YOU CAN'T RAISE TAXES, NO FURLOUGHS AND NO LAYOFFS. Those are the rules. Don't dwell on the past just explain, coherently, if at all possible, your plan. Let's see your plan, put it out there. Until you do please listen to the words of the great Col. Nathan R. Jessup, "I suggest you grab a weapon and stand to post". You decide the road map, I'll leave you with the words of Judge Smails , "well we're waiting".
Chuck Burton January 08, 2013 at 09:36 PM
Then, Kelly, maybe we should do without new facilities, better roads, increased police presence, periodic pay increases, immediate snow removal and health care coverage (or at least any increase), until perhaps the economy improves to the point that county income allows these things. Unlike the Federal Reserve, the county can't legally print counterfeit money to pay its bills.
A. Lance January 08, 2013 at 11:58 PM
One does have to wonder why it's only in Dundalk that a community gathering place is being sold. Many of the programs housed there could not be housed in a school. I think it's shameful that Kanenetz and others put the finances of the rest of the county on the backs of the kids and citizens of Dundalk. They are certainly not thinking about the good of that community! Additionally, putting the Dundalk police station at Eastwood Elementary, on the outermost edge of the community, a block from the city, AND within a residential setting is absurd.
David Taylor January 11, 2013 at 05:31 PM
Yeah, let's sell off some of our most valuable assets (in a very depressed commercial real estate market), to cover a "shortfall" in this year's budget ... one created by the plan itself (to shuffle buildings around and free up the space for developers). What's the plan to cover next year's shortfall, a bake sale??? People are calling it out for what it is ... a shell-game to hand land over to developers. Some of us have known this was in the woks for literally years, they just managed o get enough excuses and fear generated to distract everyone long enough to do what *they* want. OMG ! Not the park !!! Please move the firehouse Towsontown Blvd !!! Scare the pants off the neighbors, you get instant support for this game.
David Taylor January 11, 2013 at 05:32 PM
People tend not to trust someone with a fake name and a reputation for operating phony accounts ... just saying.
David Taylor January 11, 2013 at 05:34 PM
Timmy - it's capitalism when developers purchase property and take risk... what we do in BoCo is write bonds for developers, give them tax breaks, and create situations where we auction off land to them in a depressed market ... the opposite of capitalism.
Eastsider January 11, 2013 at 05:37 PM
I agree with you Lance, Fire stations and Police stations needs to located centrally in the community.
Chuck Burton January 11, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Incidentally, where will county vehicles be getting their fuel when the new fire station replaces the fueling station? Does this mean a nice contract for some oil company, beyond the one which now supplys fuel?
Kelly Blue January 11, 2013 at 06:23 PM
Way to go Chuck another conspiracy theory, every contract has graft involved. What the heck kind of life do you lead. Are you that miserable that you sit around all day and think of a new theory? Lets get this bullet out there. Yes, the County has contracts just like millions of businesses. Gee I bet the whacko farm you live on has a maintenance contract with someone to cleanup your mess. Everything isn't all perfect in government but neither is it all wrong and corrupt either. You have a warped perception of the world.
David Taylor January 11, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Kelly - what do these personal attacks have to do with this issue? I think it's a solid question - what changes with regards to fueling county vehicles in this shell-game scenario? So many "what-ifs" out there... the only definite aspect is that developers get what they want and the county pays out ... Another Yorkway indeed? http://citypaper.com/news/cashed-out-1.1070788 Maybe they'll threaten to move the fuel dump to the park next?
David Taylor January 11, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Some posters here read like a paid shill ... just saying. Personal attacks, off-topic rants, crazy distracting speculations and weird movie references ... anything but talk about the article or the issues. I'm surprised The Patch puts up with it... it significantly lowers the signal/noise ration and devalues the entire website. Also there's the question of multiple shill accounts - nothing a simple IP log can't deal with I expect :)
Kelly Blue January 11, 2013 at 06:59 PM
Not a paid shill just another person who gets tired of the same, tired rants of the "negative" crowd. The crowd that sees a conspiracy in everything that government touches. Point being David, ask fair questions, that's expected and fair questions deserve serious answers.But take the implication that someone is always "on the take" out of it. If you don't agree with decisions get involved. Submit plans and ideas to your local representative. The majority of folks have found them to be open and cooperative. Now that doesn't mean your ideas are the ones that actually take root but stop the constant harping about corruption or even the hint of corruption. And , "I don't like it", isn't a plan. If you don't like the decisions and projects fine, serious debate is what government should be about. But in the end the electeds make a determination on the best course of action that they see fit. And you as a citizen get to make your choice every election day. And if something doesn't go your way it isn't corrupt just a different perspective on how to handle an issue.
David Taylor January 12, 2013 at 05:52 AM
This isn't just about you Kelly/Jennifer/Sally/whoever... and there's no need to suck up to me now sweetie. A serious question was posed: what about the fuel depot? You tried to shout the question down. I know what you are. We all do.
Buck Harmon January 12, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Kelly blew it again..
Chuck Burton January 12, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Will KK seek to get back at someone by locating a new fueling station with its all hours visits by police, fire engines, snow plows, etc., in someone's neighborhood? He's a politician, and will certainly be tempted, at least.


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