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County Mulls Issuing New RFP for Bethesda Police Station

County officials are "much further behind" than anticipated on the project after developers JBG backed out of a land-swap deal to build the station.

Montgomery County’s Department of General Services may need to issue a new request for proposals for Bethesda’s second district police station after developer JBG backed out of a deal to construct the building.

The county is considering several options—among them renovating the aging station at its current Wisconsin Avenue site, looking for a new location to build, and issuing a new RFP, said Greg Ossont, deputy director for DGS's office of planning and development.

A decision on how to move forward should be made shortly after the first of the year, Ossont said.

“We realize the second district police station is in poor condition,” Ossont said. “It puts us much further behind than we thought we’d be at this point due to JBG pulling out, so there’s a certain sense of urgency.”

The county is seeing interest in the project and fielding calls from management companies, developers and property owners, Ossont said.

JBG recently backed out of a land-swap deal with Montgomery County to build the station as a part of a mixed-use residential project on Cordell Avenue. To pay for a portion of the costs of constructing the station, the county planned to give JBG the land on which the Bethesda station currently sits, where JBG planned to build offices.

The cost of the police station was estimated at $21.8 million, of which the county was initially expected to provide $7.25 million to JBG, and $2 million to the county’s Department of General Services for furniture, fixtures and oversight costs.

JBG would have received $8.7 million in the value of the current police station's land.

Now, JBG plans to move forward with the Cordell Avenue development, albeit without the police station. Developers will unveil new renderings for the project at a community meeting Tuesday evening.

JBG developed a winning bid for an RFP initially issued by the county in 2008. Should the county choose to solicit new bids for the project, they would need to develop and issue a new RFP, Ossont said.

“It wouldn’t be prudent to just assume all of the same conditions that existed in 2008 would carry over, so we’d want to put out a new solicitation for the second district police station,” Ossont said. “That said, we have not determined that that’s in fact what we’ll do.”

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