WHAT'S UP THE PIKE: ICC construction given the go-ahead; Park and Planning considers cell phone tower at Key Middle School; lack of business forces art store Alchemy to close down; JUTP in Express "Blog Log" (see page 40).
County Executive Ike Leggett announces the signing of a letter of intent between Montgomery County and Live Nation to open a music hall in Downtown Silver Spring last September.
The local blogosphere has been churning with news that local music promoter and 9:30 Club owner Seth Hurwitz wants to take on Live Nation for the chance to run the proposed music hall in Downtown Silver Spring. Thayer Avenue threw his two cents into the debate, insisting "if Seth wants to do this, he better do it right." That is, if Silver Spring wants to have a third suitor planning a club for the former J.C. Penney building on Colesville Road, there had better be a good reason.
In a community historically known for its liberal, anti-corporate politics (a description more often given to Takoma Park but still fitting for Silver Spring), the County's endorsement of a multi-national corporation over a local businessman for a project as significant as a music hall comes off as more than a little sketchy. Perhaps the burden shouldn't be on the Bethesda-based Hurwitz to show he can do a better job than Live Nation - who has signed a non-binding letter of intent with the County to open a Fillmore music club on Colesville Road - but it is now.
At the Motion City Soundtrack show at the 9:30 Club last night, Just Up The Pike spoke to sources close to the Hurwitz camp suggesting they won't be backing down any time soon. On Wednesday, Hurwitz' It's My Party Productions sent another letter to Ike Leggett's office, who had tersely rejected his counter-offer to open a club in the former J.C. Penney building on Colesville Road. We haven't seen Hurwitz' latest letter yet, but we've been told that Hurwitz and his lawyers have visited with seven out of nine County Council members to discuss the matter.
so much more AFTER THE JUMP . . .
The main question is: was it right for Montgomery County to select a vendor for the music hall site after the Birchmere plans fell through without putting out a Request For Proposals, as is usually the case? And why has Ike Leggett, who boasts of having "the patience of Job," been so quick to push for Live Nation while not seeking any alternatives?
It's more than a little ironic that Montgomery County, famous for what some call "paralysis by analysis," could make a decision so quickly - and hold fast to it. Some may call it fortitude, but others may call it suspect.