Wednesday, January 30, 2008

red-faced, leggett calls on developers for live nation support

WHAT'S UP THE PIKE: County kindergartners reading books like lives depend on it; Slowing economy could mean death of Blair magnet program; Planning Board approves so-called "Galaxy II" project on 13th Street.

The Lee Development Group plans a large mixed-use project along Colesville Road, which will include the new Fillmore music hall.

As the ongoing Fillmore flap continues, Ike Leggett is determined to save face. Yesterday, County Councilmembers Roger Berliner (D-At Large), Marc Elrich (D-At Large) and Marilyn Praisner (D-Calverton) lambasted Leggett's office for not seeking other bidders for a proposed music hall on Colesville Road. And despite the County's budget crisis, Leggett wants people to know that his decision to throw $8 million at the club (not Live Nation, but the hall it will manage) was a good one.

Hence this letter from Foulger-Pratt, developers of the Downtown Silver Spring complex (a.k.a. Ellsworth Drive or "The Promenade"), sent to the entire County Council this morning expressing their support for Live Nation. Note how Bryant Foulger (the principal of Foulger-Pratt) says the proposed mixed-use development which includes the Fillmore will improve the "poorly-maintained buildings" along Colesville - many of which house thriving, if not at least existing, buildings - that "reflect poorly on the community."

The letter follows AFTER THE JUMP . . .

I am writing on behalf of PFA LLC, the real estate development partnership consisting of the Foulger-Pratt Companies, the Peterson Companies, and Argo Investment. We are very proud of our role in working with Montgomery County as the developers of the Downtown Silver Spring Redevelopment Project because of the wonderful and remarkable impact that project has had on the entire Silver Spring community. Both the private and public sectors have invested a tremendous amount of time, capital, and creative thought and energy to make Silver Spring what it is today. The project’s dynamic mix of uses, tenants, public spaces and amenities, and plentiful public parking have created a critical mass that draws from the entire region. Such a project would never have happened had it not been for the County’s and State’s commitment and support of the project.

While much has been done and much accomplished, there remains more to do. PFA and County leadership have always represented that Downtown Silver Spring is just the beginning of a community revitalization process. There still remain numerous vacant or poorly-maintained buildings in the nearby vicinity that reflect poorly on the community, stifle the re-tenanting of those spaces, thus delaying and impeding the continued revitalization of Silver Spring.

We are very pleased to hear that the County has entered into an agreement with Live Nation to come to Silver Spring for several important reasons. First, Live Nation is an iconic presence in the music and entertainment world and it brings that notoriety with it to Silver Spring. Its relation with and ability to draw a wide array of musical talent and performers to Silver Spring will further enhance the already established Arts and Entertainment District designation that Silver Spring has been granted. Second, Live Nation will complement and strengthen the other high quality entertainment venues in Silver Spring, including the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, the Roundhouse Theatre, and the Majestic, our 20-screen first-run cinema. Third, Live Nation will do much to improve the appearance of Colesville Road, one of our primary gateways into Silver Spring. Its presence will be particularly important to AFI, whose beautiful restored building across Colesville Road has faced run-down, poorly maintained buildings for far too long. And last, Live Nation will further the redevelopment of Silver Spring by jump-starting redevelopment of the Lee family’s important assemblage that fronts on Georgia Avenue, Colesville Road, and Fenton Street, thus having the potential of greatly affecting and strengthening continued redevelopment efforts in Silver Spring.

We applaud the County and State and its leaders for their vision and commitment to making our community a better place to live, work, and play. The redevelopment of Silver Spring is a story that has been written of and spoken of throughout the country. Live Nation will add to the wonderful reality that is Silver Spring. Let the music play!

Bryant F. Foulger
Foulger-Pratt Companies


Anonymous said...

Bryant Foulger is right...the buildings on the north side of Colesville are an embarrasment! Could there possibly be a worse collection of "stores"? I hope that in any redevelopment they get rid of all those gaudy canopies (of every size, shape & color). Even the new T-Mobile ratcheted up the tackiness with their vibrant pink canopy on the corner of Fenton & Colesville. Who approved THAT? Pathetic.

Certainly Bryant Foulger stands to gain from whatever redevelopment comes to the Lee Property, but Live Nation is a powerhouse and will add much needed boost to the SS arts & entertainment "district".

Anonymous said...

Almost everyone benefits from the redevelopment. I feel a little sorry for the businesses that are getting kicked out, but... then again, they need to changes with the times.

Speaking of which, kudos to Bombay Gaylord for actually fixing up their interior to match other new businesses on Georgia Ave.

Anonymous said...

People who want to see this happen should go to the County Council town hall meeting tonight, 7:30 p.m. at AFI, and let the council know how they feel. You want it, you gotta ask.

Anonymous said...

"Live Nation is an iconic presence in the music and entertainment world and it brings that notoriety with it to Silver Spring."

Uh, Bryant Foulger seems not to realize that most folks consider "notoriety" a bad thing.