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ANNAPOLIS, MD-Papers have not yet been signed, but a deal appears to be in place for the US Navy to transfer ownership of the now closed David Taylor Research Center to Anne Arundel County Council in order to make way for a proposed $250 million office complex. The selected developer, Annapolis Partners, plans a 630,000-sf compound on the 46.5-acre site of the former naval facility. Privatization of the shuttered naval base is part of the government Base Realignment and Closure plan.

News of progress comes following a meeting between Navy officials and County Executive Jane S. Owens’ Special Projects Coordinator Jerome W. Klasmeier that gave way to a tentative agreement to move forward with plans of the transfer. “Klasmeier indicated to the county executive’s office that an agreement, in principle, has been made and they’re drawing up papers to reflect that agreement.” Negotiations have been going on for nearly a year amid a great deal of outside opposition. Following pleas to reconsider the size of the complex – Annapolis Partners originally proposed a 730,000-sf complex of office and retail space, as well as a 100-room inn – county officials recently met with the developer and settled on a structure that would be 100,000 sf smaller.

Still, concerns remain about access and traffic around the facility, which is located across from the US Naval Academy. Diehl says he expects the papers to be drawn up and ready for review by mid-next week. At that point, the same group will meet to go over what is on paper one more time, and hopefully, hash out remaining issues. Navy officials concede that there are still concerns that must be addressed, but they decline to discuss the specifics. The county hopes to resolve all negotiations for transfer by the end of 2002.

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