Homeless Facility to Be Included in County Board Mega-Deal for Courthouse Plaza

Hello Yupette,

So, people think County Board decided to build a year-around homelessness treatment and prevention facility in a building the County wants to acquire at 2020 North 14th Street?

Wrong. The County Board wants to make a new homelessness prevention and treatment facility a minor part of a mega-deal for the massive redevelopment of older buildings around Courthouse Plaza and the parking lot between Courthouse Plaza and Courthouse Road (which the County owns). Another Shirlington. Another live theater. Hundreds more units of unaffordable housing. Big underground garages. Cost to the taxpayers? At least $150 million.

Big beneficiary in the short term will be a foreign REIT, Brookfield Asset Management, which will reportedly sell 2020 North 14th Street to the County for close to $30 million. Building is worth maybe $17 million. County Board will also tear down the County-owned Court Square West office building on North Uhle Street and move County employees to a renovated 2020 N. 14th Street. Most of that building's current small business tenants will be forced to relocate. But, unlike working class minorities who live along the Pike, the County Board will give tenants of the North 14th Street building a generous relocation allowance.

As for the homeless, it will be years before they see any benefits from the County Board's wheeling and dealing. And, as usual, Barbara Donnellan and other non-residents in the County Manager's office were and are the key players in the corporate welfare deal making.