Berliner Suggests Metro Could Sell Land It Owns “For Substantial Funds”
Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner recently met with WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld and Nina Albert, the director of real estate for WMATA, to discuss ways in which the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) could “maximize its real estate holdings.”
In a Dec. 22nd follow-up letter to Wiedefeld, Berliner wrote: “WMATA’s real estate can play a valuable role in addressing your agency’s very real fiscal challenges and ridership decline, and boost local economic development opportunities.”
In Montgomery County, Berliner noted that WMATA controls real estate that is of “extraordinary value.”
“There may be no property in the county that is more valuable than what WMATA owns at the Bethesda and White Flint Metro stations,” Berliner said. “Both properties could be sold, rather than leased, for substantial funds.”
Berliner said he understands there may be advantages to ground leases versus sales in certain situations.
“Regardless, WMATA should seek to become more nimble in the way it works right now with provide developers on station-adjacent properties,” said Berliner. “These properties hold tremendous potential, not just as sources of additional revenue but also as sources of additional ridership.”
You can read Berliner’s letter in its entirety, below: