Gaithersburg Acquires CPSC Property
Gaithersburg officials have acquired a new property that they plan to develop into additional recreational space. On Oct. 1, City Manager Tony Tomasello signed the deed of transfer for the former Consumer Property Safety Commission (CPSC) lab testing facility located on Darnestown Road.
Terms of the transfer require that the property be primarily used for recreational purposes.
“While much of this will most likely remain passive parkland, we have a unique opportunity to look at the property and its structures with a fresh set of eyes,” said Gaithersburg City Manager Tomasello. “After securing the property and establishing a maintenance program, the City’s next step will be to convene an advisory committee to propose options to the Mayor and City Council.”
“We have had our eye on this property since we learned several years ago that CPSC would be relocating,” said Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz. “With much of Gaithersburg built out, it is difficult to identify new parcels to fulfill a growing demand for open space and enhanced recreational amenities.”
The property encompasses 9.54 acres and includes eight buildings that lie within an established corridor of parks that extends from the Patuxent River to the Potomac River. In addition, the property can be easily connected to existing bike paths and walkways along Muddy Branch Road and Darnestown Road.
City officials applied for acquisition in 2012 after the federal government issued a determination of surplus property. The CPSC testing facility operated in Gaithersburg from 1975 until its move to a new location in Rockville in 2011.
In its Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Capital Improvement Plan, the City set aside $1.4 million for this project, anticipating design and construction expenditures in FY15 and FY16.
The city of Gaithersburg maintains an inventory of 23 parks and more than 522 acres of parkland. Recreational facilities include an activity center, miniature golf course, indoor and outdoor aquatic facilities, a skate park, two youth centers, a community center, a senior center, a museum and history park, a cultural arts center, and a historic mansion used primarily for social and business rentals. To learn more, visit www.gaithersburgmd.gov.