After 4 years of packed city council hearings, protests, and social media battles, the City of Takoma Park announced today that the Takoma Junction Project has been abandoned and a new proposal has been approved. According to the city manager, a better deal was struck as a local community group secured a developer to build the project for only $1,783, or $21,998,217 less than the original design.
“It’s a no-brainer,” stated the City Manager. “Not only is the building basically free, but I’m now free from having to deal with these people. I’m really looking forward to getting back to my regular job of reading public complaints about new sidewalks.”
The Takoma Junction Development has been the topic of controversy for years with both sides showing no signs of compromise. Supporters maintain the argument that the city needs more commerce and much needed tax revenue. Opponents, on the other hand, believe if given the chance, they can easily find their own developer to build their vision: a multipurpose building with commercial space, rental housing, community meeting rooms, a performance stage, an artisanal craft studio, and an interior courtyard that functions as a public park, all financed with taxpayer funds.
The only thing stopping them was finding a developer who could deliver this project within the City’s non-existent development budget – then a miracle happened.
“All of my colleagues think I’m crazy,” stated Fred H.
Kleine, Owner of Mega Build Development, a Bethesda-based developer who agreed
to execute the community’s entire vision for just $1,783. “My company will lose
millions, my shareholders will be angry, and there’s a near certainty that I’ll
be facing personal and professional ruin in less than a year. But how could I
say no? It’s not like I can just stand by and allow Takoma Park to turn into
Asked why the cost estimate is $1,783 and not zero, Kleine responded, “The community worked hard to scrape up what they felt was enough money on GoFundMe to build a project of this scope. Frankly, I just didn’t have the heart to tell them they had no sense of reality. Sometimes it’s best just to avoid confrontation with certain folks.”
Designs for the new proposal are currently underway as a local architecture student is working nights and weekends trying to squeeze in the work around final exams.
“It’s a crazy deadline, but frankly, I don’t really mind,” stated Paul Feeney, senior architecture student at University of Maryland, “I’ve watched this development process long enough to know that whatever I draw now will be scrutinized and changed repeatedly over 48 months of public review and comment. I consider it job security for years to come.”