Full Steam Ahead for the Purple Line


Michael Madden, MTA Purple Line Project Manager, provided an update on the Purple Line project to the Silver Spring Action Committee for Transit Tuesday evening (October 8, 2013). Mr. Madden made it clear that the Purple Line project will be moving forward—starting with real property acquisitions—as soon as the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issues its Record of Decision (ROD), which Mr. Madden stated is expected to occur on December 5, 2013.  Mr. Madden explained that the State’s portion of the funding has been approved and the MTA is laying the groundwork to be ready to move forward quickly once the ROD is signed, by soliciting appraisers to appraise the properties that will be taken and initiating consultations with tenants and owners who will be displaced.  

The period for commenting on the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) will close on October 21, 2013.  Thereafter, the MTA will consider the comments and incorporate its responses in the ROD, which it expects the FTA to sign in early December.
 
Mr. Madden provided the overall timeline for the project, including both condemnation and non-condemnation aspects, which include:

  1. The comment period on the FEIS (Final Environmental Impact Statement) closes 10/21/2013.
  2. The MTA expects the FTA to sign the ROD (Record of Decision, which is the final controlling approval of the project, i.e. the formal “go ahead”) on December 5, 2013.
  3. The MTA, in conjunction with the SHA, will begin acquisitions immediately once the ROD is signed in December.  The MTA has already begun counseling tenants and owners who will be displaced and has put out bids for appraisals in order to be ready to move as soon as the ROD is signed.
  4. The project will be a P3, i.e. a “Public Private Partnership” in which a private company will be contracted to build and operate the transit way for 30 years according to metrics set by the MTA.
  5. Responses to the MTA’s Request for Qualifications from potential P3 “concessionaires” are due this month (October 2013).
  6. The MTA will announce the “short list” of potential concessionaires in December.
  7. The bid proposals from the selected P3 concessionaires will be due next August (2014).
  8. The preferred P3 partner will be chosen in the Fall of 2014.
  9. The FFGA (Full Funding Grant Agreement) with the federal government, i.e. the federal government’s funding commitment, is expected to be finalized in early 2015.
  10. Construction will begin in 2015.
  11. Construction is hoped to be completed in 2020.

Mr. Madden also noted that the MTA and Montgomery County are in negotiations with the owner of the Apex Building in Bethesda and it hoped to know whether the owner will commit to redevelop the building by January or February, so the MTA can finalize their plans for the western end of the project.  He also noted that the MTA now owns the Taco Bell property in Langley Park, which will be developed with the Langley Bus Depot.  The utility work for that project is nearing completion and the pre-construction meeting with the contractor will be held this month.  Construction of the bus depot will take place in phases with the first phase beginning this month.  Construction of the bus depot is scheduled to be completed in 2015 just before construction of the Purple Line begins.

Contact one of Miller, Miller & Canby’s eminent domain attorneys if your business or property is affected by the proposed Purple Line in order to understand and protect your property rights.

Miller, Miller & Canby has announced two free seminars on the rights of owners and tenants with respect to the Purple Line condemnation process.
 
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