A company that wants to build an amphitheater in the region similar to Northern Virginia's Wolf Trap is close to choosing a West County site, the chairman of the County Council said yesterday.
County Councilman David G. Boschert, D-Crownsville, said the company is near a decision on a site in the Manassas, Va., or Maryland City area.
"They are very interested in coming here now," he said. "The company has not given (Northern Virginia) up, but we are its priority now."
Boschert, who said he spoke to officials from the California-based company by phone Friday, said he is working out technical detailsof a land deal that would make available 100 acres near Fort Meade for the company and the county, which could use the rest of the land for much-needed ball fields.
Under Boschert's plan, publicly disclosed two months ago, the county would purchase the land, south of Route 198, for $1 million and lease part of it back to the amphitheater company.
The county councilman has refused to name the company, saying it would jeopardize the deal.
Boschert said that once he gets approval from County Executive Robert R. Neall to buy the land, the name of the company would be made public.
"It should be resolved bythe end of this month," he said. "I'm looking to wrap this up in thenext two weeks. I will do everything in my power to get this here."
If Neall's office signs off on the project, the issue must then gobefore the County Council. Neall's spokeswoman, Louise Hayman, said yesterday that she knew little about the negotiations.
Michael Lofton, director of the county's Economic Development Office, which is conducting negotiations, was unavailable for comment yesterday.
Officials in Manassas and Virginia's Prince William County said they knew nothing about an amphitheater company.
Boschert has said that Potomac resident Doug Legum is willing to sell the 100 acres to the county for $1 million.
The land conceivably could fetch four times that amount, but Legum would get a substantial tax break for selling the land to the county, Boschert said.
The company, Boschert said, would lease the land and run the amphitheater and the ball fields.