A sensible concession

David Taylor: Compromise would bring smaller but still important development.

November 05, 2001

THE DEVELOPER aiming to convert the David Taylor Research Center into a civilian complex has answered opponents who argued that the project was too big.

With the new agreement between Annapolis Partners and Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens to reduce the project by 100,000 square feet of office space, the question no longer should be whether the developer should proceed, but how.

The county is well-positioned, geographically, to attract defense-oriented business. Inside its boundaries already are the National Security Agency and a Northrop Grumman Corp. plant, which will benefit enormously from a Defense Department decision to award a big contract to Maryland-based partner Lockheed Martin.

But the 46.5-acre waterfront site still belongs to the Navy, and nothing can happen until the property is conveyed to the county and then to Annapolis Partners, which planned to invest $250 million. The county hopes to put legislation on the table in January.

One obstacle should not be whether the project would be compatible with the neighborhood. In its heyday, the David Taylor Research Center was full of activity serving military needs.

Under the new compromise, the center can flourish again.

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