The Purple Line is on, so to speak. Governor Hogan held a press conference on transportation issues. Early signs were not good for the Purple Line light rail. Montgomery County Exec. Ike Leggett was said to not be attending the press conference. I thought that to be a harbinger of a anti-purple things to come, but Governor Hogan opened the door and took the podium wearing a purple tie. I stood corrected. While Hogan didn’t doom the Purple Line like he did Baltimore’s Red Line, he did shift funding responsibility from the state to the counties. The $2.4 billion dollar project now rests on $900 million in federal funding, $168 million in state funding (not the original $700 million requested), and the counties and private funds will make up the rest. Projections for plans will be in around 1 1/2 years; project completion estimated at 5-6 years if all goes well. Hogan and Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn say that their plan knocks $200 million off the original $2.4 billion project’s price tag. We’ll see. Governor Hogan stayed true to his campaign promise to fund road, highway and infrastructure improvements, to the tune of $1.97 billion. See a complete list of improvement and construction projects HERE.
A nice piece of funding, $200 million, was allotted for the Greenbelt Interchange for the “new FBI headquarters.” Did anyone else catch that? I really was excited to hear Governor Hogan say that. Now I need to hear GSA say it. The development plans for a FBI headquarters in Greenbelt make sense, “…a secure headquarters complex of five buildings with a mixed-use development of five additional buildings accessible to the public, all served by the Greenbelt Metro station. The FBI employees would have their own parking garage, complete with solar panels on the roof, while current metro parking and Kiss and Ride facilities would be replaced with a parking complex next to the Metro entrance.” Washington Business Journal. Maybe I was just hearing what I wanted. Maybe I just scooped this story. Go Ceemac! Power to the little blog and blogger.
Landover based Giant grocery store and Food Lion are merging. So umm, now am I shopping at Food Giant Lion? Giant Food Lion? Uuuurgh. Both owners of these companies are European; they’ll have their way with an even larger portion of the U.S. market now. “Dutch retailer Royal Ahold, which owns Landover-based Giant and other East Coast chains, and rival Delhaize Group of Belgium, parent of low-cost operator Food Lion, would create the fourth-largest U.S. grocer and be the latest in a series of supermarket buyouts and mergers. The combined company, Ahold Delhaize, would have more than 6,500 stores around the world with 50 million customers a week in the U.S. and Europe, generating about 61 percent of its sales in the United States. The merging companies offered little guidance on plans for their many U.S. banners, and analysts suggested that the deal wouldn’t result in significant closings, particularly in Baltimore.”-Baltimore Sun. Press sources report that the merger will allow Giant/Food Lion to compete with higher end stores like Whole Food and the lower priced Walmart and Dollar General. Umph. With all the arsenic in the poultry and such, I might as well just raise me some livestock myself. This merger reeks of a monopoly.
DoubleTree by Hilton Largo has opened, giving that area it’s first upscale hotel. Located at 9100 Basil Court, the hotel opens to a complete transformation from the former Radisson hotel: redesigned lobby, public and recreation areas, room upgrades, reconfigured meeting area, and revamped restaurant and bar concepts. Word is another location for Old Town Inn is supposed to take up residence at this Double Tree but so far, only dining listed on the website is XC Bar and Bistro.