In order to clear the Apex Building out of the way of a better Capital Cresecent Trail (and, oh yeah, Purple Line), the county is willing to consider eminent domain.
If negotiations to raze the Apex building — so the “optimal” station for the western terminus of the $2.2 billion Purple Line can be built — fail, the downtown Bethesda building might be taken by eminent domain, according to a county official.
But there may not be time to work out a deal that is satisfying to both sides since the Maryland Transit Administration has made it clear it wants a decision early this year.
That’s where eminent domain comes in, said Robert Kronenberg, acting chief of the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Area 1, in a meeting at The Gazette.
Kronenberg said it was “very possible” the Apex building would be taken by eminent domain if negotiations fail. Eminent domain is a process by which government can take private property, with compensation, for public use.
That process could be initiated by either the county or the state, he said.
I'm a fan of avoiding takings whereever possible, but this might be a case where it makes sense. Still, a lot of this is a problem of the county's making, since they didn't realize they'd need the Apex building torn down until the last minute.