Germantown developer condemns 'abuse of power' in $90M project delay by Michelle Corbet

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Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo made an administrative decision to give “one final bite at the apple" to all parties involved in TraVure, the hotly contested, five-story mixed-use office development along Germantown's Western Gateway.

During the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting Monday, Jan. 25, Mayor Palazzolo moved to schedule a final public meeting on Feb. 22 for consideration of the amended Outline Plan for Gill Properties Inc.’s $90 million mixed-use office development TraVure, as well as approval of the final plans for phases one through three.

The new Class- A office building is part of TraVure, a multi-phased planned development which includes hotels, restaurants and retail near the corner of Poplar Avenue and Kirby Parkway.

The new Class- A office building is part of TraVure, a multi-phased planned development… more

Courtesy Gill Properties

The $90 million development of two Hilton hotels, a covered parking garage, restaurants, retail outlets and a five-story office building could have received a final approval from the mayor during the Jan. 25 meeting, but Palazzolo decided against it.

"This is an absurd abuse of power by the Mayor that should make all developers mistrustful of the Germantown leadership," said Brown Gill, vice president of Gill Properties Inc. "We have worked in good faith with the Germantown Planning Department to make this plan in full compliance with the current municipal codes. This is a completely unwarranted and unnecessary delay that will affect leasing with office tenants and will affect the timeline of construction for TraVure Drive, the office building and hotel."

The amended Outline Plan and final plans for the three phases have already been approved by the Germantown Planning Commission. Due to changes to the Outline Plan, including the shape of the hotel, it must come back and be approved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Under the Smart Code Sec. 23-744, the Mayor has the authority to approve final plans that do not include variances or warrants on behalf of the board.

“However, in this instance, since the final plans are dependent on the Outline Plan approval, and in order to give our elected officials the opportunity to consider the entire development, the best approach is that I not exercise my authority to act on behalf of the [board], but rather have the full [board] consider the Outline Plan as well as final plans,” Palazzolo said. “That way, the TraVure project can be considered in its entirety at one public meeting.”


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