What happens at Fort Howard Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Maryland not only affects Baltimore area military veterans, but all vets. Because the Department of Veterans Affairs declares their Ft. Howard redevelopment project to be the first of many to be developed in the same fashion to VAMCs all across America.
A Veterans Administration official told me that if the current lease holder of the Ft. Howard VAMC property defaults on that lease and losses it, the property goes to the General Services Administration - where it may be sold. Which may or may not be good for those of us who are affected by what happens there on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.
Fort Howard sets on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. The entire medical center is closed. It is slated for redevelopment as a residential, retail & commercial, and medical community, where veterans receive preference on the rental spaces to be built. If you do not know the area, or haven't been there for a long time, here is my published photography of the area:
The Ft. Howard VA Medical Clinic is permanently closed. If the first developer - who the VA took back a lease to Ft. Howard from, or the second developer - who now holds a lease on the VAMC property, had done what the lease agreement says they'd do then there would already have been a new medical clinic built on Ft. Howard. Here is the VA release on the closure: http://www.maryland.va.gov/emergency/
Here is an artist rendition of currently proposed construction at Ft. Howard VAMC by Ft. Howard Development, LLC: http://pfarc.com/01on-the-boards/fort-howard/#1
Linked below is a January 2016 Order and Decision from Balto County that levies fines of $43,800 against Ft. Howard Development, LLC for not providing security/fire watch 24/7, not fixing fire hydrants on site, maintaining a nuisance. There were 7 fires. The lease requires the developer to return all damaged property to its original state. Which includes three large homes built - beautifully solidly by old time craftsman - for army officers circa 1900. http://forthoward.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Order-and-Decision-1-13-161.pdf
This VA letter (linked below) says Ft. Howard Development, LLC is in default on the lease. The letter incorrectly blames Councilman Crandell for the developer's delays in construction. It also lies by saying "the developer will continue to provide 24/7 security service and he will continue his efforts to protect the historic facilities from further decline." He never was providing full security nor working at protecting from further decline. Nor do I believe he is now or ever. My extensive research reveals that the developer is incapable of completing such a project. Web search the developer - Tim Munshell and Carl Williams - to see what is online about those two. http://forthoward.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Enclosure-oaem-fort-howard-update-letter-17feb162.pdf
I was at the Baltimore Greene Street VA Hospital yesterday (bronchitis has a wicked grip on me), and a VA Police Officer told me they are covering all shifts at Ft. Howard VAMC and security guards hired by the developer are also there 24/7. On an earlier medical appointment at Greene St., a different officer told me the civilian security guards come in to begin their shift by going back in among the empty buildings to go to sleep.
Fort Howard Community Members Testify at CZMP Hearing March 31, 2016, about the VAMC property http://forthoward.org/fort-howard-community-members-testify-czmp-hearing-march-31-2016/
In an Open Letter to the Veteran’s Administration, linked to below, is: "The VA campus has been completely stripped of all metal (including the entire VA campus power plant) without any Baltimore County Department of Permits, Inspections, & Approval permits or inspections." For years, people told me work was going on at Ft. Howard, and my reply has been that it was metal scrappers making money recycling for cash - in liew of being paid by the developer. And taking any damned thing they can, without regard to future needs of the Ft. Howard VAMC property. There was medical equipment, massive amounts of furniture, an entire hospital kitchen full of stainless steel, and much, much more. http://forthoward.org/fort-howard-vamc-patient-closure-follow/
The is very little online about the current Ft. Howard "developer" - Tim Munshell & Carl Williams. If they had developed projects like Ft. Howard, news stories would be online about the successes. At the same time they were beginning their Ft. Howard "project", they were working another one near Washington D.C.. Without requisite experience or financial strength to do one project, they had two going. Here are quotes from the article linked to below:
"Maryland has halted plans to build a housing-agency headquarters in New Carrollton, putting on hold Prince George’s hopes for an urban transit-accessible neighborhood that would attract amenities to the county."
"The project, called Grand Central, had fallen months behind schedule as the state-chosen developer struggled to finance the project."
"Last year, the governor followed through by selecting Grand Central Development, founded by Temple Hills developer Carl S. Williams and Tim Munshell, to bring the project to New Carrollton."
"Months after O’Malley selected Grand Central, another of the developer’s companies, Carl Williams Group, was ordered in May by a New York state appellate court to pay investment manager UrbanAmerica $9.95 million to resolve a dispute dating to 2008."
"Williams also has personally been the subject of several tax liens from the Maryland comptroller’s office for failure to pay state withholding taxes for employees at one of his companies, records show."
"UrbanAmerica sued Carl Williams Group, alleging that the local firm had defaulted on a loan from Urban America, unfairly breached their agreement and fraudulently stashed securities with another Temple Hills company."
"That company, Bexley Place Limited Partnership, which shares the same business address as Carl Williams Group, filed for bankruptcy in April 2008, a move that “prevented plaintiff from foreclosing” on the assets, according to the court ruling."