WINCHESTER — Chicago-based developer Healthcare Development Partners (HDP) has signed a $3.9 million contract to buy the former Frederick County Middle School site at 441 Linden Drive from the Frederick County government, according to county officials.
HDP’s original offer was $3.25 million for the 23-acre surplus property that includes a 102,000-square-foot building and three athletic fields. Arlington-based Landmark Atlantic LLC then made an offer of $3.9 million. Landmark Atlantic was interested in developing age-restricted senior housing at the site. HDP countered by raising its offer to $3.9 million, according to Frederick County Deputy Administrator Jay Tibbs.
The Board of Supervisors approved HDP’s offer on April 10, following a closed session prior to its regular meeting, Tibbs said. County Administrator Kris Tierney executed the contract the same day.
According to Tibbs, the contract gives 120 days for HDP to study the property, with the option of two 30-day extensions. HDP has the option to back out of the purchase at the end of the study period.
HDP is a privately held health-care real estate company formed in 1994 by Todd Bryant, the company’s current managing member. Bryant previously said the former school site could be age-restricted or multi-generational housing and include services provided by Valley Health, parent company of Winchester Medical Center.
HDP also plans to build a 193-bed residential center for seniors at 333 W. Cork St. on a site once occupied by Winchester Memorial Hospital (now WMC).
The Linden Drive property is located within Winchester’s city limits and borders the Shenandoah University Health Professions Building on the WMC campus. From 1965 to 2016, Frederick County Middle School was located there until a new FCMS opened at 4661 N. Frederick Pike. The property was then declared surplus and returned to the county government by the Frederick County School Board.
If HDP goes through with the purchase, it would quash an effort by the county’s Parks and Recreation Department to build a 20,000-square-foot community center and adjacent aquatics center on the site.
The property is zoned for Low Density Residential. It could be rezoned for another purpose, but since it’s located in the city, City Council would have to approve a rezoning for uses not allowed in Low Density Residential. Its assessed value is $8.15 million, according to city tax information, but a more recent appraisal conducted by a company unaffiliated with the city estimated the value at $4.5 million.