You didn't think this whole Fillmore deal was actually going to go down without a major hitch, did you? That hitch is named Doug Duncan, who maintains that the money promised by the state to support opening a new music venue is somehow tied to the Birchmere, wherever it may open, rather than to a specific spot such as the old J.C. Penney building.
"I view it as the state keeping its word," Duncan (D) said yesterday in an interview. "Montgomery County has a whole different project now."In the parlance of professional wrestling, this type of move is referred to as a "heel turn". Doug Duncan just hit Silver Spring over the head with a metaphorical steel chair.
Duncan, vice president for administrative affairs, has lined up a powerful ally in his quest to secure the state money. Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller Jr., a Democrat whose district includes part of Prince George's and an enthusiastic booster of U-Md., his alma mater, said the money "is going to be for the Birchmere, and it's going to be located in Prince George's County."
I don't know if not having that $4 million grant is a deal breaker or not, but there's a real possibility that they may end up tearing down another "future home of" banner from the façade of that building. This may very well be a zero-sum game. It was obviously a calculated move on Duncan's part to announce the Birchmere deal before MoCo officially revealed their agreement with Live Nation.
I am also curious to see where the loyalties of the pro-Silver Spring Birchmere lobby lie. Will they favor a Birchmere in College Park at the expense of a music venue on Colesville Road?