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Howard County executive selects replacement courthouse bidder

Edgemoor-Star America Judicial Partners has been selected as the preferred bidder to build a new Howard County Circuit Courthouse.

The company, if approved, will handle the design, construction, partial financing, and facility operations. County Executive Allan H. Kittleman announced the choice on Monday.

“This team provided an elegant and well thought out site plan that incorporated an iconic and aspirational design with an honorable and stately building. Their design for our future courthouse will prove to be an architectural landmark that expresses the values and traditions of Howard County’s justice system,” Kittleman said in a statement.

The proposed facility, which will replace the existing 175-year-old courthouse, is slated to be built on the site of the Thomas Dorsey Building on Bendix Road. Edgemoor-Star America’s proposal involves a 237,000-square-foot building, according to the county, that will include a courtroom for a sixth judge, a larger jury assembly area, and a 691-spot garage.

Edgemoor-Star will finance the cost of construction, design as well as maintenance and operation of the facility for 30 years. At the end of that term the courthouse will be turned back over to Howard County.

The county will provide $75 million in general obligation debt as well as a roughly $10 million annual service payment with inflation adjustments.

The Edgemoor Star America’s proposal was one of nine expressions of interest the county received in last September after the start of the procurement process in July 2017. It was chosen from three shortlisted firms that received a formal Request for Proposal from the county last November.

A bill creating a public-private partnership between the county and Edgemoor America, with a multiyear contract, is set to be filed with the Howard County Council on Thursday. A public hearing is scheduled for July 16 and a council vote is expected on July 27.

Demolition of the Thomas Dorsey Building is expected to begin next summer. Occupancy of the new courthouse is anticipated in the summer of 2021.

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