Operator in talks to buy Md. Airport
County, investor have been discussing purchase for months
The Charles County Department of Economic Development revealed on Wednesday that it is in discussions with an airport operator who has expressed interest in purchasing the Maryland Airport in Indian Head. Darrell Brown, director of the Charles County Economic Development Department, announced the discussions at the department’s quarterly business roundtable at the Waldorf West Library.
In response to a question from an audience member, Brown said, “We are currently working with an airport operator that is very interested in purchasing the airport. We have made it clear to this operator what the policy
considerations, limitations and constraints are. Given the current conditions, that operator is still very interested.”
Brown added that Lucretia Freeman-Buster, the department’s new chief of business development, has put together a financing package for the potential buyer. “The question is, when is [the
sale] going to happen?” Brown said. “That depends on the operator and the current owner.”
The role of the department, Brown explained, is to try to move the process along as quickly as possible for all parties. “We’re not the ones who are actually able to pull the trigger,” he said.
The airport, which is currently owned by Bauserman Service Inc., has been for sale since May 1 of this year. The listed price is $4.84 million.
The listing agent for the sale is Hooper & Associates, which specializes in real estate valuations for mortgage lenders. Attorney Sue Greer, who represents Bauserman Service Inc., said in a written statement to the Maryland Indepenedent, “It is not surprising that other entities recognize what an important economic development asset Maryland Airport can be for Charles County and its citizens. Bauserman Service Inc. and the Bauserman
family are committed to seeing the Maryland Airport realize its full potential. If the county has thoughts and ideas on how to achieve this, we are open to such conversations and view moving forward with a collaborative approach as a positive step.”
Maryland Airport was founded in 1943 by the Bauserman family. Gil Bauserman, the most recent owner and operator,
died in April.
In an interview following the roundtable, Brown said that the purpose of the discussions with the potential operator has been to find a viable operator to make the airport functional and productive. He declined to identify the potential operator, citing confidentiality due to the ongoing negotiations.
Brown said that the proposed purchase of the airport was unrelated to, and unaffected by, last week’s decision by the Charles County Board of Commissioners to explore the possibility of placing the 50-acre Indian Head Technology Park — located in proximity to the airport — in an easement with either the Conservancy for Charles County or the Maryland Environmental Trust. “The two are not
dependent on one another,” Brown said. “I don’t see them as being interrelated. They are separate geographical spaces.”
Brown confirmed that the operator has not been in touch with the department about last week’s vote by the commissioners.
At Wednesday’s roundtable, Marcia Keeth, deputy director of the Economic Development Department, noted that the initial draft of the 2017 Comprehensive Plan included a tax overlay zone that would allow commercial and industrial uses in the area surrounding the airport despite it being included in the watershed conservation district. The Charles County Board of Commissioners voted to remove the overlay zone from the final plan, though there is a motion before the commissioners to add it back in.
“We intend to work very closely with the Department of Planning in helping to create that overlay zone in order to support the Maryland Airport and ensure that it does remain viable,” Keeth said.