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Morning Notes

Mostly empty fields at Long Bridge Park during a heat advisory (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Virtual Learning Program Audit — “An audit of Arlington Public Schools’ calamitous start to its virtual-learning program during the 2021-22 school year was about as damning as expected, with school-system leadership responding to it by accepting some blame but also suggesting they did the best they could under trying circumstances.” [Sun Gazette]

Road Rage Drink Toss — “Lorcom Lane and Langston Boulevard. At approximately 7:33 p.m. on August 2, police were dispatched to the report of an aggressive driver. The investigation determined the victim was driving in the area when the suspect vehicle pulled in front of her abruptly. The unknown male suspect then pulled next to the victim’s vehicle and allegedly threw a beverage at her vehicle before fleeing the scene.” [ACPD]

Hit-and-Run Fundraiser Update — The GoFundMe campaign for the family of a woman killed by a hit-and-run driver is now approaching $30,000 after exceeding its $25,000 goal in just over a day. [Twitter, Twitter]

APS HR Mystery — “Mike Krulfeld recently returned to his job as director of student activities at Yorktown High School, having been put on administrative leave in early June for reasons that were not made clear to the 24-year employee of Arlington Public Schools or the public that rallied to his cause… there was no further explanation given of what the school system had been investigating, according to sources.” [Sun Gazette]

I-395 Rush Hour Drama — From public safety watcher Dave Statter: “#caughtoncamera: Rush hour drama on I-395N when a car won’t stop for [Virginia State Police] & takes off. It hit another vehicle before coming to a stop on GW Parkway where arrests occurred.” [Twitter]

Boeing Comms Chief Based Here — “The Boeing Company today named Brian Besanceney as the company’s senior vice president and chief communications officer effective September 6… He will be based at the company’s global headquarters in Arlington, Va.” [PR Newswire]

Police Shooting in Seven Corners — “A Fairfax County detective shot a man last night (Tuesday) during what police say was a narcotics investigation in the Seven Corners area. The shooting occurred near the intersection of Arlington Blvd and Patrick Henry Drive, the Fairfax County Police Department tweeted at 11:27 p.m.” [FFXnow]

It’s Thursday — Humid throughout the day with storms and heavy rain possible later. A Heat Advisory goes into effect at 11 a.m. High of 95 and low of 76. Sunrise at 6:14 am and sunset at 8:18 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, and Rep. Don Beyer joined the leaders of Boeing and Virginia Tech at the former’s Crystal City headquarters this morning to announce a new veterans initiative.

The announcement that drew the state’s top elected officials was the creation of the Boeing Center for Veteran Transition and Military Families at the new Virginia Tech Innovation Campus at Potomac Yard in Alexandria, just down the road.

It comes just over a month after Boeing announced that its existing Crystal City office campus would become the company’s global headquarters. While the move will only result in a relatively small shift of personnel from the existing headquarters in Chicago, it was highly touted by Youngkin, Warner and other elected officials.

“Boeing’s recent announcement to move its headquarters to Virginia and reaffirm its commitment to building the next generation of tech talent is a timely development for the Commonwealth, and is made more exciting by their extensive partnership with Virginia Tech,” Youngkin said in a statement.

“Their pledge to create the Boeing Center for Veteran Transition and Military Families ensures that the Commonwealth and its businesses continue to invest in diverse career pathways for veterans and students alike, all the while helping businesses thrive,” the governor continued.

The new Boeing Center, part of the company’s previously-announced $50 million investment into Virginia Tech’s new campus, is set to provide veterans with “economic and workforce programs,” mental health resources, and community service opportunities, according to a separate news release from Boeing.

“This is just a very important service that our military veterans need, a big assist to get into civilian life and to pursue civilian livelihoods, and to pursue tech degrees and all those things,” Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said during the announcement.

“Virginia has about 725,000 veterans that call Virginia their home, 155,000 active duty, reserve and National Guardsmen, and I’m biased, I want them to stay in Virginia,” Youngkin said during the announcement.

In addition to the veterans center, Boeing also plans to provide scholarships to Innovation Campus students, facilitate the recruitment of faculty and researchers, and fund STEM initiatives to underserved K-12 students.

“I hope it gets very big,” Calhoun said. “Just suffice to say, we’re going to take advantage of this location and try to attract as many young people as we possibly can to this trade and to our company.”

The press release from the governor’s office is below.

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Morning Notes

Construction scaffolding in Ballston (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Bye, Bye Bank Building — “A new residential development is on the boards for Columbia Pike. Marcus Partners filed plans late last week with Arlington County for a new 250-unit residential development at the site of the Bank of America office building at 3401 Columbia Pike. The six-story building will have ground floor retail, a central courtyard and 287 parking spaces on 2.5 below grade levels.” [UrbanTurf]

It’s Official: No Caucus — From Blue Virginia: “The @arlingtondems announce that their School Board Endorsement Vote process is canceled, as there is only one candidate (Bethany Zecher Sutton) left after the other withdrew.” [Twitter]

Rents Still Rising — “The median Arlington apartment rent in April was up 16.8 percent from a year before, the third highest growth rate among the nation’s 100 large urban areas, according to new data. The median monthly rental for an apartment in the county last month was $1,999 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,420 for two bedrooms, according to data reported by Apartment List.” [Sun Gazette]

Truck Crash Caught on Camera — From Dave Statter: “Just happened. 3rd crash in as many days on I-395S at Exit 8C/Rt 1. It appears the red car didn’t stop & no other cars struck. @VSPPIO has all lanes open.” [Twitter]

Protest Outside DEA HQ in Pentagon City — “I’m outside DEA headquarters in Arlington, where protests have gathered to draw attention to terminally ill patients’ rights to try experimental drugs like psilocybin.” [Twitter, The Hill]

WaPo Reporter Rappels Down Hotel — “On Thursday and Friday, about 80 people, including two local elected officials, a Washington Post reporter, and a member of the D.C. Divas women’s football team, dressed in full pads and uniform, rappelled down the side of the Crystal City Hilton to raise funds and awareness for New Hope Housing.” [Washington Post]

Boeing HQ May Draw More Companies — “Even without a sizable addition of jobs or expansion, Northern Virginia landing another major corporate headquarters has strategic ‘marketing value,’ Terry Clower, director of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis, said in an interview. The presence of a headquarters attracts the attention of other corporations, as well as site-selection consultants who advise companies where to locate new facilities. ‘Nothing draws a crowd like a lot of people,’ Clower said.” [Washington Business Journal]

Metro: Ridership Rebounding — “Metro ridership is outpacing projections through the first three quarters of fiscal year 2022 by nearly 40 percent. Through March, ridership has exceeded the initial forecast by 28 million passenger trips as more people chose bus and rail for travel throughout the region. Metrobus leads the way, accounting for 60 percent of overall Metro ridership, compared to about 40 percent for rail.” [WMATA]

It’s Tuesday — Clear throughout the day. High of 68 and low of 48. Sunrise at 6:02 am and sunset at 8:11 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

An airplane on approach to Reagan National Airport at twilight near Rosslyn (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Firefighters Rescue Cat from Tree — From the Animal Welfare League of Arlington: “We are so grateful for @ArlingtonVaFD! Yesterday, Charlie the cat snuck out of his house and got spooked, climbing 2.5 stories up a nearby tree on a very stormy day. ACFD came to the rescue and brought Charlie back down to the ground and to safety.” [Twitter]

Suspicious Package at Pentagon Metro — From Pentagon police: “At 9:46am, @PFPAOfficial was alerted to a suspicious package at the Pentagon Metro Visitors Screening Center. Explosive Ordnance Detection Unit is… investigating. Bus and rail service is bypassing the Pentagon. Personnel are asked to please avoid the area. […] At 1251 @PFPAOfficial gave the all clear. Bus and rail service have resumed. The incident is currently under investigation.” [Twitter]

New Apartment Building Proposed in Crystal City — “Add another new mixed-used building to the growing National Landing pipeline. An affiliate of Dweck Properties filed plans this week with Arlington county for two new buildings that would become a part of the Crystal Towers development at 1600 South Eads Street.” [UrbanTurf]

Boeing Bringing Few Jobs — “Paul Lewis, a Boeing spokesman, said the company employs 400 people in the Washington area and has space to add more, but ‘there are no immediate plans to expand the facility here in Arlington.’ The company also won’t reduce its roughly 400 employees at Boeing’s outgoing headquarters in Chicago. Nonetheless, Lewis said in an email the move to Virginia was important for the company: ‘It’s significant in that this will be the base of operations for the CEO and CFO.'” [Washington Post]

More Local Reaction to Boeing HQ — “From the Greater Washington Board of Trade: “Congrats to @NationalLanding
. Our region provides such a compelling strategic advantage to businesses that want to relocate here because of its’ proximity to the government, business, non-profits and academia. It’s a win for everyone in our region!” [Twitter, LinkedIn]

Local Cemetery Getting Historic Marker — “It became a county historic landmark last year, and soon the Mount Salvation Baptist Church cemetery will have a marker denoting its status… The cemetery, located adjacent to the church in the historically African-American North Arlington community of Halls Hill/High View Park, is the final resting spot of at least 89 people. Burials at the cemetery were recorded from 1916 (although some likely occurred a decade or two earlier) to 1974.” [Sun Gazette]

Reminder: West Glebe Road Bridge Closed to Cars — “The West Glebe Road bridge over Four Mile Run will be completely closed to vehicles [on Monday, May 9], and will remain closed for nearly a year.” [ARLnow]

It’s Monday — Mostly sunny, with a northeast wind around 11 mph and gusts as high as 18 mph. High of 64 and low of 44. Sunrise at 6:03 am and sunset at 8:10 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Boeing office complex and the Crystal City and Pentagon City skyline (Staff photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 4:45 p.m.) Aerospace and defense giant Boeing is moving its corporate headquarters from Chicago to Arlington.

The move, first reported by the Wall Street Journal and since confirmed by the company, “would place the aerospace company’s senior executives closer to key government decision makers in the nation’s capital,” the paper reported.

“Boeing announced today that its Arlington, Virginia campus just outside Washington, D.C. will serve as the company’s global headquarters,” Boeing said in a press release. “The aerospace and defense firm’s employees in the region support various corporate functions and specialize in advanced airplane development and autonomous systems. In addition to designating Northern Virginia as its new headquarters, Boeing plans to develop a research & technology hub in the area to harness and attract engineering and technical capabilities.”

“We are excited to build on our foundation here in Northern Virginia,” Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun, in a statement. “The region makes strategic sense for our global headquarters given its proximity to our customers and stakeholders, and its access to world-class engineering and technical talent.”

Boeing had nearly 500 employees at its downtown Chicago headquarters in 2020, Reuters reported last year, noting that amid the pandemic the building has not been well utilized.

Per the October article:

Other top executives, like newly minted CFO Brian West, are also based primarily on the U.S. East Coast and a hush has descended on the exclusive but functional top floor, although the pandemic has also been a major factor, the people said.

“It’s a ghost town,” one of the people added.

The headquarters — a 36-floor, $200 million riverfront skyscraper — sits at the crossroads of a cost-cutting campaign that has seen Boeing shed real estate, including its commercial airplane headquarters in Seattle.

Several people close to the company say cost cuts and a more hands-on corporate culture have raised questions about Boeing’s long-term future in the city, and in turn the broad direction Boeing intends to take as it tries to regain its stride.

Boeing opened its East Coast headquarters in the Crystal City area about eight years ago. The approximately 450,000 square foot office complex is two blocks from Amazon’s under-construction HQ2 and adjacent to Long Bridge Park.

Boeing has its name on the county park’s fields and aquatics center after making a $10 million donation.

Boeing headquarters in Crystal City (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

An Arlington Economic Development spokeswoman declined to comment on today’s news before the formal announcement, citing “competitive reasons and to protect confidential company information.”

Local broadcast outlets also reported on the move following WSJ’s scoop, citing “a Virginia state official.” The official noted that Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), a personal friend of Boeing’s CEO, both helped to woo the company, according to NBC 4.

Following the announcement, Warner praised Boeing’s move.

“For well over a year, I’ve been making my case to Boeing senior leadership that Virginia would be a great place for its headquarters, and late last year, I was happy to learn that my efforts were successful,” he said in a statement. “As the former Governor of Virginia, I was proud to secure Virginia’s standing as the best state for business and the best-managed state, among other honors, and I’ve been proud to work in my role as Senator to help continue to cultivate the kind of pro-business environment that world-class companies like Boeing need to grow and thrive.”

In a statement, Youngkin also praised the company and its CEO, while touting Virginia’s talented workforce.

Boeing is one of America’s great pioneering businesses and we are thrilled the company has decided to headquarter in Virginia. The decision to call Virginia home shows that the Commonwealth is the premier location for aerospace companies. I look forward to working with Boeing to attract even more talent to Virginia especially given its reputation for engineering excellence. From day one, our goal has been to make Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family. I want to thank Boeing, its CEO Dave Calhoun, and its leadership for choosing Virginia.

Boeing did not reveal where in Northern Virginia it intends to open the new research and development hub.

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Arlington County has debuted signage for the newly-renamed “Boeing Fields at Long Bridge Park” in recognition of Boeing Company’s donation of $10 million to the county park.

The new sign at the athletic complex was unveiled today (Wednesday) during a ceremony at the park. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, County Board Chair Christian Dorsey and County Manager Mark Schwartz spoke at the event.

Boeing’s donation will help to cover the maintenance and operation expenses of Long Bridge Park, which is adjacent to the aerospace giant’s D.C. area headquarters in Crystal City.

“Sometimes these corporate partnerships don’t feel like a decent match, but with Boeing Fields, they’re right here, they’re in the community, so it made sense,” said Dorsey.

The funding also provides free access to the forthcoming Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness Center for active-duty military and their families, according to a county press release. Once completed, the 50-meter pool inside the aquatics center will also be named after Boeing.

“Boeing is committed to making a difference in the community and is proud to support members of the military who give so much to keep us safe,” said Tim Keating, Boeing’s Executive Vice President for Government Operations.

Following the announcement earlier this year, the County Board is set to officially accept the donation at its upcoming meeting on Saturday, Sept. 21.

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Morning Notes

Arlington Loses Top Economic Development Official — “Christina Winn, one of the lead Arlington officials tasked with luring Amazon to the county, is taking over as Prince William County’s top economic development official.” [Washington Business Journal]

Marymount Prez Wants to Double Enrollment — “Irma Becerra hit the ground running the moment she took over the Marymount University presidency… her chief goal is as straightforward as it is ambitious: Double the school’s size in the next five years.” [Washington Business Journal]

18th Street Headache — “As they wrap up the demolition of the Clark St. bridge over 18th [Street S. in Crystal City], the eastbound side of 18th will be closed Thursday and Friday this week.” [Twitter]

Howell Gets Fall Challenger — “It’s an uphill battle, to be certain, but Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance president Arthur Purves will take on, as a Republican, seven-term incumbent state Sen. Janet Howell (D-32nd) in the Nov. 5 election. The district snakes from Howell’s home turf of Reston eastward into portions of Arlington.” [InsideNova]

Arlington Treasurer Leads State Association — “Arlington County Treasurer Carla de la Pava was sworn in as the President of the Treasurers’ Association of Virginia (TAV) at the association’s annual conference in Arlington.” [Press Release]

Boeing’s Space HQ Moving Out of Arlington — “Boeing will move its space headquarters from Arlington, Va., to the Florida Space Coast as it pursues a number of rocket and spacecraft programs, including one that would launch astronauts from U.S. soil for the first time since the space shuttle retired in 2011.” [Washington Post]

Townhomes Proposed for Crystal House Property — “The proposed expansion of the Crystal House apartment complex is getting a little larger, with 21 townhomes now part of plans at the Crystal City property… The company has already filed for permission to add 798 units across four new buildings on the 29.8-acre site.” [Washington Business Journal]

Nearby: Design of Potomac Yard Metro Revealed — “The city of Alexandria, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and Potomac Yard Constructors, the private joint venture picked to build the station, have submitted a design for an upcoming evaluation by the city’s Board of Architectural Review. The station design calls for a stone base, a metal canopy and metal louvers, a glass curtain wall and exo-skeleton system, a standing seam metal roof and roof skylight panels. There will be bathrooms on the eastern side, between a set of elevators and an electrical room.” [Washington Business Journal]

Photo courtesy Celia Slater

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The Boeing Company is donating $10 million to Arlington County for maintenance, operations and programming at Long Bridge Park and the forthcoming Aquatics Center, the county announced Tuesday.

In exchange, the county is renaming the athletic fields at the park — which is adjacent to Boeing’s D.C. area headquarters — “Boeing Fields at Long Bridge Park,” complete with new signage. Also being named: the 50-meter pool inside the aquatics center.

More from a county press release:

Arlington County is pleased to announce that The Boeing Company has made a $10 million donation in Arlington County for Long Bridge Park (LBP). In recognition of this investment, Arlington will soon name Boeing Fields at Long Bridge Park, as well as name the 50-meter pool inside the future Aquatics & Fitness Center, which is expected to open to the public in winter 2021.

Boeing’s commitment and partnership with Arlington County and the Arlington Community Foundation will support maintenance and operational expenses at both facilities and will provide access and programming for active duty military and their families at the Aquatics Center.

“This creative and generous investment by Boeing offers a real win for our community,” said Arlington County Chair Christian Dorsey. “It not only helps provide financial support for our new facility, but also establishes a special opportunity to give back to an important group — our active-duty military families serving in the region.”

“Boeing is committed to making a difference in the community and is proud to support members of the military who give so much to keep us safe,” said Tim Keating, executive vice president for Government Operations at The Boeing Company. “We are especially excited to announce this innovative partnership with Arlington County, which will allow us to make a substantial impact in our own backyard.” […]

While the funding was received in February 2019, the Arlington County Board is expected to officially accept the funding at an upcoming County Board Meeting this summer. The renaming of the LBP athletic field complex as “Boeing Fields at Long Bridge Park” will take place later this summer. Boeing recognition will be incorporated into the planned LBP signage. The overall name for the Long Bridge Park and Long Bridge Park Aquatics and Fitness Center will not change.

What do you think of the donation and the new name?

Photo courtesy Michael Coffman/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Buildings in Rosslyn

County to Buy Houses for Fire Station — The Arlington County Board last night approved the purchase of two houses on N. Culpeper Street for a total of $1.68 million. The houses are needed for the construction of a new Fire Station No. 8. One house will be torn down to make way for a temporary fire station, while the other will serve as quarters for firefighters at the station. [Arlington County]

Boeing to Move Defense HQ to Arlington — Boeing is moving the headquarters of its Defense, Space and Security unit from St. Louis to its existing regional HQ in Crystal City. The move will bring about a dozen top executives and fifty support staff to Arlington. [Washington Business Journal]

County Buying Bus Maintenance Site in Springfield — County Board members unanimously approved the $4.65 million purchase of 2.15 acre industrial site in Springfield, Va., to be used as a future heavy maintenance facility for Arlington Transit buses. After it is built, the facility will replace the current leased ART maintenance facility, located in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County. [Arlington County, Arlington County]

ACPD Distributing Toys for the Holidays — Arlington County Police Department officers have been delivering toys to Arlington Public Schools families in need, after collecting the toys during the department’s Fill the Cruiser drive. [Twitter]

Recycling Center Move Approved — The Four Mile Run Drive self-serve recycling center will soon be moving to the Arlington Trades Center, as expected. The County Board unanimously approved the move at its Tuesday night meeting. “County workers will be better able to monitor recycling at this location, to make sure the site is maintained properly and remains litter-free,” said Board Chair Libby Garvey. [Arlington County]

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A Boeing 787 Dreamliner landed at Reagan National Airport around 10:50 this morning as part of an international promotional tour for the aircraft.

The widebody jetliner (wingspan: 197 feet) will spend the next few days parked at the airport, before departing on Friday morning, according to Boeing. Government and airline officials and members of the media are among those expected to be invited to tour the aircraft during its time at DCA. No public tours are planned.

According to Boeing, the jetliner — first put into commercial service in October 2011 — is outfitted with “special cabin features including a welcoming entryway, dramatically larger dimmable windows, bigger bins and dynamic LED lighting.” The 787 is noted for its use of lightweight composite materials, which helps make it 20 percent more fuel efficient than similar-sized airliners. It’s also designed to be quieter and  more comfortable for passengers than older models.

Today’s landing (see: video) was unusual for Reagan National, since widebody aircraft typically do not operate out of the airport. The plane will depart DCA for Dallas, Texas on Friday.

Last fall the Arlington County Board approved plans for Boeing to build a new regional headquarters near Crystal City.

Photos (top, bottom right) courtesy Boeing. Photo (bottom left) courtesy Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

 

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It was 12:50 a.m. by the time the Arlington County Board adjourned last night, having spent three hours debating a proposal for aerospace and defense giant Boeing to build a new regional headquarters complex near Crystal City.

After a lengthy back-and-forth discussion, the Board voted unanimously to approve the project, which won high marks for its economic benefits to the county but which was strongly opposed by the county’s own citizen-led transportation and planning commissions.

Opponents of the Boeing plan argued that allowing six-story, single-tenant office buildings on the 4.7 acre property — located between Crystal City and the county’s new Long Bridge Park — ran counter to Arlington’s original “smart growth” goal for a mixed-use office, residential and retail development there.

The Boeing complex, which the company will own instead of lease, won’t provide the kind of active streetscape befitting a property so close to a multi-million dollar county park and recreation center, opponents said. Instead, the property will be largely closed off to the public; buildings will be set back from the sidewalk with no ground floor retail and no public-use parking spaces (which could have been utilized during special events at the park). Transportation Commission Chair Bill Gearhart called the complex, which will have 555 underground parking spaces, “auto-oriented” as opposed to transit-oriented. The Planning Commission called the architecture of the proposed buildings “mediocre.”

“If this project is approved, the County would be setting a precedent that it is okay to shred everything in order to keep a company that is not working, living or playing well with its neighbors,” the Planning Commission wrote.

But Boeing supporters — including county staff, Arlington Economic Development, and the Crystal City Business Improvement District — argued that the hundreds of jobs and millions in annual tax revenue that will be generated by the new Boeing complex represents significant a benefit to the county that more than justifies the shift in land use goals required to approve the project.

“I think tonight presents us a unique opportunity in recruiting and retaining a major employer,” said County Manager Barbara Donnellan. “At a time of increased economic uncertainty, this level of commitment to a major employer is critical to the county’s future economic sustainability, especially in Crystal City, where the future impacts of BRAC are yet to be seen.”

In pushing for the proposal’s approval, however, even Donnellan admitted that it “was not without controversy.”

“I acknowlege that my recommending steers slightly away from some of our urban planning ideals,” she said. “But I believe we’re facing a set of extraordinary circumstances.”

Supporters made the case that the plan for mixed-use development on the proposed site — two run-down square blocks of abandoned industrial buildings and a shuttered, deteriorating hotel — was unrealistic in the near-term. Waiting years for market conditions to be right for a high-density mixed-use development, some said, could jeopardize the county’s plan to build an aquatics center as part of the second phase of the Long Bridge Park project. As part of the agreed-to Boeing proposal, financially-challenged developer Monument Realty will engage in a land swap with the county that will allow the aquatics center to be built.

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