Kingdon Gould III
|This article is outdated. (October 2011)|
|Kingdon Gould III|
June 16, 1948|
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
|Occupation||Real estate developer|
Life and career
He was made part owner and vice president of Gould Property Company, his father's real estate firm and one of the largest and oldest real estate development firms in the D.C. metropolitan area. He was the company's spokesperson when the Hyatt Regency Crystal City hotel and the Mayflower Hotel both were subject to foreclosure proceedings in 1989.
In 1981, Gould and other members of his family purchased 2,200 acres (890 ha) of gravel pits straddling I-95 near Laurel, Maryland. The following year, Gould proposed building a model mixed-use community named Konterra at the site. Gould broke ground in 1991 on three speculative buildings in Konterra.
The development stalled due to a lack of transportation infrastructure at the site. Gould asked Maryland state and local officials to build an off-ramp from I-95 to the planned community, extend the Metro's Green Line to the site, and build Maryland Route 200 (the "Intercounty Connector") through the community. Gould had been a steady financial backer of Parris Glendening, a Democrat who was elected Governor of Maryland in 1994.
But when the Glendening administration refused to approve the Intercounty Connector, Gould threw his backing behind Republican challenger Robert Ehrlich, who was elected in 2002. Although Maryland law limits donations to state candidates for office to just $4,000 per election cycle, the law does not prevent a business person from making donations through corporations they own. Using this loophole, Gould gave Ehrlich $50,500 between 1999 and 2006, $21,000 Ehrlich's running mate Michael Steele, and $163,100 to Maryland Republican candidates for state and federal office. During the same period, he gave just $750 to Martin O'Malley, mayor of Baltimore (who was elected governor in 2006). Gould declined to comment on the donations for the Washington Post, and Ehrlich defended them by noting that his wife was a long-time friend of Gould's sister-in-law. Ehrlich admitted that he met with Gould about Konterra several times.
On July 12, 2005, Ehrlich approved construction of the $2.4 billion, 18-mile (29 km) Intercounty Connector.
In October 2007, Gould Property said Konterra would be a $3 billion development containing luxury homes, townhouses, and condominiums; a business district; and central entertainment, office, and retail space. The project's two phases, Konterra and Konterra Town Center, would break ground in 2009. The Prince George's County Planning Board approved preliminary designs and plans for 500-acre (200 ha) Konterra Town Center East in August 2008. These plans laid out 4,500 residential units and 5,900,000 square feet (550,000 m2) of office and retail space. Prince George's officials said that more detailed plans would be considered in the fall of 2009, with an eye toward breaking ground in late 2009 or early 2010, and completion of the community within 12 to 20 years.
Other notable projects
In 1989, CSX Transportation proposed removing the Georgetown Branch railroad track line and using the property to build several large, luxury homes. The line ran through the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park, and when it came up for sale the National Park Service was unable to obtain a congressional authorization to purchase the land. Gould loaned the agency $12 million to hold the land for a year, at which time the federal money came through. The land now forms part of the Capital Crescent Trail.
In 1996, Gould's Laurel Sand and Gravel company which includes Fairfax Materials, Allegany Aggregates, Laurel Asphalt and S.W. Barrick & Sons purchased the 600 acres chase property north of the historic town of Savage, Maryland. The site is home to the Savage Stone quarry, mining Baltimore Gabbro for road bed construction. The facility started operations in 2005 after special zoning approval with a 25 year reserve in materials.
Gould then partnered with his brother, Caleb Gould, and local developers David Costello and Richard B. Talkin to form Kincade LLC. In September 2000, Kincade broke ground on the $11 million Columbia Lakeside, a six story, 75,000 square feet (7,000 m2) office building facing Lake Kittamaqundi. It was the first new office building in Columbia Town Center since 1998.
In 2001, Gould embarked on a six-year-long land swap deal with the District of Columbia. Gould owned a 1.5 acres (0.61 ha) lot on the southeast corner of 9th Street NW and Massachusetts Avenue NW. Gould joined with Marriott International, a hotel company, to propose that a 1,500-room hotel be built on this site to function as a "headquarters hotel" for the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (then under construction). Gould hired the law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi to assist with his plans. There was extensive debate among city officials and developers over whether the Gould parcel was too small for the hotel, and whether the old Washington Convention Center site (a few blocks away) would be more appropriate. D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams appointed Gould to an advisory board in October 2004, and charged the advisory board with studying all proposed sites and recommending one for the hotel to the city. In August 2005, the Washington Convention and Sports Authority put a $900,000 down payment on two lots (which included the historic former headquarters of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry adjacent to the Gould parcel. On January 26, 2005, Gould swapped his parcel on 9th Street NW for a similar-sized lot at the site of the old convention center. With the land swap, the city was able to move ahead with plans to build the Washington Marriott Marquis, the 1,430-room "headquarters hotel" long-desired by the city. On November 1, 2007, the deal to swap land with Gould was finally approved. Although the City Council had signed off on the deal in June 2005, the city took another 25 months to change local zoning regulations so that Gould was exempted from building housing on his new site. Gould said he still had not decided what should be built there.
In 2003, Gould partnered with local residents in Baltimore to purchased the MacGillivray building at Charles and Read Streets to keep it out of the hands of a competing developer. Gould and the others hoped to renovate the structure into a mixed-used apartment building with upscale retail space on the ground floor.
In April 2007, Gould proposed a major redevelopment of an area bounded by Massachusetts Avenue NW, I Street NW, 6th Street NW, and 7th Street NW (a trapezoidal city block just southeast of Mount Vernon Square). Although 650 Massachusetts Avenue NW and 901 Seventh Street NW were modern office buildings on the western end of the parcel, surface parking lots and several historic townhouses facing I Street NW occupied the remainder of the block. Gould proposed construction of an 11-story, 360,000-square-foot (33,000 m2) office building with retail space on the ground floor and 300 underground parking spaces on the area currently occupied by the parking lots and townhouses. The office building's facade would be decorated with Chinese motifs, in keeping with the nature of the nearby Chinatown neighborhood. He proposed moving 621 I Street NW and 623 I Street NW (both constructed in 1852 and never renovated) to form a cluster with three other historic townhouses on the southeast corner of the parcel, and demolishing 627 I Street NW (which had been renovated as recently as 1946 and was no longer considered to have retained its historic character). The District of Columbia Historic Preservation Review Board began reviewing his proposal.
Gould took several steps to help win local support for his proposal. He worked with the Chinatown Steering Committee and the Chinatown Revitalization Council, and offered to contribute $1 million toward the construction of affordable housing in Chinatown, to turn over 13,000 square feet (1,200 m2) of space in the new building for community use, contribute $100,000 to neighborhood programs, and give free parking space in his building to members of both groups. However, Gould also proposed closing part of the alley serving the block. Steering committee members opposed this, because the closed area would be behind their condominium homes and they feared an increase in crime. D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray attempted to mediate the dispute. Gould abandoned these negotiations, and his architects redesigned the office building to build a service area by reducing the community space to just 4,100 square feet (380 m2). He also limited the space's use to a handful of groups he approved of. Gould also altered his community contribution plan, agreeing to donate $600,000 to the Chinese Community Church, provide rental discounts to Asian-owned retailers in the new building, and donate $850,000 to build affordable housing in Adams Morgan (a D.C. neighborhood several miles from Chinatown). Despite strong objections from the two Chinatown community groups, the D.C. City Council approved Gould's proposal by a 12-to-1 vote in August 2007.
In the mid-1990s, Gould was elected president of the Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association, a position he continued to hold as late as 2002.
Gould was also chairman of the Downtown Business Improvement District in Washington, D.C.
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