The Telos Deal

By Loudoun Insider

I am in a rush to get out the door, but need to put up a post about this since the Wheatland comment thread below keeps getting sidetracked on the proposed lease deal that LCPS is working on for the building currently leased by Telos, led by John Wood.  The same John Wood who employs Robert DuPree, School Board king of the LCPS land deals, sits on the SB-BOS Joint Committee on schools, heads a new education PAC, and is making huge political waves in the county.

Loudoun Conservative just made an excellent comment below that I am attaching to this post:

The Telos deal is 15 years into the lease. They have a 20 year lease that expires in 2016. They are trying to sell their lease off to the School Board! If the lease is above market, then why is the school board even negotiating with them when there is 15 percent vacancy in the county. There should be alot of office buildings they can look at to put the Monroe Technology Center into. This is a stinky deal of one shrewd businessman with the knowledge of the real estate market taking advantage of ignorant public figures. The fact that they are ignorant is exactly why they shouldn’t be holding these offices. That’s our money, our tax money, and they have a responsibility to manage it wisely and prudently. THEY AREN’T! Somehow the sale of the building is also tied into this stinky deal. Perhaps the owner who is out of New York City cannot refinance right now so they are trying to sell to someone who can. This doesn’t excuse anyone from trying to PAWN off the building at a higher than market rate. Of course, we don’t know all of the details yet, but intelligence says that this pawning at a higher than market rate is exactly what they are attempting to do. By the way, the owner will not let them out of a lease unless a replacement tenant is found at an equal or higher market rate than they are currently getting. This is likely the reason the School Board is the ONLY one who would ever consider such a BAD deal.

UPDATE:  The Telos building lease deal is discussed in a Leesburg Today story on the Educate Loudoun PAC.


  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Also still waiting to see if the delayed MS and HS on behalf of the delayed CTP comes in cheaper than Lenah. Won’t know until the 3-years late MS opens, and the 2-years late HS does too.

  • Eric the 1/2 troll says:

    “Supposed fiscal conservative Barbara Munsey just can’t stop defending every hare-brained bad deal theat LCPS dreams up and tries to push through”

    Barb has always been a big proponent of the Wheatland site. Has to do with her love of everything that benefits a developer – you like Big Sal. I would NEVER suggest that Barb is a fiscal conservative – simply pro-developer.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    I have a suggestion: someone tell Barb you think Wood is a contributor to the PEC.

    Then all things are possible.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Sorry Eric, never a proponent of the site.

    I’ve always had a problem with the people who broke the process because they claimed it was “broken”, since they weren’t in control of it.

    The same thing is going on now, with a revival of the drama about a “complex”, when all that is under discussion is an elementary site, which may or may not be at Wheatland, which is somehow conspiratorially tied to a compnay that rents a building that is going to be sold.

    Cheer up boys: The FBI is probably going to investigate Telos because of Wheatland, and everyone will then FEEL BETTER! rotfl

  • edmundburkenator says:

    I’m a fan of process.

    If the process sucks, this situation is one of the many things you get. So, the process get’s fixed (well, improved) when people complain/run for office/support people who run for office who agree that process is broken and want to improve it.

    Barbara, I think you’ve been apart of a complaining-about-the-process-so-it-can-improve effort just as some are part of one now.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Wood has been part of the Joint School Board-BOS Committee that was supposed to do something about the obviously broken school site acquisition process. Obviously nothing has changed at all.

  • MFitz says:

    I think some facts are in order.

    1. Telos does not own it’s building. It leases it.
    2. Telos, for whatever reason, is hyper active in local affairs. They employ Robert DuPree and Ralph Buona and allegedly offered to hire Scott York at one point.
    3. John Wood has been a leader in the County’s business community, serves as a citizen representative on the County’s Joint School Board Committee. He has recently helped start a PAC aimed at electing school board members.
    4. Wood and Telos have given to York. Wood has previously given to Waters, York, Buckley, Miller, McGimsey, Kurtz and Burton.
    5. Wood, Telos and the broker for the Telos building have all given to Scott York since he rejoined the Republican Party.
    6. Using his immense access, Wood tells Leesburg Today he suggested to York and John Stevens that the County might consider the Telos site for its unfunded Monroe Tech expansion plans. Wood claims he doesn’t benefit because he doesn’t own it.

    Now some opinion. …

    In my opinion, Telos and Wood do stand to benefit if the county takes over Telos’ lease or purchases the property. Why? Because If a developer buys the land, Telos likely might still be stuck in its lease in what looks like a dilapidated building. If the county comes in, they might own it or lease it, but they will definitely occupy it, thus allowing Wood and Telos to get out of their lease (which could be a bad lease for them if they got into it during the height of the market).

    Wood might have become involved with local affairs for good reasons, but now Telos’ fingerprints are everywhere and, at best for Wood, he sensed opportunity and pitched to the decision makers he financially supports a land deal that in some ways does indeed benefit him. At worst, Wood is involved in a quid pro quo.

    More digging needs to be done to get to all the facts. I think even Barbara M. would agree with that.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    One difference eb: there needs to be an objective beyond the simple complaining. And there is a process for changing process, that must be employed in order for legitimate change to BE effected, whether it was spurred by simple noise or not.

    mfitz, is the county considering buying the building from the owner, or taking over the lease (currently held by Telos) in an attempt to buy some time from the owner and delay the DECLARED sale? Either way, Telos may yes benefit from the dissolution of the lease, but there is yet to be proof that they are driving any sale. Still waiting.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    “there is a process for changing process”

    Exactly. This is part of it.

  • Open Government says:

    The lease is below market. The offer included a margin where Telos would profit by holding the original lease and the County would sublease at market for five years back from Telos. We really do need to get the exact details. I don’t believe the denial that the company wouldn’t benefit. This really doesn’t sound very good. Some of the board members were contacted directly, but Scott York was the one proprosing the county do this transaction according to the article. Makes sense since he is the one receiving most of the contributions. Do we have anyone else interested in running?

  • Lady M says:

    Well the BOS either discussed purchase/leasing the property or they didn’t. Just because it would be closed session, can’t we ask them that question? And if there was a vote taken, we do have a right to now that result.

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    “And there is a process for changing process, that must be employed in order for legitimate change to BE effected…”

    So every change needs to be enacted by the State legislature in order to be effective? I think not. Change can (and often does) come from within at the behest of strong citizen sentiment – often backed up at the ballot box.

    The problem you have, Barb, is with COMMON CITIZENS holding equal or (…the horror…) more sway than the insider development community when it comes to property transactions conducted by LCPS on our behalf.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    eb, yes, noise for the sake of noise is part of the process–the old squeaky wheel.

    For actual change to occur, there has to be a defined specific objective, that is incrementally achieved using the tools available.

    Noise in itself is not an end–it’s like Cheswick in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, “something must be done!!!! I want SOMETHING DONE!!!”

    Eric, wanting to be like another state is fine. Actually implementing some of what they do in either MD or OH may yes, take some changes at the state level for us. We’re a Dillon Rule state, remember? We can’t just locally, no matter which special interest wins next at the ballot box, add this or subtract that at the fundamental land use or statutory rights and duties level because a squeaky wheel wants it so, because, with no specifically defined objective beyond the personal.

    This isn’t a greedy developer issue Eric, although that’s a convenient ping pong ball for you. They aren’t the only special interest in town, in case you haven’t noticed (which of course you HAVE, being a major past donor to the other side–quick, call your lawyer! make sure to threaten me)

    As I have said multiple times, it shouldn’t be a special interest issue on either side, particularly as what is under discussion are public services, which still haven’t been conclusively determined as an elementary school at Wheatland or elsewhere, or a “sale” of a lease by a renter (!) v. sale of a building by the owner.

    You want authority transerred from the school board to the BoS? Go for it. It ain’t happening locally by fiat of whoever is on the BoS at the moment.

    You want citizens driving the land aquisition process? Go for it–remove the authority from the school board, and change the exemptions to open meeting provisions in state code.

    Specific objectives, real changes.

    Or noise, while chanting “greedy developer”.

    See the difference boys?

    Maybe, maybe not. You not for sure, Eric.

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    “…being a major past donor to the other side…”

    Other side – other side of what? I have donated to both sides as I have shown before. How about you, Barb – ever work on “the other side’s” camapaign?

    As to your argument, Barb:

    “You want citizens driving the land aquisition process? Go for it–remove the authority from the school board, and change the exemptions to open meeting provisions in state code.”

    Citizen INVOLVEMENT in the land aquisition process does not take a state law. It is simply a policy change. Citizen activism can and does often affect policy change. Your demand to go change the state law if you don’t like the status quo is indeed ONE way to handle the issue. Citizen activism and speaking out at the ballot box is another – perhaps more expeditious – approach. One I am sure your “side” would not be comfortable with as they consider the inside track to be their own personal domain.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    But I didn’t say “involvement” Eric, because I know we already have that.

    I said “driving”, as in where a citizens committee meets and selects the best site from among land ZONED for facilities (the Maryland model–can you see why it isn’t possible here?).

    BTW, thanks for not threatening me, and as for the donations marked “other”, that is hardly the opposite of “D”.

  • Eric the 1/2 troll says:

    I think it is only YOU Barb who characterizes what is being requested here as citizen DRIVING the land acquisition process. Just an even playing field with your buddy Sal is all that is being requested. But your friends want the unilateral inside track to these land deals so you must defend the status quo.

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