National Labor College considering sale of 47-acre White Oak campus to partnership of Reid Temple church

National Labor College President Paula E. Peinovich announced Tuesday that the college had signed a tentative agreement to sell its 47-acre campus in White Oak to a partnership between Reid Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County.

Led by Rev. Lee P. Washington, Reid Temple has grown into one of the largest churches in the country, touting more than 10,000 members at locations in Glenn Dale and on Tech Road in Silver Spring. The Housing Opportunities Commission is a quasi-public organization that provides affordable housing and supportive services.

Peinovich said in an interview that the AFL-CIO-affiliated school planned to relocate to downtown Silver Spring to meet the changing needs of its students. She cautioned that the agreement, a letter of intent, provides a months-long period of exclusive negotiations but falls far short of a final sale.

“We are very excited that this property, should the sale go through — because it’s all very tentative at this point — we‘re excited that the property would be used by another non-profit, mission-driven organization,” Peinovich said.

Peinovich declined to name the sales price. She said she did not know what the organizations planned to build or how they would pay for the property. Calls to Reid Temple and the housing commission were not returned Tuesday evening.

The property, near the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and the Capital Beltway, currently includes 10 buildings, including dormitories, classrooms, offices and a 74,000-square-foot conference space

The letter of intent comes after Georgetown University and Montgomery College had expressed interest in the site for expansion.

But Peinovich said neither school submitted a formal bid for the campus and she was pleased that the college had the opportunity to sell the campus, first built as a Roman Catholic school by the Xaverian Brothers, to organizations with social welfare at heart.

“We know that they are not going to tear this down and build a mall or a shopping center,” she said.

Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz

Jonathan O'Connell has covered land use and development in the Washington area for more than five years.

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