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Seventy-five-acre Cumulus Media property up for sale in Bethesda

A planned housing complex at another site in Bethesda. (Courtesy of EYA)

The owners of Cumulus Media have decided to jettison 75 acres in Bethesda where it broadcasts local talk radio station WMAL-AM, a site big enough to accommodate about 300 homes.

The property comprises one of the largest development sites to become available in Bethesda in years, said John Sheridan, of the real estate services firm CBRE, who is marketing the property.

Sheridan said he expected the land to sell for more than $1 million per acre, which would put the price tag at more than $75 million. He said that was a function of housing prices in Bethesda that have prompted buyers to sometimes buy existing single family and tear them down to replace them with bigger ones.

“People, developers, when they are buying houses [in Bethesda] they will demolish a $750,000 house and put up a new home,” he said.

Located at 7115 Greentree Road, near the connection of the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270, the property was developed as a radio transmission site in the early 1940s, and has four, 400-foot transmission towers. It was acquired by Cumulus Media, based in Atlanta, as part of the company’s $2.5 billion buy of Citadel Broadcasting Corp. in 2011.

When the towers are torn down, it will not affect WMAL, said Cumulus spokesman Collin Jones. Jones said the company would lease transmission facilities elsewhere after the sale closed.

“Listeners will literally have no idea that it happened,” Jones said.

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