The Washington Post has an interesting article out today about a sweet spot in the housing downturn.

With so many development opportunities dried up now, landowners are looking to sell their properties, and counties are scrounging up money or tax incentives to buy them as parklands. Take, for example, this recent sale in Montgomery County:

Montgomery officials agreed last month to buy the area, a 53-acre ecological refuge, at a deep discount from a developer who had long turned away government suitors. They are paying $8.75 million, roughly half of the $16.35 million price appraised in December.

Of course, coming up with even $9 million isn’t an easy task for governments these days.

MoCo luckily still has a special fund it can dip into. In Virginia, the state government has relied on “tax credits to landowners who agree to limit development” to get the job done.

Meanwhile, here in Washington DC, the city government is contending with  “the opposite problem,” according to mayoral spokesperson Sean Madigan. Instead of looking for new land, they’re hoping to lease out various government buildings to generate more tax money.

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