Interest Grows After Newseum Announces Sale of D.C. Location
By: Francesco Berrett
SILVER SPRING, Md.– The Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) is interested in bringing the Newseum to Montgomery County, according to Bethesda Magazine.
Charles Kauffman, a member of the Board of Directors of tourist organization Visit Montgomery, suggested the idea to MCEDC CEO David Petr in an email sent January 27, reported Bethesda Magazine. The message was sent two days after the Newseum announced that it was closing its D.C. doors.
“I am keenly aware that Montgomery County needs a major cultural attraction and I view the closing of the Newseum in DC as an ideal opportunity to acquire this asset,” wrote Kauffman. He also suggested organizing a committee that could explore possible locations within Montgomery County.
Petr confirmed that MCEDC is preparing a proposal to the Newseum, according to Bethesda Magazine.
It’s unclear how this proposal fits into the stated goals of the MCEDC. Its strategic plan for 2019 described its “targeted industries” as biohealth, cybersecurity, financial services, advanced manufacturing and corporate and regional headquarters.
MCEDC’s interest comes after the Freedom Forum, the nonprofit organization that owns the Newseum, sold the building on the National Mall to Johns Hopkins for $372.5 million.
The Newseum’s D.C. location, just steps from the Capitol, cost over $600 million to build and spans over 400,000 square feet. It is the Newseum’s second location, the first being
“The sale comes at the conclusion of a 16-month strategic review, announced in August 2017, of the Freedom Forum’s funding priorities, including an assessment of the Newseum’s unsustainable operating costs,” according to a press release on the Newseum’s website.
Freedom Forum CEO Jan Neuharth released a statement about the closing, saying “we can begin to explore all options to find a new home in the Washington, D.C. area.”