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February 02, 2022

Important Developments to ROFR in Prince George's County, MD

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Key Takeaways

  • The roster of ROFR developers who serve as potential assignees is expanding. The deadline to apply for the RFQ is January 31.

The Right of First Refusal (ROFR) program in Prince George's County, Maryland, continues to evolve with the implementation of two new initiatives through the Department of Housing and Community Development.

First, the County has issued its second Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to expand the current roster of 15 ROFR developers who serve as potential assignees for the exercise of the County's ROFR. The deadline to apply for the RFQ is January 31, 2022, at 5 p.m. After this date, the roster of ROFR developers is not slated to be reopened for two years.

Second, the County established a ROFR Preservation Fund, earmarking $15 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to subsidize financing for the acquisition, rehabilitation, and operation of rental properties, including those acquired by its ROFR developers.

Historically, the County has utilized the ROFR program as a method to encourage affordable housing opportunities. Since fall 2020, when the ROFR law was significantly changed, we have seen the County exercise its ROFR and assign its rights more frequently to those on its pre-qualified roster list. With this expansion of the ROFR developer roster, the availability of the ROFR Preservation Fund, and other incentives such as PILOTs, it is reasonable to assume the County may continue to exercise and assign its ROFR rights. Ballard Spahr attorneys are working proactively with DHCD to explore alternatives for the ROFR process that might accommodate the needs of the County without significantly impacting the interests of contracting parties. In the interim, investors and developers seeking to transact in the County should be aware of these new developments and plan accordingly.

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