The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) is currently in discussions with Montgomery County and is reviewing options for their headquarters building (the Apex Building) which sits on the site of a possible future Purple Line station.
“While we were only recently approached by the County with the proposed plan to demolish the Apex Building to accommodate a revised plan for the future Purple Line station, we took immediate steps to assess the situation and begin the process of evaluating options,” said ASHP Senior Vice President and COO David R. Witmer. The Society, which represents more than 40,000 members, has been meeting with representatives of the Montgomery County Planning Department and the Economic Development Department. “This is obviously a big decision that requires a thorough and detailed analysis to determine if selling the building and moving to a new location is in the best interest of our members,” added Witmer.
ASHP has been a member of the Bethesda community for more than 45 years and has owned the building at 7272 Wisconsin Avenue for more than 20 years. “We care a great deal about Bethesda and the County,” said Witmer, “and are willing to entertain an agreement provided that it benefits all parties.” ASHP employs approximately 200 staff and hosts several events each year that bring thousands of members and guests to Bethesda, contributing to the vibrancy and economic success of the area.
In response to the County’s proposal, ASHP has begun investing considerable resources to assess the feasibility of a transaction that would meet both its needs and the County’s. “We have a legal duty to our members and Board of Directors to conduct a thorough analysis of how the sale of the building and relocation of our operations would impact this organization,” said Witmer. “This is a complex and dynamic situation involving many players and it takes a certain amount of time, even at an expedited schedule, to research, review, and assess.”
Witmer affirmed ASHP’s willingness to continue discussions with the County to try to reach a solution that meets both the organization’s and the County’s needs. “We have been monitoring the County’s plans for the Purple Line for years, and have no objection to its construction,” explained Witmer. “Up until just a few weeks ago, the County’s plan was to construct the station below our building with no demolition, so this new plan requiring that ASHP decide by December 2013 whether or not to permit demolition of the Apex Building in less than two years is clearly a big change and ASHP needs adequate time to conduct the necessary due diligence,” he added.
ASHP is the national professional organization whose 40,000 members include pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and student pharmacists who provide patient care services in hospitals, health systems, and ambulatory clinics. For 70 years, the Society has been on the forefront of efforts to improve medication use and enhance patient safety. For more information about the wide array of ASHP activities and the many ways in which pharmacists help people make the best use of medicines, visit ASHP's website, www.ashp.org, or its consumer website, www.safemedication.com.