CASCADE, Md. (AP) — Ownership of the former Fort Ritchie Army base in Cascade is reverting to a public redevelopment authority after plans for a high-security office park fell through.

The state-sponsored PenMar Development Corp. said Tuesday it has reached a settlement with Columbia-based Corporate Office Properties Trust regarding the 591-acre site in northern Washington County.

COPT agreed in 2006 to buy the property for $9 million. Its plans included an office park for defense and national-security contractors about 70 miles north of Washington.

Redevelopment was stalled by environmental issues including a revelation that the Army tested Agent Orange and other tactical herbicides there decades ago.

PenMar says it has received $5 million from COPT. The $4 million balance was due in 2016.

PenMar says it still hopes to redevelop the site.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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