Ce­cil­ton keeps fo­cus on fur­ther growth

Cecil Whig - - WE ATHE R - By JA­COB OWENS

jowens@ ce­cil­whig. com

— One year af­ter the county’s south­ern­most town saw a dra­matic pop­u­la­tion in­crease from the Park­lands at Ce­cil­ton com­plex open­ing, its lead­ers are con­tin­u­ing to keep their eyes on fur­ther growth.

Ce­cil­ton Mayor Joe Zang has had re­cent meet­ings with Frank Hod­getts, president of Home Part­ner­ships Inc., a fa­cil­i­ta­tor of multi- fam­ily hous­ing de­vel­op­ment that also com­pleted the North Street Res­i­dences project in Elk­ton, about a se­nior hous­ing project in town.

While the first public con­ver­sa­tions about a se­nior hous­ing project in Ce­cil­ton date back to De­cem­ber 2014, Zang said town of­fi­cials con­tinue to talk with Home Part­ner­ships about a project that would be mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial.

“We’re work­ing through some tech­ni­cal is­sues, but we’re still pur­su­ing it,” he said Mon­day.

The plan, as pre­sented in 2014, is to build a 44- unit se­nior apart­ment com­plex for those 62 and older. The build­ings would be sin­glestory flats with garages, and in­clude a 2,800- square­foot club­house.

“It would be kind of like Ear­leton Village, but a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent of a de­sign,” Zang said.

Ac­cord­ing to min­utes from the town coun­cil’s Feb. 22 meet­ing, Hod­getts


re­port­edly told the town that Home Part­ner­ships has re­ceived a state grant to start the de­sign process on the project to be lo­cated where the cur­rent Head Start build­ing is sit­u­ated at 223 S. Bo­hemia Ave.

“Part of that plan is to de­mol­ish the Head Start build­ing and then cre­ate a new Head Start build­ing in the back of the prop­erty that will func­tion as a com­mu­nity cen­ter/ Head Start,” the min­utes re­port.

Zang said the town has been in con­tact with Head Start of­fi­cials about that pro­posal and they’re ex­cited about the prospect of get­ting a new build­ing. Head Start, an early child­hood de­vel­op­ment pro- gram for low- in­come fam­i­lies, cur­rently in­hab­its the for­mer Levi J. Cop­pin School, an African- Amer­i­can school­house built in 1950 that was one of the last to de­seg­re­gate in the county.

“The idea would be to com­ple­ment the new build­ing with the older struc­ture’s his­tory and fea­tures,” said Zang, ex­plain­ing that may in­clude us­ing some of the in­te­rior brick of the build­ing or dis­play­ing photos of the build­ing’s his­tory. “We’d like to keep the his­tor y of the build­ing alive with­out sav­ing the en­tire build­ing. It would be a waste of money to tr y to fix up the old build­ing when we could build some­thing more en­ergy- ef­fi­cient.”

While the project is cur­rently mov­ing for­ward uti­liz­ing about 8 acres of town- owned land that the Head Start build­ing and the town wa­ter tower sit on, the pre­ferred lo­ca­tion would be a 6- acre par­cel to the west of that land off Rickards Street, Zang said.

That par­cel, owned by Fifty- Five Plus, a lim­ited li­a­bil­ity cor­po­ra­tion founded by Elk­ton de­vel­oper Ken Sim­mons, ac­cord­ing to tax records, is the site of a stalled de­vel­op­ment. As­sessed last year at $ 178,500, that par­cel is worth sig­nif­i­cantly less than the town- owned par­cel, as­sessed at about $ 1.8 mil­lion.

Even if the project is forced to pro­ceed on the town- owned land, Zang said of­fi­cials would be will­ing to do so to bring new re­sources to the town.

“It’s not about mak­ing money for the town, but get­ting land in a po­si­tion where a de­vel­oper can be suc­cess­ful,” he said. “The ben­e­fits to the town are long- term af­ter a new project has been com­pleted.”

When reached Tues­day, Hod­getts said he was not yet able to share many de­tails on the progress made by Home Part­ner­ships with the Ce­cil­ton project.

“Right now, we’re just tr ying to find out if a suf­fi­cient mar­ket and a fea­si­ble space ex­ist in town, and if it does then we’ll pur­sue it,” he said.


The cur­rent plan is to de­velop the high­lighted town-owned par­cel off South Bo­hemia Av­enue, but town of­fi­cials would rather see it oc­cur on a pri­vately-owned par­cel to the west off Rickards Street.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.