De­vel­op­ers aim to build new Elk­ton shop­ping cen­ter

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By BRI­ANNA SHEA

bshea@ce­cil­whig.com

— The town board took the first step Wed­nes­day night in the process of an­nex­ing a prop­erty on Pu­laski High­way that a com­mer­cial real es­tate firm hopes to de­velop into a shop­ping cen­ter.

The 10,600-square-foot prop­erty, lo­cated at 722 E. Pu­laski High­way, is cur­rently owned by Acorn In­vest­ment Com­pany II, LLC, which leases space to Tim’s Used Tires. But Acorn is look­ing to sell the prop­erty to the Segall Group, a com­mer­cial real

ELK­TON

es­tate firm that deals with de­vel­op­ing shop­ping cen­ters. The sale of the prop­erty is sub­ject to an­nex­a­tion and plan ap­proval, and its pro­po­nents in­tro­duced the pe­ti­tion for an­nex­a­tion on Wed­nes­day.

Dwight Thomey, of Baker, Thomey & Em­rey, gave a pre­sen­ta­tion to the board about the site on be­half of the Segall Group. The an­nex­a­tion would bring the prop­erty within town lim­its, and the busi­ness would use mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter and sewer, as well as have ac­cess to lo­cal law en­force­ment.

“Both the pro­posed pur­chaser and cur­rent owner un­der­stand that once the prop­erty is an­nexed into town, what­ever needs to be done to make sure that the prop­erty is com­pli­ant with your reg­u­la­tions would oc­cur,” Thomey said. “And frankly, the plan is to have a rel­a­tively quick turn­around of own­er­ship once the an­nex­a­tion is ap­proved and start right in with the process to ob­tain site plan ap­proval for the de­vel­op­ment of the site.”

If the tire busi­ness were to stay on the prop­erty for a time after the an­nex­a­tion, Thomey said the com­pany would have to com­ply with town reg­u­la­tions such as mov­ing tires near the road inside and re­lo­cat­ing trail­ers. He said the owner of the tire busi­ness un­der­stands the tires and trail­ers would need to be in ac­cor­dance with reg­u­la­tions.

Dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion, the com­mis­sion­ers asked Thomey and Arik Jakob, of Segall, about the plan and an­nex­a­tion.

Com­mis­sioner Earl Piner asked the duo what busi­nesses or ten­ants are an­tic­i­pated for the prop­erty. Piner said he’s in­quir­ing be­cause the board has been “blind­sided” by chang­ing ten­ants be­fore board votes through the years.

Jakob said there is a pos­si­bil­ity of three ten­ants in the shop­ping cen­ter in­clud­ing a fast food restau­rant, a cof­fee shop and a busi­ness geared to­ward med­i­cal use.

“I can’t dis­close who they are yet, since we are ne­go­tiat- ing,” he said.

Jeanne Min­ner, town plan­ning direc­tor, said she’s be­gun pre­par­ing a drafted plan and after it’s ad­ver­tised in the news­pa­per, she will send it to the state for com­ment on the an­nex­a­tion. The plan will also go be­fore the town’s plan­ning board and will have to go back to the com­mis­sion­ers.

The next step in the process is to have a pub­lic hear­ing and the com­mis­sion­ers will make a de­ci­sion on the an­nex­a­tion.

Com­mis­sioner Charles Givens led the meet­ing be­cause Mayor Rob Alt was not in at­ten­dance.

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