Green­berg Gib­bons pur­chases Wal­dorf Sta­tion prop­erty

Su­per Wal­mart plans out with Chaney sale

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum - By MICHAEL SYKES II msykes@somd­ Twit­ter: @SykesIndyNews

Plans for a Su­per Wal­mart are of­fi­cially a thing of the past with Chaney En­ter­prises’ sale of its Wal­dorf Sta­tion prop­erty to Green­berg Gib­bons.

In July, Chaney En­ter- prises pulled out of its con­tract with Wal­mart to place a store in the Wal- dorf Sta­tion area at the in- ter­sec­tion of Mat­ta­wom- an Drive and U.S. 301. On Fri­day, the com­pany fi­nal­ized the sale of the prop­erty to Green­berg Gib­bons.

Brian Gib­bons, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Green­berg Gib­bons, said the com­pany does not yet have con­crete plans for the land and its devel­op­ment. But there will be no Su­per Wal­mart in the area, he said.

The prop­erty’s de­velop- ment will fea­ture mixed use el­e­ments and be con- ducive to tran­sit-ori­ented devel­op­ment, as the coun- ty has zoned for, Gib­bons said.

The com­pany is still an­a­lyz­ing the prop­erty, he said, but once the anal­y­sis is com­plete they will move for­ward in its plan­ning. The com­pany hopes to put to­gether con­crete devel­op­ment plans “over the next three to six months,” he said.

“We want to meet with com­mu­nity groups and elected of­fi­cials once we get a bit fur­ther in our anal­y­sis of what po­ten­tial devel­op­ment plans can be,” Gib­bons said.

Hall Chaney, pres­i­dent of Chaney En­ter­prises, said the com­pany is happy to sell its prop­erty to Green­berg Gib­bons and be­lieves it is in good hands. He said the com­pany is the “best de­vel­oper” to han­dle the prop­erty.

County Com­mis­sioner Ken Robin­son (D) said Green­berg Gib­bons ex­ec­u­tives met in­di­vid­u­ally with county com­mis­sion- ers be­fore pur­chas­ing the prop­erty to gain an un­der­stand­ing of what the zon­ing re­quire­ments were and what may fit in the com­mu­nity.

Green­berg Gib­bons owns prop­er­ties across the state in­clud­ing ar­eas of Bal­ti­more, Anne Arun- del and Prince Ge­orge’s coun­ties and Ocean City. Some of its fea­tured prop­er­ties are the Waugh Chapel Towne Cen­ter in Gam­brills, the Lau­rel Towne Cen­ter and the An­napo­lis Towne Cen­ter.

All of those lo­ca­tions fea- ture mixed use el­e­ments with res­i­den­tial hous­ing along with both re­tail and en­ter­tain­ment op­tions.

Robin­son said the com- pany’s ac­qui­si­tion of the prop­erty is a “very en- courag­ing” devel­op­ment. The com­pany has a great rep­u­ta­tion through­out the re­gion, he said, and hav­ing them here is a pos- itive.

“If they can pro­vide a devel­op­ment in Charles County like they have done else­where, this will be a win­ner for our resi- dents,” he said.

Jim Long, pres­i­dent of the Mat­ta­woman Wa­ter­shed So­ci­ety, who stood in op­po­si­tion to a Su­per Wal­mart com­ing to Wal- dorf Sta­tion, said he will take a “wait and see” ap­proach to the land ac­qui- sition.

The prop­erty sits close to the county’s Mat­ta­woman Re­source Protec- tion zone, and push­ing the prop­erty into West­ern Park­way’s path would have dam­aged that zone. A 100,000-square-foot su­per­store, or any­thing that size, could still dam­age the area.

“From what I know, this firm does ac­tu­ally make mixed-use types of projects and so it might be a bet­ter gate­way than a Wal­mart would have been,” Long said.

One of the con­cerns that still re­mains is mov­ing the high­way away from Mat­ta­woman Creek, Long said. But a mixed use devel­op­ment may shorten the high­way. The county will still have to wait and see.

No one has reached out to the Mat­ta­woman Wa­ter­shed So­ci­ety as of yet, Long said, but they would be will­ing to talk with Green­berg Gib­bons to in­form them about the area and help cre­ate fea­si­ble de­signs.

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