Early site plan revealed for Waldorf Station
Economic Development Dept. talks development initiatives
Waldorf will have a much different look over the next few years, and the process to start changing the landscape has begun.
Taylor Yewell, the man- ager for the Waldorf Urban Redevelopment Corridor, and Debra Jones, chief of business development in the Economic Development Department, came to deliver a briefing on the department’s plans for future development and outreach in the community with the Charles County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.
Yewell said the next steps the department will take will start to develop more over the next six months to a year. There has been public and pri- vate outreach to business owners in the community about the rezoning that took place in 2010, the redevelopment corridor and the possibility of a new civ- ic center in that area.
“We want to make sure that tenants and property owners understand what we can do on our part to give them a softer landing than they would other- wise have,” Yewell said.
Right now, he said, the Waldorf Civic Center has three preliminary sketch- es for a site plan that are still being customized to fit the area best. The idea is to have the property built along Old Washing- ton Road and the U.S. 301 corridor in the area of the Old Waldorf School.
“These scenarios will be fleshed out,” Yewell said.
The idea, he said, is to impact the area enough to where the building has maximum efficiency, but it also needs to be cost ef- fective and responsive to the different needs of the community.
The department has also been approached by a religious group looking to build a mixed-use center in the northern portion of the corridor. The facility
would contain some residential spaces, a sanctuary, retail space and a family recreation center.
Commissioner Ken Robinson (D) wanted to know if the group would have to pay property taxes on the development with it having a place of worship on the land, but Yewell said the department has to do more research to find out.
For the transit-oriented development area in Waldorf, Greenberg Gibbon’s purchase of Waldorf Station is a major key to the area’s development. Yewell presented an early rendering of the area purchased by the company with a “fairly significant” retail component and a “multifamily” residential component.
Robinson said the county is excited about Greenberg Gibbons’ success with mixed use properties and is looking forward to seeing what they have in the works.
“They have a terrific rep- utation on projects they have done throughout the state,” Robinson said.
Robinson said he was “surprised” by the amount of detail that has been presented on the project already. Yewell said the company is look- ing for a “high profile” grocer tenant and has ap- proached the department for help in recruiting one.
For the specific tenant they are currently in ne- gotiations with, which remains undisclosed un- til any deal is finalized, they have an interest in attracting military per- sonnel. Yewell said with Joint Base Andrews being closer than Naval Support Facility Indian Head and the number of person- nel living in the area, the Waldorf location is considered appealing.
Finally, Yewell said, the department is looking to partner with the Town of Indian Head to bring more business there. After a technical assistance panel in the town a few months ago, he said, there is an understanding of what needs to be done and momentum is com- ing out of the town to get those things done.
The department is work- ing with the town to pack- age nonprofit business incubators into a central location in the town to begin to create and attract busi- nesses into the current vacant spaces located in Indian Head, Yewell said.
In terms of redevelop- ment, Indian Head has “the most immediate potential,” Yewell said, because they do not face the same hurdles as Wal- dorf does with rapid tran- sit and are not waiting on any projects that have not been initiated.
“We’ll be moving for- ward with that,” he said.
Commissioners’ Pres- ident Peter Murphy (D) said the department has done a good job of “taking a very proactive approach” to responding to people, but also being proactive in their development approaches and looking for business.
“That increases our chances of building our commercial base here in the county, so we appreciate that,” he said.
Artist’s conception of Waldorf Station development as designed by owner Greenberg Gibbons.