A look at Wal­dorf’s planned new event and pub­lic meet­ing space

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

On be­half of the Charles County Gov­ern­ment, Cross­roads Con­sult­ing Ser­vices de­vel­oped the Mar­ket and Eco­nomic Anal­y­sis for a Pro­posed New Multi-Pur­pose Civic Cen­ter in Wal­dorf, a study to as­sess the mar­ket and fi­nan­cial fea­si­bil­ity of a pub­lic meet­ing and events fa­cil­ity in down­town Wal­dorf. The fa­cil­ity is planned to pro­vide space for pub­lic meet­ings and events, serve as a dy­namic ur­ban cen­ter con­nected to light rail tran­sit and pro­mote the re­vi­tal­iza­tion of the Wal­dorf Ur­ban Re­de­vel­op­ment Cor­ri­dor, also known as down­town Wal­dorf.

Orig­i­nal rec­om­men­da­tions in­cluded a build­ing to ac­com­mo­date be­tween 1,670 and 2,000 guests in a ban­quet set­ting, or up to 3,750 seats in a grad­u­a­tion or con­cert set­ting. Since the re­lease of the civic cen­ter anal­y­sis, the de­part­ment col­lab­o­rated with Cross­roads Con­sult­ing to re­fine the build­ing pro­gram. Re­fin­ing the plan in­cluded pro­vid­ing the most cost-ef­fec­tive de­vel­op­ment op­tion and align­ing the fa­cil­ity plan with lo­cal de­mand. The de­part­ment met with elected of­fi­cials and county staff to dis­cuss the fa­cil­ity’s im­pact and po­ten­tial cus­tomers. There has been on­go­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween key stake­hold­ers in the Wal­dorf Ur­ban Re­de­vel­op­ment Cor­ri­dor, such as the Wal­dorf Jaycees Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, the Old Wal­dorf School Foun­da­tion and all pri­vate-sec­tor prop­erty own­ers who may be di­rectly im­pacted by the fa­cil­ity.

The county’s fo­cus is now on the fea­si­bil­ity of the fa­cil­ity’s lo­ca­tion, a 6-acre county-owned par­cel ac­com­mo­dat­ing the Wal­dorf Jaycees Com­mu­nity Cen­ter and Old Wal­dorf School Foun­da­tion build­ings. The plan is to pro­vide a civic cam­pus where the three fa­cil­i­ties would co­ex­ist, all sup­ported by a park­ing struc­ture. The build­ing pro­gram en­vi­sioned the park­ing struc­ture to hold 630 to 760 park­ing spa­ces.

The civic cen­ter anal­y­sis shows the pos­si­bil­ity of the cen­ter pro­vid­ing a space for events from con­certs and sport­ing events to busi­ness con­fer­ences, con­sumer shows and trade shows. The space will also host smaller func­tions such as cor­po­rate and civic meet­ings or train­ings, and so­cial events such as wed­ding re­cep­tions, fam­ily re­u­nions and par­ties.

The cen­ter will po­ten­tially em­ploy seven to eight full-time em­ploy­ees, as well as gen­er­ate eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity. Lo­cal lodg­ing, food and bev­er­age es­tab­lish­ments, gas sta­tions and con­ve­nience stores of­ten ben­e­fit from civic cen­ters. The cen­ter could cap­i­tal­ize on ex­ist­ing and planned tourism ef­forts to bring more in­di­vid­u­als to the county and en­hance the county’s ap­peal as a des­ti­na­tion.

A pri­vate ar­chi­tec­ture and en­gi­neer­ing firm is pre­par­ing a draft small area plan that shows al­ter­na­tive build­ing and sit­ing con­fig­u­ra­tions. The plan’s find­ings will help re­fine the cap­i­tal cost es­ti­mates con­tained in the anal­y­sis and al­low the de­part­ment to de­ter­mine their next steps mov­ing for­ward. Graph­ics of the plan will be avail­able on­line at www. MeetCharlesCounty.com.

Visit www.MeetCharlesCounty.com for in­for­ma­tion about the civic cen­ter anal­y­sis or the Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment De­part­ment. Visit www. MeetCharlesCounty.com/ Wal­dorf-Ur­ban-Re­de­vel­op­ment-Cor­ri­dor/ for in­for­ma­tion about the Wal­dorf Ur­ban Re­de­vel­op­ment Cor­ri­dor re­vi­tal­iza­tion.

Dar­rell Brown is the di­rec­tor of the Charles County Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment De­part­ment.

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