Building's fate is uncertain Citizens want county to buy site CENTRAL COUNTY -- Arnold * Broadneck * Severna Park * Crownsville * Millersville

April 08, 1993|By Angela Winter Ney | Angela Winter Ney,Staff Writer

For more than a year, the long, red-brick building at Old Generals Highway and Veterans Highway has stood vacant, a shopping center abandoned before it was even finished.

Now a Crownsville civic group, tired of litter and neglect at the site, wants the county to buy the property and make it available for community activities.

But a representative from the company that it is marketing the space said yesterday that the property may be sold within two weeks to another buyer.

Jim Lighthizer, an agent with CB Associates, wouldn't say who wants the center, but he denied that Anne Arundel County has contacted his company, spiking a popular local rumor.

County spokeswoman Louise Hayman said she was not aware of any plans to buy the property.

That didn't stop Lucille Pomraning, zoning chairwoman for the Generals Highway Council of Civic Associations, however, who said the group "really would like to use [the vacant building] for some type of community use -- a senior citizens center or a satellite library."

First American Bank of Maryland, based in McLean, Va., foreclosed on the center, built on land known as the Rick Polm property, about 18 months ago.

The bank, through CB Associates, has been trying to sell the 54,000-square-foot building since.

The land is zoned to allow the widest possible commercial uses.

And that worries civic leaders, who have urged that the county purchase the land to keep it from being turned into a business that might pull additional traffic off nearby Interstate 97.

"We want to keep it local," said Ms. Pomraning.

Moreover, members of the council, made up of 22 community groups, have grown weary of passing the unused shopping center.

"It has been empty all this time," Ms. Pomraning said.

"The local communities insisted they finally put up a fence and clean and clear the junk," she said. "We would like to find out what is going on there and what input the community could have."

The unfinished building, near Herald Harbour, is now closed off by a high fence. The asking price for the land and partially completed building is $1.6 million, said Mr. Lighthizer.

The association includes residents from the Annapolis Mall area to Veterans Highway and from the Severn River to Route 450.

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