Hope stirs anew for Raincliffe Center project Spurt in other developments seen as spurring interest SOUTHEAST--Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber

July 27, 1993|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,Contributing Writer

David Moxley, project manager for the Raincliffe Center industrial and commercial business project, is hoping that continued growth in the Sykesville-Eldersburg area will help get the long-delayed complex started soon.

Security Enterprises of Ellicott City, developer of the $3.5 million jTC project, recently was granted a six-month extension to its state and county loans while trying to secure an additional $2 million in conventional funding.

"We're working with a lender hoping to wrap up the loan fairly quickly," Mr. Moxley said. "The project can't start until the conventional financing is locked up."

Sykesville Town Manager James L. Schumacher said the economy hampered Security Enterprises' efforts to get the project financed.

"Unfortunately the project started [about three years ago] when the economy was bad, and Mr. Moxley has had to deal with bad site constraints," Mr. Schumacher said. He said the new project is on rather hilly ground and must compete for businesses with established industrial sites in the area.

Mr. Moxley said the company is actively marketing the project, which will be on a 32-acre site at Route 32 and Raincliffe Road. The project is being partially financed through $1.25 million in state loans and a $250,000 county loan.

"Everything is changing so fast in the area that we're hoping that will bring in a lot of renewed interest in the project," Mr. Moxley said.

He cited the planned building of several thousand new homes within a five-mile radius of Sykesville and the new park and Little League ball fields across Raincliffe Road from the business center as positive factors for the project.

"The building will make a big impact on the area and the park will be a draw for people," he said.

Although no contracts have been signed for the center, Mr. Moxley has definite ideas about what he wants to see at the complex.

"The project is ideally situated for a distribution center and a local manufacturing plant," he said. "A strong retail market is an important factor.

"Our prime drive is for a food store as anchor -- that's definitely needed," he said.

"A home improvement center would do well with all the building going on. Then the in-line stores -- liquor store, drug store, gas station, fast food."

Sykesville Mayor Ken Clark also remains optimistic that Mr. Moxley will get funding for the project and start selling lots to businesses that see the positive economic changes in the area.

"We would have liked a year extension on the loan, but I understand the state's position," Mr. Clark said. "The point is that building is under way, the park is going in and that's going to be a draw for all kinds of people.

"Conditions are a little different from last year and the economy is a little bit better than it was a year ago, and somebody is going to see that and show some interest in the center," he said.

When completed, Raincliffe Center could create as many as 400 jobs and is expected to provide about 24 percent of Sykesville's tax revenues.

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