Superblock development inches closer with option

March 25, 1994|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writer Andrea F. Siegel contributed to this article.

A 14-year effort to transform the Superblock, an unsightly 5.6-acre parking area and gravel-pitted vacant lot, into a town center for Glen Burnie has moved a step closer to reality.

Yesterday county officials said they have awarded a Pasadena developer a 90-day option to submit a final proposal for the plot along Ritchie Highway at Route 648.

George Stone was the only developer to submit a proposal in January to create a complex that would include offices, shops and condominiums, as well as an outdoor performing arts area. He has developed commercial and residential properties in the county for more than 20 years.

The Glen Burnie Town Center Review committee, composed of residents, business groups and county officials, reviewed the proposal and gave Mr. Stone the option so he could come up with "his best and final proposal," said Ardath Cade, the county's human services director.

The proposal must be resubmitted by early June. The town center committee will review the final proposal and make a recommendation to County Executive Robert R. Neall.

Details of Mr. Stone's initial proposal, which includes cost estimates, are not public and will not be released until the final proposal is accepted, Mrs. Cade said.

Joseph Corcoran, who was chairman of the Cultural Arts Pavilion Committee that pushed for a performing arts area at the site, said Mr. Stone's rough plans, which he saw about 18 months ago, included an open-air amphitheater, stores on the ground floor and offices and apartments on the upper floors. Early discussions between county planners and residents limited the complex to four stories.

County Council Chairman C. Edward Middlebrooks, whose Glen Burnie law office is on the same street as the Superblock, said he was encouraged by the progress. "It's been a long time in coming," Mr. Middlebrooks said. "Growing up [in the area] and watching nothing being accomplished, I'm happy things are taking shape."

Mr. Middlebrooks said the complex could serve as an anchor for what has been a long-neglected area of Glen Burnie. "I think it means you may finally get the area cleaned up, and it could mean a resurgence for downtown Glen Burnie," he said.

Several developers had initially expressed interest in the Superblock redevelopment.

Many, including Mr. Stone, attended community meetings and presented drawings that were critiqued by the town center committee. But when the county's request for proposals went out, only Mr. Stone responded.

Mr. Stone's development team also includes Robert T. Hoffman and Associates, architect; Boyd and Dowgiallo, engineers; and Nancy Boryk, Associated Property Management, marketing and management.

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