Company defers lease date for Henryton site

October 16, 1997|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Responding to neighbors' concerns about its humanitarian center -- which would include a homeless shelter -- Harvest International Inc. agreed yesterday to defer the effective date of its lease of Henryton Hospital until Dec. 31.

The lease signed last month for 18 aging buildings on 50 acres at the state-owned site in Marriottsville was to take effect yesterday.

In the interim, the Owings Mills-based group will "move forward with zoning for the property," which is zoned for conservation use. The original hospital, built for tuberculosis patients in 1923, predates most zoning ordinances.

During two recent community meetings, Harvest International described its plans to renovate the site into the City of Hope, a $5.6 million international aid center. It faced strenuous opposition from neighbors concerned with their safety and property values.

The project received the unanimous approval of the state Board of Public Works on Sept. 10.

City of Hope will initially include a homeless shelter for 40 men and a job-training center for recovering substance abusers -- two components that have raised fears in the area that adjoins Patapsco State Park. Additional phases of the nine-year renovation will encompass an international distribution center, a home for unwed mothers, a hospice and other family-oriented services.

Pub Date: 10/16/97

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