Hyatt likely to buy Cambridge land from state Company would get 342-acre hospital property on river

Resort community planned

Lodging

January 07, 1998|By William Patalon III and Kevin L. McQuaid | William Patalon III and Kevin L. McQuaid,SUN STAFF

At a news conference in Annapolis late this morning, Gov. Parris N. Glendening is expected to announce the sale of the state-owned, 351-acre hospital property in Cambridge for redevelopment as a luxury resort and residential community.

Glendening will be joined by Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp. development executive Nicholas J. Pritzker and officials from Dorchester County, according to an advisory last night from the governor's office.

They are expected to unveil plans for a $225 million resort and residential community on the banks of the Choptank River.

"That's what it's about," said one local official, who said that only haggling over minor details remained. Hyatt has been negotiating with the state for more than a year to develop a 500-room luxury hotel; a 7,000-yard, 18-hole golf course; a 500-slip marina; and 300 single-family homes and villas on a tract that now houses the aging Eastern Shore Hospital Center.

Cambridge Mayor David J. Wooten, who, along with Glendening, has championed the development, could not confirm a deal.

"I'll tell you, I've been holding my breath for two years," Wooten said. "It's about time I'm able to exhale."

The governor's office did not return a phone call seeking details last night, and several local officials said they could not confirm that the deal was done.

The project would generate millions of dollars in tax receipts for a region where the economy has flagged because plants have closed and agricultural jobs have been plowed under by new technology.

Maryland officials have projected that the luxury resort would funnel about $30 million a year through the region and would create about 1,000 construction and permanent jobs. If the land deal estimated at $5 million goes through, the resort would debut in 2001.

Hyatt has said it finds the property to be alluring because of the easy access to the region's big cities and international airports, and the parcel's prime location.

The Eastern Shore Hospital Center, consisting of 38 buildings totaling 394,000 square feet, would be relocated a mile from the existing facility once the sale is done.

Pub Date: 1/07/98

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