Hospital picks land plan finalists

4 proposals largely residential

some include retail, offices

June 04, 1999|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel Medical Center officials have picked four largely residential projects as finalists for development of their 5-acre downtown Annapolis site, which residents and city leaders have anxiously watched since the hospital announced two years ago that it would move to Parole in 2001.

The four proposals feature a mix of townhouses and single-family homes or condominiums and market-rent apartments. Three include plans for retail stores and one factors in office space.

In three proposals, the hospital's 291,000-square-foot building is demolished, while the fourth involves major renovations of its interior and exterior to fit in residential units.

FOR THE RECORD - The spelling of C. William Struever has been corrected for the archive database. See microfilm for original story.

The plans reflect what many residents near the hospital had clamored for. They had feared that the site's professional-use zoning classification would draw proposals featuring mostly office spaces and businesses that would create traffic congestion in the narrow streets and leave the main building empty and dark after 5 p.m.

"It's clear that the people who submitted the proposals did hear from the residents wanting a residential component in the project," said Lisa Hillman, the hospital's vice president of development and community affairs. "That was pretty much in response to what a large amount of people in the downtown area wanted to see."

The site, in the heart of the city's historic district, is the largest parcel that has been available for development in decades within the community. In addition to the hospital building, it encompasses a 0.86-acre parking lot bordering South Street and two historic homes on Franklin Street.

Hospital officials began soliciting proposals to develop the site in February and received 12 by the April 10 deadline.

The four proposals on the short list are:

Village at Franklin Park, by the Holladay Group in Washington. The two historic homes would house 3,000 to 6,000 square feet of retail space. The hospital building would be demolished for construction of a residential community of 70 assisted-living units, 57 townhouses and seven single-family homes. The South Street plot would be used as a park.

South Street Landing, by a limited partnership between David F. Tufaro and Toll Brothers Inc. in Baltimore. This plan would demolish the hospital to build 128 condominium units and 27 townhouses and either six single-family homes or 20 townhouses on the South Street land. The first floors of the two historic houses would be retail space, with the three upper floors housing nine apartments.

The Villages of Annapolis, by Madison Homes Inc., a Maryland-based limited-liability company. This plan comprises destroying the hospital building for 140 condominium units and 27 townhouses. The historic homes would be renovated, with 7,000 square feet earmarked for community use and the rest for office space or a fitness center. The South Street plot would be turned into a public waterfront park.

Struever Brothers, Eccles and Rouse of Baltimore proposes retaining the hospital building with substantial interior and exterior renovations. The building would house 120 residential units, including 45 market-rent apartments, 75 upscale condominiums, 17,000 square feet of retail space and 45,000 square feet of office space. The two historic homes would be used for office space or residential development.

Hillman said the hospital is not releasing the amount they are seeking for the hospital site or how much each development proposal would cost.

Community leaders cheered on the hospital yesterday, as word of the final four slowly spread through downtown Annapolis.

"The hospital has done exactly what they said they were going to do," said Minor Carter, president of the Ward One Residents Association. "They deserve credit because they have asked the community for their input and the selections reflect the community's input."

Throughout the planning process, community leaders have badgered hospital officials for a say in what happens to the site, which they said could alter the character of their neighborhood. In response, the hospital formed a 17-member site reuse advisory committee -- composed of hospital, city, county and state officials and two community leaders -- to come up with criteria for selecting a project.

Hillman said she has encouraged the four developers to talk to residents and city officials to prepare more detailed plans, which they will present to hospital officials late next month. She said the hospital board hopes to decide on a project by early September.

Sandy Cohen, who represents the neighborhood group Murray Hill Residents Association on the reuse committee, said she hopes the largely residential component of these plans will attract a much-needed grocery store or pharmacy to set up shop downtown.

"I'm hoping that it will be significant in helping to turn the tide of the commercial sector in town to evolve into more service-oriented retail," Cohen said.

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