Community group advocates building homes on hospital site

Ward One residents assail plans to construct large number of houses

July 29, 1999|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

A prominent Annapolis community association voted last night to press Anne Arundel Medical Center officials to require four developers vying for a 5-acre downtown site to demolish the hospital building and parking garage and replace them with homes.

Struever Brothers, Eccles and Rouse of Baltimore is the only developer that does not propose demolishing the hospital building to construct homes on the site.

The Ward One resolution maintains that the hospital building "contributes to the instability of the residential neighborhood." Many residents also argued that the remaining three "acceptable" plans are unacceptable because they propose building too many homes.

The developers have suggested building 120 to 170 residential units on the 5 acres.

"The proposals that we've heard are absolutely frightening," said Ward One resident Richard Smith of Cornhill Street. "One hundred and seventy-five units? You can figure it out yourself. These are going to be very expensive slums."

If the hospital heeds the wishes of the Ward One Residents Association, Struever Brothers, Eccles and Rouse -- which has proposed converting the 291,000-square-foot building into apartments, and retail and office space -- would have to alter its plans dramatically to remain in the running to develop the parcel after the hospital moves to Parole in 2001.

More than 100 members unanimously voted on the Ward One resolution, which also stresses how any development on the site could alter the character of the historic state capital. The group plans to give copies of its resolution to hospital officials and city administrators.

The $15 million hospital site -- the largest parcel available for development in downtown Annapolis in decades -- includes the 291,000 square-foot building, two historic houses that have been used as office space and a parking lot nearly an acre in size.

Residents have been watching the site carefully since hospital officials announced their intention to move from it two years ago.

Hospital officials picked the four developers -- who each proposed a mostly residential use of the site -- from 12 proposals received in April. They are hearing more detailed proposals from the final four tomorrow and plan to announce their choice in September.

The four are Village at Franklin Park by the Holladay Group in Washington; South Street Landing by a limited partnership between David F. Tufaro and Toll Brothers Inc. in Baltimore; Villages of Annapolis by Madison Homes Inc., a Maryland-based limited liability company; and Struever Brothers, Eccles and Rouse.

Pub Date: 7/29/99

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