Developers seek extension in Bainbridge site project

April 27, 2003|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF

The proposed developers of the former Bainbridge Naval Training Center in Port Deposit have requested an extension of their exclusive negotiating agreement with the Bainbridge Development Corp. to convert the property into a mixed-use residential and commercial center.

The agreement expires Wednesday.

Harland R. Graef, chairman of the Bainbridge Development Corp., said the agency's board members would meet in closed session tomorrow to consider the request.

The BDC is the quasi-public agency created by the General Assembly in 1999 to oversee the development of the 1,200 acres of the former Navy boot camp on a hill overlooking Port Deposit and the Susquehanna River.

Clark Turner, president of Clark Turner Co., a Bel Air-based residential and commercial development company, said his company and the other partners in the project still hope to develop the site.

"We have spent a lot of time and money on water and sewer studies and land planners," he said. "We have talked to traffic engineers, architects, planners and we've done economic studies. We would like to proceed with the project. We believe we are doing the right thing."

Other members of the development team include: Richard M. Alter, president of Columbia-based Manekin LLC; John Paterakis, a Baltimore bakery owner and commercial developer; and Steven P. Risk, president of Paul Risk Associates Inc. of Quarryville, Pa.

The developers have proposed a $750 million mixed-use community featuring an office campus, retirement center, hotel, recreational facilities and diversified housing where, they say, "people can live, play and work."

There has been strong community opposition to plans for 2,000 homes at the Bainbridge site.

One Port Deposit resident, Bob Atkinson, who lives just outside the main gate of the closed military complex, put it bluntly: "We don't want 2,000 houses up there."

Residents have expressed concern that such a large residential development at Bainbridge would put a major strain on area roads, emergency services and schools.

The BDC could grant the developers an extension or they could vote to end the agreement with the development team and seek new proposals for what is considered one of the largest developments in Cecil County's history.

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