Developer backs off plan that would 'repurpose' some of University of Maryland's golf course

  • Marriotts Ridge's Bennett Buch tees off on the 11th hole during the final round of the State Championship Tournament at the University of Maryland golf course Oct. 24.
Marriotts Ridge's Bennett Buch tees off on the 11th hole… (Staff Photo by Jen Rynda…)
October 23, 2013|By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun

A prominent developer says he has no "present plans" to pursue a large, mixed-use development on land now occupied by the University of Maryland golf course.

Brian Gibbons — whose firm, Owings Mills-based Greenberg Gibbons Commercial Corp., developed Annapolis Towne Centre, Hunt Valley Towne Centre and other shopping centers in Maryland and Virginia — had presented Maryland President Wallace Loh with a preliminary plan "to improve transportation connections to the campus and to repurpose some of the university's golf course," according to a July 8 letter obtained by The Baltimore Sun.

The plan came under criticism from local elected officials and from a coalition trying to preserve the golf course.

Gibbons noted the criticism in a letter to Loh on Wednesday.

"As someone who loves the university, it was never my intent for this concept to become a political football or have the university become embroiled in political theater," the letter said. "As a result, we have no present plans to submit either our concept plan or a development proposal to the university."

Critics of the development initiative — which would have cost more than $100 million — said the university should focus on improving Route 1, the main corridor to campus.

"It was very encouraging to hear [today's] news," said Barry DesRoches, a golf course donor and member of the coalition in support of the course.

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