The Bowie City Council last week voted unanimously to allow representatives from St. John Properties Inc. (SJPI) to enter into talks with city staff about the future of the property known as Melford.
Due to covenants on the property, the city is in a unique position—one that allows them considerable say in how the property is developed.
The property, located at Rt. 50 and Rt. 301, is currently home to hundreds of thousands of feet of office space, and there are about 90 acres of undeveloped land that SJPI envisions as a mixed-use retail and residential community with a significant senior citizen housing component.
The covenants on the land do not classify residential development as an approved use of the property, according to City Manager David Deutsch, so if SJPI wants to see housing, they will need the Council to agree to revise the covenants.
The Council remained skeptical, but it did agree to allow the property owners to enter into talks about the property with staff. But, these talks are not a guarantee of action.
“The council has to be convinced it makes sense for the community,” said Deutsch of the proposed development.
What do you think? Would you like to see a mixed-use residential and retail development at Melford? Do you think the location is appropriate for senior housing? Tell us in the comments!