- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The Lord Calvert Mobile Home Park in Lexington Park, the largest in St. Mary’s County, may be redeveloped into a medical complex and single-family homes and apartments, the county commissioners were told Tuesday.
Called East Run, it would be developed by Cherry Cove, the owner of Lord Calvert. There are currently about 240 mobile homes there along Great Mills Road, said Brian Norris, chief executive officer of Cherry Cove.
East Run is envisioned to have 127 new single-family homes and 500 apartments in two five-story buildings, a 40,000-square-foot medical complex, including a MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital urgent care facility, offices for physicians, a mental health facility and possibly a pharmacy on 79 acres near the intersection of Great Mills Road and Chancellor’s Run Road.
“Lexington Park is a medically underserved area,” said Robin Finnacom, director of the Community Development Corporation, which works toward the revitalization of Lexington Park.
Overall, the project could be a $93 million private investment.
There is a phased relocation plan for the Lord Calvert mobile home residents, if the project moves ahead.
“We’re quite excited but there is still uncertainty as it moves forward,” Norris said of the project in a telephone interview. “We’re a long way from an actual commitment that it is going to happen. It’s something we’re working through. At best, we probably are at least 18 months from having to relocate anybody and it would be a phased approach.”
Residents in the newest section of Lord Calvert wouldn’t have to move for another five to eight years, he said, if the project moves ahead as planned.
Lot rent at Lord Calvert, which includes water and sewer service and trash removal, is $550 a month. The residents own their mobile homes.
There would be relocation assistance for residents, and qualified tenants could move into the new apartments or new houses.
“Some of the residents have been with us a very long time,” Norris said.
The project is not scheduled before the St. Mary’s County Planning Commission at this point. Cherry Cove is waiting to see what will happen with the national economy as federal tax hikes and steep spending reductions are scheduled to start in the new year unless Congress acts to come up with an alternative plan.
What is moving ahead is an application for the Community Development Corp. to get $500,000 from the state to acquire and tear down the property at 21027 Great Mills Road.
Built in 1953, it was originally a dry cleaning business, Finnacom said.
She called it a “catacombs sort of building.”
The property is needed for an access road for East Run.
Such a redevelopment project could invite other developer interest along Great Mills Road, she said.
“That end of Great Mills Road is certainly deserving of attention,” said Commissioner Cindy Jones (R).
The Community Development Corp. should hear from the state if the demolition money is awarded by the end of the year, Finnacom said.
St. Mary’s still has a large number of mobile homes compared to other counties in the state. “It’s part of our World War II legacy,” she said. “It was a quick way to establish a home.”
The U.S. Census Bureau reports St. Mary’s had 2,518 mobile homes last year, 6.1 percent of the 41,599 homes. Cecil County had more with 3,363 mobile homes, 8.1 percent of homes there.