Cherry Cove Land Development will start construction on a new medical facility on Great Mills Road this summer now that the Lexington Park area is designated by the state as a Health Enterprise Zone.
The three-story, 44,500-square-foot building will be built on Great Mills Road, in front of the Lord Calvert Mobile Home Park. Cherry Cove is paying for the construction and MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, will rent the space. The hospital, a not-for-profit group, was one of five successful applicants for the state program.
A coalition of health-care providers are eligible for tax incentives to outfit and man these offices as well as the rest of the designated zone.
“Cherry Cove gets no tax credits for this,”said Brian Norris, chief executive officer of Cherry Cove.
The new medical center is one part of a large development plan called East Run, which if built would include 127 new single-family homes and 500 apartments where the 240 trailers are now. However, that part of the project is not moving forward yet, Norris said.
A subsidiary company of Cherry Cove, Malbec Properties, bought 0.6 of an acre on the corner of Chancellor’s Run Road and Great Mills Road in 2011 for $450,000. The old Mobil gas station building there was torn down and Cherry Cove is in negotiations to bring a pharmacy to that site next door to the new medical building.
Two trailers at the entrance of Lord Calvert at Tri-Community Way will be relocated farther back into the park at Cherry Cove’s expense, Norris said, as part of the medical building project.
Construction should take about a year in the hopes of having the tenants move in by summer 2014, Norris said.
The Health Enterprise Zone is intended to bring medical professionals to the underserved areas of Lexington Park, Great Mills and Park Hall. The medical building will have an urgent care facility, which would save unnecessary trips to the emergency room in Leonardtown. It will also house the child protective services of the social services department.
Tom Waring is the owner of Cherry Cove, and Norris said, “This was a big thing for him that he could help support this. We did everything we could to get this to come. We need to look out for the people in the community.”
“I see it an a catalyst for improving health care and in the redevelopment of Great Mills Road,” Norris said.
“It will spur redevelopment and reinvestment in Lexington Park from the center out,” said Robin Finnacom, executive director of the Community Development Corp., which works toward the redevelopment of Lexington Park.
The downtown of Lexington Park has constraints on construction to protect the airspace of Patuxent River Naval Air Station. This part of Great Mills Road doesn’t have that limitation.
She said the East Run development “shows how new investment, logically placed, can take advantage of all the things unique and invaluable to the Great Mills corridor.” East Run, if developed as proposed, would only increase the value of neighboring properties, she said.
The state government, which is providing up to $3.4 million in grants to beef up health services in the area, wanted local members of the community to work together in these new health enterprise zones, Norris said. W.M. Davis General Contractors of Leonardtown will construct the building and Old Line Bank is doing the financing.
“We gave the coalition a discount on the rent,” he said, saving $900,000 during five years.
Once the medical building is completed, Cherry Cove’s office building will be torn down and staff will move into the new building, he said.