On July 23rd, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman announced that the County has agreed to sell the former Gateway School Site in Clarksville for a sustainably-designed, pedestrian oriented development featuring retail, restaurants and a farmer’s market. The County has entered into a sales agreement with GreenStone Ventures II, LLC.
“The redevelopment of this site is important for this area of Clarksville, and that is why we have worked so hard with the community and the purchaser to find a solution,” said County Executive Ulman. “We believe this project will become a dynamic and unique destination.”
“We are thrilled that the County was able to get this project back on track, and we look forward to making certain that we exceed the high standards and expectations that have been set for all of us,” said George Stone, Principal of GreenStone Ventures II, LLC.
The development concept grew from a first-of-its-kind planning process in the County. Because of the significance of the parcel, the County convened an 11-member advisory committee made up of local residents and business leaders to reate guidelines for the vacant school site. The committee concluded that environmentally sound features and walkable design were important goals. “This project will create valuable community amenities. It is an important parcel, and I’m glad the Ulman administration found a way to move forward,” said Steven Sass, a River Hill resident and attorney who was a member of the planning panel which evaluated alternatives and developed recommendations and guidelines for the Gateway site.
In 2010, GreenStone Ventures II, LLC, was chosen to redevelop the site, but a previous agreement of sale was terminated in July 2011 because GreenStone was unable to acquire adequate access to the site to support its development proposal. In 2011, a traffic study was initiated to examine vehicular access along MD Route 108 in Clarksville, and during the course of that study the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) indicated that it would approve full access at the existing driveway for less development on the Gateway property.
SHA’s decision prompted GreenStone to reconsider and make an offer to purchase and develop the site in two phases. The initial phase calls for the County to receive $2 million; once the second phase has been completed, the County will receive $3 million.