Bay Bridge Airport Could Expand

“The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners want to discuss six development proposals for about 13 acres north of the Bay Bridge Airport with members of the County Economic Development Commission and the Bay Bridge Airport Authority. The 13.49-acre property, located near U.S. Route 50 and Pier One Road, is near the foot of the Bay Bridge. It was part of the 24.8-acre property that was once proposed for a Wal-Mart, which was denied by county commissioners in May 2000, and which resulted in an out-of-court settlement between the county and Wal-Mart in 2006.

The county bought the property for $6,650,000 with $6,507,500 coming from a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. To get the FAA grant, the county commissioners approved a plan for the airport that provides safety improvements and noise reduction efforts. The six proposals were submitted in response to a county request for proposals that sought suggestions for developing the 13.49-acre property. The proposals were outlined in a December 10 memo to County Administrator John Borders and the county commissioners.

(1)KRM Development Corporation, owners of the Chesapeake Bay Business Park on Kent Island, wrote a letter expressing interest in the property.
(2) Miltec UV Corporation proposed buying 3.5 to 4 acres on the western most part of the 13.49-acre parcel. Miltec, an international supplier of ultraviolet and infrared products, currently leases a 9,000-square foot facility in the Chesapeake Bay Business Park. Miltec wants to build a two-story 45,000-square foot building and move its operation to the new building. Miltec currently has 32 employees, but it estimates it will expand its workforce to 75 employees in five years.
(3) A proposal called “”Bay City Airport”” was prepared by Matrix Design Build. It would have a pedestrian mall, a pedestrian bridge over Route 50 that would connect to the Cross Island Trail, water gardens, an events plaza, visitors’ center and a new airport terminal building.
(4) Bay Bridge Properties II LLC proposal would combine the 13.49-acre site with an adjacent 3.2-acre property. An historic manor house would be moved and converted into a visitor center, welcome center or Eastern Shore Exploration Center. The development would have an 80- to 100-room hotel, a three-story commercial village with 83,000 square feet of space on the first floor and 115,000 square feet of space on the second and third floors.
(5) Linden Development LLC and Riverside Properties (doing business as Butcher Real Estate) submitted a proposal called “”Bridge Walk.”” It would consist of a three-phase development with a 22,000-square foot grocery store, possibly Whole Foods or Trader Joe, built in the first phase. The second and third phases would have arts and crafts shops, a wooden boardwalk, a 96-room hotel, restaurants, a retail center and offices. There would be a visitors’ center, amphitheater and farmers’ market.
(6) Coastal South, which owns the nearby Chesapeake Bay Beach Club, submitted a proposal called “”Chesapeake Bay Commons.”” It would include a 126-room hotel, a conference center, two restaurants, an amphitheater and 30,000 square feet of office space. Coastal South would buy five acres of the property for its buildings. The proposal calls for converting about one-quarter of the 13.49-acre site into a lake.

Any project would mean more people and more infrastructure (sewer and water service, and increased traffic on local roads), which is a concern to the department of public works. Commissioner Paul Gunther suggested a joint meeting be held with the commissioners and economic development commission.