BOWIE—City councilmembers are working with a Rockville company to redevelop the Bowie market place and create an economically viable shopping center.
“The principle areas that we’re looking at for the benefit of the city are an increase in tax revenues,” said John King, Bowie’s economic development director. “A shopping center the size of Bowie Market Place should be valued somewhere in the neighborhood of $35-$45 million.”
Tax benefits from the proposed redevelopment would be immense, he said.
King and city management are working with Berman Enterprises, who purchased Bowie Marketplace nearly a year ago with ideas for improving the site.
Right now, the market place is “an eyesore for the community” and “a blot on an otherwise fine retail environment in Bowie,” King said.
“It’s a place for crime to happen and we need to get it moving no matter what it takes,” said Councilmember Diane Polangin. “I’m ready to do whatever it takes.”
Before Berman Enterprises can redevelop the property, the plans must align with the city’s best interest, King said.
“We want any future development to be harmonious with the surrounding community,” he said. “We don’t want something new for the sake of new—it’s got to fit in.”
But the redevelopment effort of the marketplace is still far from beginning. According to King the site is second on Berman Enterprise’s list of priorities. Councilmember Dennis Brady said he was not pleased and Bowie needs to become a priority.
“This has been a site the full 20 years I’ve been on the council,” Brady said. “We’ve been trying to move it forward,” Brady said.
Berman Enterprises purchased Bowie Marketplace nearly a year ago. The property was purchased with the idea that there was room for improvement, according to King.
King set a tentative goal for the marketplace’s redevelopment to start by Labor Day in September.
The key to getting things started is getting a grocery anchor for the marketplace, King said. If a grocery anchor is set up in the area, other tenants will flock to the real estate, he said.
He couldn’t give much information about the prospective grocery tenet, but he said that it was a grocery tenet that everyone knows.
“I can tell you that the grocery 'suitors' include some grocers already present in Prince George's County and some that are frequently named as "most wanted " to be in Bowie by our residents,” King said.