BOWIEâ€”City councilmembers are working with a Rockville company to redevelop the Bowie market place and create an economically viable shopping center.
â€śThe principle areas that weâ€™re looking at for the benefit of the city are an increase in tax revenues,â€ť said John King, Bowieâ€™s economic development director. â€śA shopping center the size of Bowie Market Place should be valued somewhere in the neighborhood of $35-$45 million.â€ť
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 â€śan eyesore for the communityâ€ť and â€śa blot on an otherwise fine retail environment in Bowie,â€ť King said.
â€śItâ€™s a place for crime to happen and we need to get it moving no matter what it takes,â€ť said Councilmember Diane Polangin. â€śIâ€™m ready to do whatever it takes.â€ť
Before Berman Enterprises can redevelop the property, the plans must align with the cityâ€™s best interest, King said.
â€śWe want any future development to be harmonious with the surrounding community,â€ť he said. â€śWe donâ€™t want something new for the sake of newâ€”itâ€™s got to fit in.â€ť
But the redevelopment effort of the marketplace is still far from beginning. According to King the site is second on Berman Enterpriseâ€™s list of priorities. Councilmember Dennis Brady said he was not pleased and Bowie needs to become a priority.
â€śThis has been a site the full 20 years Iâ€™ve been on the council,â€ť Brady said. â€śWeâ€™ve been trying to move it forward,â€ť 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 marketplaceâ€™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 couldnâ€™t give much information about the prospective grocery tenet, but he said that it was a grocery tenet that everyone knows.
â€śI 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,â€ť King said.
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