SB741 signing in Annapolis, 2019.

[CLOSED] RFP: Study of Redevelopment of Historic Government Complexes in Maryland

By Elly Colmers Cowan

Thanks to a bill sponsored by Senator Katie Fry Hester, with language provided, in part, by Preservation Maryland, the Maryland Department of Planning is now seeking a qualified consultant to conduct a study to address the challenge of reusing large campuses of historic structures, such as Preservation Maryland’s Six-to-Fix project Glenn Dale Hospital in Prince George’s County.

Initially, SB741 would have created a waiver process for historic easements. After thoughtful conversation with Senator Hester, developers, and the Maryland Historical Trust, the bill was amended with language provided, in part, by Preservation Maryland to instead authorize a necessary study to address the challenge of reusing large campuses of historic structures.

Report Now Available: Dozens of stakeholders, including elected and state officials, redevelopment experts, preservationists, and other stakeholders worked with a consultant team led by Cherilyn Widell, principal of Widell Preservation Services to develop an 82-page illustrated report on Maryland’s historic complexes released in January 2020. Preservation Maryland Executive Director Nicholas Reddings served on the study’s steering committee, alongside Robert S. McCord, Maryland Secretary of Planning, Senator Katie Fry Hester, Delegate Regina Boyce, and John Renner, Vice President of Development at Cross Street Partners. The report was released in January 2020 and is available on the Preservation Maryland website.

Access the Report

There are numerous large, historic properties, either in state or federal ownership, or previously owned by the state or federal government, which languish due to deferred maintenance and a web of regulations and existing law. These are complex projects and their complexity continues to confound developers and government entities alike. In the case of properties still owned by the state, their carrying costs and maintenance costs Maryland taxpayers millions of dollars annually.

There is no one simple way of defining the potential universe of projects like this (although a future study could quickly do just that) – but there are dozens of potential sites (formerly state and federal installations) around Maryland that impact a bipartisan collection of districts. A quick dashboard-level review includes places such as:

This list is far from comprehensive and does not take into account the many properties waiting to be surplused by state or federal government agencies.

There will be a mandatory pre-proposal conference on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, with final proposals to be submitted no later than Monday, June 3, 2019.


Learn more about GlenN Dale Hospital

Elly Colmers Cowan · Director of Government Relations

Elly Cowan works at the local, state, and federal levels to advance the historic preservation, smart growth, and community development policies that make Preservation Maryland's work possible.

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