It will take place during the second night meeting in January, 2020
Frederick, Md (KM) A public hearing is expected to take place next month on a proposed rezoning of the former Frederick Towne Mall property. The owners, West Frederick Center LLC, want to reclassify the 39.4-acre parcel from general commercial with conditions, to general commercial without conditions.
The former mall received its current zoning from the city in 2014 in anticipation demolishing the central part of the old shopping center, and putting in a Wal Mart store which would be located between The Home Depot and Boscov’s. But Wal Mart pulled out.
Attorney Dave Severn, representing the owners, says the current zoning granted in 2014 was mistake because it was based on plans to put a Wal Mart at that location. “There was concept plan that was presented. that said this is how we’re going to redevelop the property. So all of those conditions were in reliance on the fact that that was going to happen. And Wal Mart pulls out, and it didn’t happen. And there’s no plan B,’ he said.
But Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak said she wasn’t convinced there was a mistake in the zoning. “I thought it was a mistake when it was done,” she said. “I was very clear in that meeting when it was being zoned that the sitting Board of Aldermen was making a mistake by doing this. But I still even reading through this, I don’t understand how we get a legal definition of a mistake out of this.”
Her colleague, Alderwoman Kelly Russell, said the zoning was granted five years ago based on the belief that Wal Mart was going to put a new store at that site, and no other possibilities were even discussed. . “And it was never considered. And we were all shocked, I think, when the project pulled out, it wasn’t going to happen,” she said.
The Frederick Planning Commission last month approved the rezoning for the former Frederick Towne Mall.
The owners of the one-time retail mall want to turn it into an entertainment center to include a bowling alley, go-karts, a video arcade and a trampoline park. Warehouse Cinemas has signed a lease to construct a 40,000 square-foot luxury movie theaters at the mall. They’re scheduled to open next summer.
By Kevin McManus