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New suitor for Heron Park?

Another developer has expressed interest in the Heron Park property in Berlin.

Another development plan  for parcel expected to be offered at end of month

By Cindy Hoffman, Staff Writer

(Aug. 24, 2023) Berlin Councilmember Jay Knerr reported Monday night after the mayor and council meeting that another developer wants to present the town with a mixed used plan and price for the Heron Park properties.

During a discussion about the location of a skatepark on Parcel 410 at Heron Park, Knerr observed that another person might be coming in with a proposal and suggested keeping the location of the skatepark “more generic” so changes a second proposal might want to incorporate  could be accommodated.

“He currently has an architect working on the project which he hopes to present to the mayor and council by the end of the month,” Knerr said.

“His plan would incorporate a skatepark. At this time, no details have been shared with the mayor and council regarding this plan.”

If it comes about, this proposal would compete with one offered by Palmer Gillis of Coastal Ventures Properties.

His plan, Gillis has said, visualizes  “a vibrant and lively multi-use commercial building(s) providing a home for a plethora of businesses, events, and community to exist here. Our goal is to create a stronger public use by providing a new roadway from Old Ocean City Boulevard directly to the entrance of Heron Park. Not only do we want the community to continue the use of the park and lagoons, we want to help foster this use and provide greater amenities for the public.”

It goes on to identify some of the potential uses for the land, including a public amphitheater, restaurants and eateries, garden center, multi-use fields, bike racks and offices.

The timeline for a decision on the future of Heron Park is limited because of the need to use a $500,000 grant provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help cover the demolition of the old poultry plant buildings still on the property.

Mayor Zack Tyndall believes a decision on the property needs to be made by the end of this month to get the ball rolling on demolition before the June 2024 deadline for spending the grant.

The Heron Park property is home to the former Tyson’s poultry processing plant on Old Ocean City Blvd. It was purchased by the town of Berlin in 20016 for $2.5 million.