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The original item was published from 8/12/2019 11:32:00 AM to 3/17/2020 11:06:23 AM.

News Flash

Mayor's Corner

Posted on: August 8, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Spa Road/Forest Drive Property Exchange

Rendering of the new public works facility

Public-private partnerships allow us to leverage the value of the land in exchange for infill development opportunities we otherwise could not afford.


  or Learn about the project

City Benefits:

  • $300,000/year in Property Tax Revenue
  • 100 Jobs Created (including 30 local)
  • Section 3 Jobs: 100 residents trained
  • 3 New Ball Fields
  • 2 Bridges
  • 2 Acres of Park
  • 150 Percent Stormwater Retention


        $4,675,000 Spa Road

      - $1,900,000 Forest Drive


        $2,575,000 ---> To City of Annapolis

Finance in Place

The City of Annapolis has value to offer in City-owned land along Spa Road. This property is currently being underutilized. One of the best ways to leverage land value is to take an existing City property with easy access to downtown and use it to create an enticing package for a private company to build additional housing stocks. In exchange, the City will build a state-of-the-art public works facility in another location (in this case, along Forest Drive). 

Public-private partnerships allow us to leverage the value of the land in exchange for infill development opportunities we otherwise could not afford. 

Connecting People

There are certain streets in the City of Annapolis that serve to divide communities, one from another. This proposed public-private partnership provides alternative connection points across West Street, Spa Road and Forest Drive in the form of pedestrian bridges we otherwise could not afford as a capital expenditure. 

The City of Annapolis has a unique opportunity to use the public-private partnership to add amenities by literally building bridges to connect diverse communities.



The City of Annapolis is a story of haves and have nots. For generations, certain neighborhoods have been the beneficiary of so many of our city’s resources. Other neighborhoods are neglected and there is little impetus for leadership to make long-term investments that could lift up neighborhoods and residents.  Using Section 3 practices, we can create job and workforce development opportunities, enhance a blighted urban landscape and create spaces for diverse communities to interact. 

It isn’t fair that certain areas of the City get all of the resources while other areas seem forgotten or neglected.


Nearly all of the government agencies that provide grants, provide them as matching funds. At this time, the City does not have a lot of excess capital to provide seed monies for matching grants. What we do have is value in the land and the ability to create new value in pockets of the city that had previously been overlooked and neglected. If we build public works right where it is, we lose the land swap and the ability to leverage financing opportunities for things that grants might fund, like better transit infrastructure, nonprofit facilities, drug counseling and other items that could benefit City residents. 

We can look at new ways of establishing relationships that we parlay into funding for other things the City needs but cannot afford. 

Environmental Improvements

The City’s leadership needs to show residents that environmental improvements are a priority.  Resituating Public Works with the attendant oil tanks, gasoline pumps and salt dome adjacent to the headwaters of Spa Creek is a critical move for improving water quality. In addition, stormwater mitigation at both sites on Spa Road and Forest Drive will slow runoff and improve neighborhood conditions where standing water is a problem. 

Making long-term improvements in the Chesapeake Bay starts with improving water quality at the headwaters of creeks and tributaries, including Spa Creek. 

Stimulating the Corridor

Safeway is currently in need of enhancement strategy. If it wasn’t for Safeway, residents of Newtowne Twenty, Woodside and Bywater would not have many options. They would be in a food desert. The City needs to stimulate the economy of this sector. 

In addition, Newtowne Twenty residences will be redeveloped. This will propel Woodside to promise investment in their complex. The redevelopment of the business complex at 1750 Forest Drive means the future will include tech tenants in the upper Forest Drive corridor. 

With the City making additional connections across Forest Drive, the entire corridor will benefit. 

Business, residential and City investments will combine to exponentially improve the corridor. 

The redevelopment of 1750 Forest Drive (the old MAIF building), completed in 2019, could be a catalyst for tech jobs in the upper Forest Drive corridor. 

forest drive




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