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SYKESVILLE — The Warfield Cultural and Commerce Center in Sykesville has attracted the interest of a prospective new tenant who, town officials hope, could give fresh momentum to developing the 100-acre complex.

The Warfield complex is composed of 12, nearly century-old brick buildings previously part of Springfield Hospital Center.

The property was annexed years ago by the Town of Sykesville and is in the process of being redeveloped as a multi-use, business, educational and residential center.

Stavrou Associates, an Annapolis-based development firm, recently signed a letter of intent with the public-private Warfield Development Corp. to retrofit four Warfield buildings — with about 46,000 square feet in all — for senior housing.

On June 14, engineers and architects from Stavrou toured the buildings, along with representatives from the Maryland Historical Trust. Trust officials were consulting about how the buildings can be retrofitted while preserving their historical and architectural integrity.

“The Historical Trust was just giving Stavrou some guidance,” said Matt Candland, Sykesville town manager. “You always have to strike a balance between preserving as much of the history of a building with adapting it for uses in the 21st century.”

The Trust’s input is crucial, because it will clarify how Stavrou may proceed with renovations so as to qualify for state and federal historic preservation grants and tax credits.

Candland said the entire process for a project like this is time-consuming, and even if Stavrou does agree to lease the buildings, it could be as long as two years before any construction starts.

“But I think we’re making good progress,” he added. “Stavrou does seem to be very interested.”


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