Berlin To Begin Heron Park RFP Process, Meet With DNR For Site Visit

Berlin To Begin Heron Park RFP Process, Meet With DNR For Site Visit
An elevated perspective of the town’s Heron Park property, which was a chicken processing plant for decades, is pictured. File Photo

BERLIN – Town officials approved a request for proposals for the disposition and development of two parcels at Heron Park.

On Monday, the Berlin Town Council voted 4-0 to approve a request for proposals (RFP) regarding parcels 57 and 410. The RFP will be posted Nov. 1.

Officials have been considering the sale of portions of Heron Park since early 2021. The 60-acre property, a former chicken processing plant, was purchased by the town for $2.5 million in 2016. Officials hosted a listening session in March to gauge public interest in selling two parcels that are part of the park property. The parcels that could be sold include parcel 57 (the southwest portion of the property off Old Ocean City Boulevard, adjacent to the railroad tracks and including most of the old poultry processing buildings) and parcel 410 (a 10-acre rectangular portion of the property that runs behind Cropper & Sons and includes outbuildings and open space). When an interested purchaser had an appraisal of parcel 410 done, it was valued at $770,000. An appraisal of parcel 57, with its deteriorating buildings, valued it at about $100,000.

For the past several weeks, elected officials have been developing an RFP that would give various entities a chance to submit proposals to buy one or both of the parcels.

After a few minor tweaks Monday night, the council approved the RFP, which will be posted Nov. 1. A pre-proposal meeting is set for Nov. 15, along with site tours.

“The site tours would be open to people that are interested in bidding on either parcel 57 and/or parcel 410,” Mayor Zack Tyndall said. “It’s not a general tour.”

RFPs will be accepted until mid-February, as Tyndall said that would give the town time to demolish the dilapidated building on parcel 57 if it receives the strategic demolition grant it’s applied for.

In addition to seeking RFPs regarding Heron Park, the town is also set to meet with Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials at the property on Oct. 29.

“Sec. Haddaway-Riccio is coming to the Eastern Shore for a couple site visits and reached out to the mayor’s office about a possible stop in Berlin,” Tyndall said this week. “I proposed a site visit to Heron Park so Secretary Haddaway-Riccio could see the passive use portion of the park firsthand. Despite Program Open Space Stateside not being a fit, I believe other partnerships with DNR may be possible in the near future. I also plan to continue discussion with DNR and Secretary Haddaway-Riccio about connecting the Bay Club property to the Town of Berlin.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.