Negotiations Continue For Heron Park Property

Negotiations Continue For Heron Park Property
An elevated perspective of the town’s Heron Park property, which was a chicken processing plant for decades, is pictured. File Photo

BERLIN – Municipal officials will meet in closed session this week to discuss negotiations regarding Heron Park.

The Berlin Town Council will meet in closed session Thursday evening so members of the Heron Park subcommittee can update their fellow elected officials regarding negotiations.

“That executive session is to brief the group on where we are at and discuss the negotiating strategy to move forward,” Mayor Zack Tyndall said this week.

Last May, the town entered into negotiations with Palmer Gillis’s Coastal Ventures Properties LLC – one of two entities that submitted a proposal for the Heron Park property. Since then, Tyndall, Councilman Jack Orris and Councilman Jay Knerr have served on a subcommittee to work with the company to negotiate an agreement.

The Gillis proposal offered the town $1.5 million for three parcels – parcel 410, 57 and 191 – and would involve partial demolition of the existing structures to create a commercial project on the site.

Gillis said on Monday he met last week with the subcommittee.


A rendering of Gillis Gilkerson’s proposed development at Heron Park as of last year. Submitted image.

“Right now we are still moving forward,” he said. “The town and ourselves all seem to be excited about the updated redevelopment plan. We presented an economic issue, and I believe the town may meet this Thursday about it but I am not sure. They have a process to follow.”

Tyndall confirmed elected officials would meet March 23 in an executive session.

“We hope to have an outcome that’s good for the people of Berlin,” Tyndall said. “We’ve all put a lot of work into it.”

He added that he hoped to see movement in 30-60 days, as the town has time constraints related to its strategic demolition grant.

The town received the $500,000 grant from the state in late 2021. The funding is expected to allow the town to demolish the old chicken processing building located on parcel 57.

“The town has a tight timeline we want to hit,” he said. “We want to give ourselves enough time to spend the demolition funds. If we can overcome this hurdle some action should occur pretty quickly.”

Orris said the group had been working diligently through negotiations and he was looking forward to sharing the committee’s efforts with the public.

“Our subcommittee has been working on this for over a year, so I’m looking forward to finally being able to present to the council as a whole, and soon the public, the possibilities available in moving forward with the Heron Park property,” he said.

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.