I want to thank everyone for your input about the use of the Calvert Road School property as a potential daycare. The property has been mostly vacant for many years now and the residents want to put the property to a good public use, so the City and the neighborhood can benefit from the site. The City Council will make an important decision about this property at tonight’s Council meeting.

At the last week’s Council worksession, we discussed seeking a potential development partner using the RFI (Request for Interest) option for the redevelopment of the Calvert Road property. Public entities often use the RFI option as a standard way to find potential partners to develop properties for public use. Unfortunately, this is an option we have not pursued to redevelop the Calvert Road property yet.

While we should praise UMD’s effort to be a partner with the current proposal, we should also consider that there could be other proposals that may potentially benefit our residents better at this site. This may only take a few more weeks to get additional partners and thus we should seriously consider giving this option a chance. The time will include 45 days to get initial response and some additional time to review potential proposals (if we get any). As a body, the Council should be able to complete the process fairly quickly. With or without getting additional partners, the Council can still consider the current UMD proposal, in the end.

As public servants, the Mayor and Council should consider the best use for the Calvert Rd property for our residents. With that purpose in mind, I’ll ask the City Council to consider a resolution at tonight’s meeting authorizing staff to issue a RFI ​seeking additional partners to redevelop the Calvert Rd School site.