Uncertainty with Development at Site of Old Salisbury Mall - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Reported by Kevin Leahy

Uncertainty with Development at Site of Old Salisbury Mall

Site of the old Salisbury Mall. (Photo: WBOC) Site of the old Salisbury Mall. (Photo: WBOC)

02/21/2008 11:10 PM ET

SALISBURY, Md. - It could take another year before anyone knows what will finally happen with the old Salisbury Mall.  Developers say they have had trouble with the project in a slumping market.

Salisbury, like most of the country is experiencing a slowdown in residential construction.  Fewer homes are selling and less are being built. 

That means changes for projects like "The Village at Salisbury" on the site of the old mall.  The project was originally slated for 688 town homes and condos.

But on the site of the mall, there is absolutely nothing.  Just flat and leveled dirt.  Developers say it was even a struggle getting it to that point.

"The way that it affects us is that the demand for residential housing has slowed," explained Jonathan Natelson with Chesapeake Realty, the company developing the site.

"As a result, although the price range that we've anticipated for this site, the anticipated pace of sales has slowed," Natelson said.

Natelson did not share any changes he expects to see to the plan, but did say his company just does not feel comfortable submitting a plan that is not solid.  Members of Wicomico Planning and Zoning say extending the deadline for a project as big as this is in everyone's interest.

"Extensions that we normally grant are for major projects, and this is probably one of the largest projects we've had residentially," said Corinne Les Callette, chair of the Wicomico Planning and Zoning Commission. 

"When we have large commercial projects, many times it takes them more than a year to complete," Callette said.

Without disclosing any design plans, Natelson says retail spaces could possibly be more profitable than housing there.  The developer calls any timetable for a new design tentative.  They have another year to develop the plan.

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