State officials are seeking a developer to build a mixed-use project on 12 waterfront acres in Cambridge on the Eastern Shore.

The state's Department of Transportation, which owns the site off Route 50 on the shores of the Choptank River, issued a request for qualifications Wednesday, state Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley said in a statement Wednesday. The Cambridge Marine Terminal/Sailwinds site, owned by the Maryland Port Administration and leased to the city of Cambridge, sits downriver from the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort.

Officials of Cambridge and Dorchester County envision a community of housing, shops and restaurants connected by hiking and biking trails to the city's downtown and the Hyatt resort.

Gov. Martin O'Malley last fall designated the property a "smart site," making it eligible for state assistance. The state hopes to create jobs and spur development of stores and housing in one of the state's oldest cities, the governor said in a statement Wednesday.

State officials will select a master developer or development team by June 30. The developer will design, finance, build and market the project.

Lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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