The property that was home to Good Shepherd Services' residential youth treatment program in Halethorpe is now on the market.
The decision to sell the property was made following the nonprofit's announcement in February that it would be closing its residential treatment center on Maple Avenue, said Sister Mary Carolyn McQuaid, treasurer for the Sisters of the Good Shepherd Province of Mid-North America, which oversees ministries across the United States.
"Without the large residential treatment program, there's no need for that 70-acre property," she said.
The ministry had been serving youths for 153 years in Maryland and had used the wooded Maple Road property since 1970. Also on the campus is a chapel, convent and retirement center for nuns.
There are no plans for the ministry to acquire other property in Maryland, McQuaid said.
The 49 children who were at the treatment center were moved within 30 days of the February announcement, McQuaid said.
The decision to close came after two state agencies decided to withdraw the children they had placed there and followed moratoriums imposed late last year by the agencies on sending more youths to the Baltimore County treatment center.
Good Shepherd was cited last year by state health regulators for not providing proper supervision after one patient reported being sexually assaulted and others showed signs of overdose after taking medicine stolen from a medical cart.
There are 26 sisters who still live at the Halethorpe site. They will be moved before any sale, McQuaid said.
The listing for the property, which has areas zoned for residential, industrial and business roadside use, does not have an asking price and calls for requests for proposals from potential buyers.
Listed as a 71.71-acre site, most of the land — about 48 acres — is designated for residential use, while a portion near Sulphur Spring Road is designated for manufacturing and a section along Washington Boulevard is zoned for business.
McQuaid and Brian Kruger, of the listing broker Newmark Knight Frank, hope to have potential buyers identified in the fall.
Kruger said the property is suited for a variety of uses, such as residential, medical, retail and industrial.
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The property was assessed at $21 million as of Jan. 1, according to state property records. Kruger said his firm did not get an appraisal on the property.
McQuaid said the money that comes from the sale would go toward closing costs at the Halethorpe location and to other ministries.
County Councilman Tom Quirk, whose district includes the property, said while it's a big deal for that much land to be available, it's too early to speculate what could happen with the property or its zoning.
"I think the process needs to play out a little more and see what interest there is from potential bidders," said Quirk, a Democrat from Catonsville.
He hopes to have community input play a role in the property's future.
"Any decision on zoning would be made slowly," he said. "I have no intention on jumping into anything."
With reporting from The Baltimore Sun.