Groundbreaking at Warfield lauded, called 'tip of the iceberg'

Warfield ground breaking ceremony 2018

Town, county and state officials were all present for Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony at Warfield at Historic Sykesville — celebrating Warfield Cos.’ official acquisition of the former Springfield Hospital site and the beginning of construction for 145 townhouses.

And the weather cooperated, with the sun shining bright for the first time in almost a week after flooding and massive rainstorms pummeled the region. For those who dug into the earth with shovels to celebrate the next steps that morning, the dirt was somewhat softened.


“This project has a lot to offer,” said Dennis Boyle of Lee & Associates, the company now tasked with managing leasing and sales, “not just for Sykesville but for Carroll County.”

The morning was full of thank-yous, divvied out among the Town of Sykesville, Carroll County, State of Maryland and Roger Conley of Warfield Cos.


“There are so many people to thank,” Conley said, “hundreds and probably thousands who put their shoulders to this project … starting a dozen or 15 years ago with the intersection and sidewalks.”

Conley said his first thank-you, though, would go to Jonathan Herman, “the original visionary on this project,” stating that although he was on a family vacation, the former Sykesville mayor would undoubtedly continue to be a part of the process going forward.

Sykesville’s current mayor, Ian Shaw, said the town has plans to record Herman’s legacy in the Warfield’s saga.

“We can’t thank him enough for the vision,” Shaw said. “He got the tunnel under [Md.] 32 as part of that project, which was unprecedented. We brought it out to rename the tunnel the ‘Herman Tunnel.’

“It’s going to help connect [Warfield] to Main Street,” he said, “and we want to recognize that his vision and ongoing support is necessary.”

Warfield Companies just closed the deal on its 91-acre complex earlier this month and a groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for next week to celebrate a project has ebbed and flowed for almost 20 years.  The mixed-use development, being rebranded to “Warfield at Historic Sykesville,” ...

Being at the ceremony July 26 was like “deja vu,” Del. Susan Krebs, R-District 5, said, because the same players were at Warfield 15 years ago celebrating the groundbreaking for Nexion Health.

And remembering the history of this development, which goes back almost 20 years, is key to staying true to its original mission, she said.

“We don’t want to forget the whole process of the town taking on the property,” she said. “Part of the vision was they wanted to make sure the town was incorporated [in the project] and it contributed to the economic development of the town. That it wasn’t separated from Main Street.

“This property is going to be a good neighbor,” Krebs said. “This is the most beautiful property we have for development in Maryland right now — and it’s right here in Carroll County.”

She then presented formal citations to the developers, Elm Street Development, and Warfield Cos. on behalf of all Carroll County delegates to the Maryland General Assembly.

“Some day soon this will be home for 145 families,” Commissioner Doug Howard, R-District 5, said that morning. “And this will be a thriving economic development.”

And seeing as economic development is a major part of South Carroll’s future, Howard said what happens at Warfield can influence the way growth occurs elsewhere: “keeping Carroll rural by putting businesses in places like this instead of chewing up the landscape.”


But the process is still in nascent stages, Shaw said, and they are far from finished.

“There’s so many moving pieces,” he said, “and the layers, we just kept peeling them back like an onion.

“At the state level we are going to need more help; we are going to need help for the economic development, to put these buildings back online,” said Shaw. “This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

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