Developer backs off plan that would 'repurpose' some of University of Maryland's golf course

A prominent developer says he has no "present plans" to pursue a large, mixed-use development on land now occupied by the University of Maryland golf course.

Brian Gibbons — whose firm, Owings Mills-based Greenberg Gibbons Commercial Corp., developed Annapolis Towne Centre, Hunt Valley Towne Centre and other shopping centers in Maryland and Virginia — had presented Maryland President Wallace Loh with a preliminary plan "to improve transportation connections to the campus and to repurpose some of the university's golf course," according to a July 8 letter obtained by The Baltimore Sun.

The plan came under criticism from local elected officials and from a coalition trying to preserve the golf course.

Gibbons noted the criticism in a letter to Loh on Wednesday.

"As someone who loves the university, it was never my intent for this concept to become a political football or have the university become embroiled in political theater," the letter said. "As a result, we have no present plans to submit either our concept plan or a development proposal to the university."

Critics of the development initiative — which would have cost more than $100 million — said the university should focus on improving Route 1, the main corridor to campus.

"It was very encouraging to hear [today's] news," said Barry DesRoches, a golf course donor and member of the coalition in support of the course.

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