April 17, 2024

Eyesore Torn Down


Video by Jay Friess, editor

Workers from the Great Mills Trading Post demolished an boarded up gas station once owned by Besche Oil at the corner of Great Mills and Chancellor’s Run Roads Wednesday morning, marking a victory for the St. Mary’s County Community Development Corporation.

Workers checked ensure the building was unoccupied before tearing it down wall by wall.

This is the first of two properties to be torn down as part of a continued effort to improve the appearance of the community and create opportunities for new commercial development along Great Mills Road.  The second vacant property scheduled for demolition this month is the former Mike’s Bar.

The Besche gas station property was recently acquired from Besche Oil Company by Malbee Properties, LLC for $450,000.  Brian Norris, spokesman for Malbee Properties, credited the Community Development Corporation with facilitating negotiations to bring about the purchase of the property.  There are no immediate plans for development of the property.

9 Responses to “Eyesore Torn Down”
  1. Branch says:

    I remember when I used to go to that gas station way back in the day and it was the only one on the corner before the Dash-in across the street. Hopefully something nice will get put there.

  2. david says:

    not sure it was really an eyesore. all you had to do was open it back up….

  3. ms. claus says:

    so who paid for the demo? I am sure it was the taxpayers :(((

  4. Robin Finnacom says:

    The demolition was privately financed. In fact, Great Mills Trading Post provided a discount on the cost of the demolition work because they too wanted to see the corner cleaned up.

  5. jimmyjam says:

    Excellent! So now crack can be sold out in the open on that corner…

  6. Ethel says:

    Thanks fro the video of the demolition.

  7. Ethel says:

    Let me try that again! Thanks for the video of the demolition of the old gas station.

  8. Lauren says:

    From what I understood, it couldn’t be opened back up. There was some kind of contaminate in the soil that needs to be cleaned and re-soiled. Correct me if I’m wrong, Robin.

  9. Robin Finnacom says:

    The soil at the Besche site is not contaminated and the property is perfectly suitable for future development. This statement is informed by the State of Maryland’s review and approval of the removal of the underground gas tanks years ago and further validated through a Phase II environmental study which the Community Development Corporation paid to have performed on the site.

    The Besche property sat in a deteriorated state for well over a decade. With renovation the building could certainly have been reused. In fact, the Development Corporation made a good faith offer to purchase the property so that we could attract a new business to that location but the owner reneged on the agreement. The derelict condition of the building at such a well traveled intersection became a symbol of economic decline along the corridor. We even have letters on file from students at Great Mills High School questioning how the County could let such a blighted property continue to mare the neighborhood and pointing out how this was detrimental to the image of the school. While the Community Development Corporation has purchased and demolished derelict properties before and also worked with owners to improve properties, repeated requests to the Besche Corporation for exterior maintenance of this property were steadfastly ignored.

    Currently, the County lacks sufficient authority to compel owners to take corrective action when property disrepair is detrimental to the surrounding community. The Commissioners will soon consider recommendations from the Chamber of Commerce to strengthen the County’s provisions for property maintenance and, with or without a change to the ordinance, we will continue to work directly with owners to improve properties for the betterment of Lexington Park.

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