Walmart was required to file a special zoning exception application because "it proposes a department/variety store over 125,000 sq. ft., with a food and beverage component above 10% of the gross floor area," according to a status report presented to the Bowie City Council by City Manager David Deutsch. The Walmart plan will be on the City Council's agenda this fall.
Along with the retail stores, Mill Branch Crossing is expected to include commercial space and a 150 room hotel.
The Mill Branch Crossing shopping center has been in the planning stages for more than seven years. The project has been delayed by the discovery of remains of a 1700s era structure as well as other archeological items. Development of the shopping center has also been delayed by plans for the future Green Branch Regional Park. The Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission owns 319 acres of land behind the Mill Branch Crossing property, and a portion of that land will be converted into soccer, lacrosse and football fields. The park property is land locked, and the county is requiring the owner of the shopping center property to provide a public access road to the new park as a condition for approval.
A lacrosse stadium is also being considered for the Green Branch Regional Park site as a possible home for the Chesapeake Bayhawks professional lacrosse team. A study conducted earlier this year concluded that a 22,000 seat stadium was not appropriate, and a follow-up study was funded to consider options for a smaller stadium.
The future Green Branch Regional Park also offers a potential viewing location for the annual City of Bowie fireworks. According to Bowie City Manager David Deutsch, future city firework shows at Prince George's Stadium will include more higher altitude shells for people viewing the show from outside the stadium. This may make it possible to view the fireworks from the new park, although Deutsch indicated that the city had not yet considered that option.
- July 25, 2013 Status Report to the Bowie City Council from City Manager David Deutsch. Referenced plans to discuss the Walmart exception this fall.
- Maryland National Capital Park and Planning review of the Mill Branch Crossing development
- Mill Branch Crossing Preliminary Plans (includes maps and photos)
- Maryland National Capital Park & Planning description of the Green Branch Athletic Complex
- City of Bowie, State of the City Report, January, 2013 (see comments on Mill Branch Crossing)
- eWallstreeter: Study finds Prince George's lacrosse stadium plans may be too grand
- Maryland Stadium Authority Releases Study of Bowie Lacrosse Stadium and Youth Sports Complex
- Bowie Lacrosse Stadium / Youth Sports Complex
- Accord nears about access road for ball fields near Bowie, Gazette, April 19, 2012