The Town of Sykesville shared the following press release late in the day on May 11th:
The Town of Sykesville has begun taking steps to reclaim the historic structures at Warfield. This decision was made after years of watching little to no progress on the site while the owners demonstrated that their objectives are not in alignment with the sales agreement. The current owners have been in default of their contractual commitments since June 2020, including a $1,000,000 debt on funding to be used in the rehabilitation of the existing historic structures. In addition, the owners have not met the preservation spending requirements to which they agreed when they acquired the property in 2018. The preservation agreement required the developer to spend $525,000 on preservation efforts by June 2021.
The Town has been given no indication that the owners intend to resolve these ongoing issues. This inaction leaves the Town with two options: continue watching the buildings be demolished by neglect until they can no longer be saved or exercise the remedies available to the Town from the original sales contract, including reversion of the historic buildings to the Town’s ownership. The Town has chosen the latter.
Once reacquired, the Town intends to use existing escrow funding set aside at closing in an amount exceeding $1,200,000 to begin securing the structures and preventing further deterioration. These same funds have been available for the current owners to use, but they have chosen not to do so, purportedly due to tax implications. The Town’s use of these funds would not have these same implications. Efforts to find avenues for the acceptable release of this funding with the current owners have gone unanswered since their zoning text amendment request was denied in June 2022.
As the public has consistently expressed their desire for these buildings to be saved so that they can once again serve as a community amenity, the Mayor and Town Council have made this decision unanimously. The Town does not anticipate any of these steps to be quick or easy. Our goal is to maintain an open outlook on potential future uses as we work with public and private partners to ensure progress is made to achieve the ends our community deserves.
Visit our website for the full press release: https://tinyurl.com/WarfieldPressRelease
See the post with the press release from May 11th here: