Wilson Point Community Association president Bob Bendler has long said that a key to the long-term development of Route 43 and the adjacent Middle River Depot is the expansion of the Middle River MARC station.
So, Bendler said he was pleased to hear that Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz had
“It’s great to know that the county executive understands the importance of the MARC station to the development of Middle River,” Bendler said. “With all of the plans for the area, having an expanded train station would only help drive more economic activity to the area.”
Kamenetz did not make a specific funding request for the MARC station, but it was one of just a handful of specific projects he mentioned in his remarks as part of a modest list of requests for the 2012 legislative session.
"We feel that a relocated and expanded Martin MARC Station has great potential in light of the ongoing revitalization of the Middle River area, the BRAC-driven expansion of Aberdeen Proving Ground, the steady pace of new development surrounding MD 43, and the inclusion by Amtrak of a potential new Middle River station in its master plan," according to Kamenetz's prepared statement.
"Relocation of the station to the east side of MD 43 would allow the station to complement redevelopment of the 2-million-square-foot GSA Depot facility as a mixed-use, transit-oriented development to provide a wide range of uses."
What the future holds for the Middle River Depot remains to be seen.
The current owners bought the 55-acre site in 2006 for $37.5 million—then a record for an online government auction. The property includes a 1.9 million-square-foot facility once used to manufacture aircraft during World War II.
Most recently, the facility had been used as a General Services Administration warehouse. An expanded Glenn L. Martin Aviation museum, additional rail service and a new post office are just some of the ideas residents would like to see implemented at the depot.
County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins, who represents the area around the MARC station, said having Kamenetz’s support for an expanded rail service says a lot about the economic engine the county envisions for the Route 43 corridor.
“The Middle River Depot, along with , represents jobs and economic development to the area,” Bevins said. “An expanded train station would help make the area an even greater destination to people from all over.”
Del. John Olszewski, the chairman of the Baltimore County delegation, said Kamenetz having such a small list of requests in tight economic times is helpful in gaining state support for the MARC station.
“The county executive has made his priorities known and with every project garnering more scrutiny in Annapolis it’s important to only go after what is considered most important for the county,” said Olszewski, D-Dundalk.
“An expanded MARC station will provide a vital service to eastern Baltimore County and we will work hard in the General Assembly to ensure it is supported at the state level.”