Old homes to come down at former Fort Ritchie property

Joe Lee, president of Washington Realty Management, presents an update about the Cascade Town Centre on Tuesday to the Washington County Board of Commissioners. Lee, center, was flanked by JG Business Link International IT Consultant Wook Jung and Washington Realty Management CEO Greg Murray, the county’s former administrator.

The Cascade Town Centre’s master developer expects to have several old homes at the former Fort Ritchie demolished this year to prepare for the first townhouses to be built.

Master developer JG Business Link International wants to kick-start development of the 63-acre section it owns by building 36 townhomes on North Boyd Street, Joe Lee, president of Washington Realty Management, wrote in an email. The property-management company oversees the 63 acres JGBLI owns and is JGBLI’s sister company.

The 36 townhomes are part of JGBLI’s plan for approximately 150 townhomes, condos and apartments, as well as medical and commercial buildings, a retail center, and brand hotel for the 63 acres, Lee wrote.

Eleven homes will initially be razed so the Army can check for unexploded ordnance in the ground under those homes, according to Lee. The residential property to the west will need to go through the same process with the Army as the project progresses.

The redevelopment effort hit bumps last year as the county’s attempt to sell most of the nearly 600 acres fell through twice, with different South Korean developers.

But Lee said JGBLI continued talking to potential buyers and working with interested investors toward formal contracts for different development projects at the former Army base in northeastern Washington County.

Lee and Jeonghoon Han, vice president of Eutilex Co. Ltd., were among the people who updated the county commissioners Tuesday about the redevelopment project in Cascade.

Jeonghoon Han, vice president of South Korean pharmaceutical company Eutilex Co. Ltd., tells the Washington County Board of Commissioners about the company on Tuesday. The company is talking to JG Business Link International about locating at the Cascade Town Centre.

Eutilex is a South Korean pharmaceutical company that has begun clinical trials in South Korea for an immunotherapy drug for NK/T-cell lymphoma, officials said. Han said he hopes to begin clinical trials in the U.S. this year.

Since September, JGBLI has been negotiating with Eutilex about establishing its U.S. presence at the Cascade Town Centre, officials said. Han visited the site this week and the company is continuing its feasibility study.

Lee said JGBLI also is negotiating with a large South Korean retail chain about the Cascade project. The retailer could help bring a variety of retailers to the site.

JGBLI is still awaiting word from the South Korean government about a request for $200 million to help upgrade infrastructure, including roads and utilities, at the former military base, Lee said. The work would include a boardwalk surrounding the lakes.

The review process has gone on long enough that Lee said he is optimistic the request will be approved.

That money, if approved, would funnel through a South Korean construction company to the Cascade Town Centre project manager, whether that’s JGBLI or the county, he said. Then it would go to subcontractors.

Officials noted several local firms involved in the redevelopment effort, including Fox & Associates, Ellsworth Electric and Callas Contractors in Washington County and W.F. Delauter & Son in Emmitsburg, Md.