Plans to develop Ashton intersection are growing
Preliminary concept is revealed for northeast corner

A new look is in the works for the northeast corner of the intersection of routes 108 and 650 in Ashton.

Property owners and developers plan to construct a gas station, car wash and small retail center on the property, located across the street from the proposed Ashton Meeting Place mixed-use center.

The site currently houses Kimball’s car repair shop and Wood-n-Strings Music. A Freestate gas station formerly located on the property shut down in 2005.

Preliminary plans for the new project include a 10-pump gas station — five pumping islands with two fueling positions each — which is comparable to the former Freestate station, said developer Fred Nichols, who also is developing Ashton Meeting Place.

A car wash and 3,300-square-foot convenience store will also be on site, along with an additional 8,800-square-foot retail building. The building heights range from 21 to 28 feet, with another four feet of architectural façade, land planner Phil Perrine said.

No leases have been signed for the retail space at this point, Nichols said.

The 1.9-acre site will be cut down to 1.5 acres after land is dedicated to the state for road improvements.

The project was announced at an Oct. 18 public meeting at the Ross Boddy Community Center that drew a crowd of more than 60 people. Developers plan to submit a preliminary site plan with the county within two weeks.

Willard and Warren Derrick, brothers who grew up in the community and still live there, have owned the property since the 1950s when they bought it from their father. The Derrick brothers also partnered with Nichols for Ashton Meeting Place.

Some area residents raised concerns about the site layout and how traffic generated by the car wash would flow within the center. Others were not happy about losing the car repair shop.

They also wanted to know how this development would correspond with Ashton Meeting Place.

New design plans for Ashton Meeting Place have not been released publicly as the development team and Sandy Spring Ashton Rural Preservation Consortium, a community group that opposed the initial size and scale of the project, are continuing their efforts to develop a mutually acceptable plan.

Perrine did announce that the development team is working toward having active storefronts and possible parking along Route 108 and a larger span of green space.

‘‘In broad terms, that’s it,” he said.

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