[Baltimore Sun] New Anne Arundel County recreation center coming to Edgewater may include pickleball courts

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A new recreation center is coming to Edgewater and may include pickleball courts, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman told attendees of his south county budget town hall earlier this month.

The center will be located on a 5-acre property at 3130 Solomons Island Road that once housed a Giant Food and is now occupied by a Halloween supply store.

“We’ve all been driving by that place for a lot of years and wishing something, in addition to just Halloween stuff at Halloween, would be there,” Pittman told south county residents at the Feb. 7 meeting.

The Department of Recreation and Parks and the property owners, 3130 Solomons Island Property LLC, reached a purchase agreement, however, the officials declined to comment on the sale cost because it hasn’t been finalized, according to the department’s spokesperson Heath Neiderer.

The sellers’ resident agent, David Simison, said Friday the sellers are excited the property will be able to benefit so many residents. While he also declined to name the sale price, he said it is higher than the $4 million government-assessed property value.

The department is requesting $11.5 million in the county’s upcoming capital budget plan to fund initial designs and construction, Neiderer said. It will host community meetings to get a better sense of what kind of indoor recreation residents are interested in having at the Edgewater center.

“We are thinking more sports, you know maybe pickleball even,” Pittman said. “Actually pickleball was what got us first talking to them [the property owners] — the need for indoor pickleball.”

A construction timeline has yet to be determined but, Neiderer said, it could start as soon as late 2025.

Pittman said he’s excited to soon have an alternative to the small South County Recreation Center to offer residents. Courts there get very crowded, he said, and residents often have to spend long periods of time waiting for space to open up to play racket sports.

South county, in addition to the rest of the county, has long been lacking in adequate indoor recreation space, Pittman said.

“With this property, the Department can realize its vision to repurpose a vacant big box store into a vibrant indoor recreational amenity,” Recreation and Parks Director Jessica Leys said in a statement. “We look forward to collaborating with the community to plan the renovation and future programming for this exciting acquisition.”

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