The redevelopment of a private airport in Bowie into a large residential community is poised to move ahead, despite some community pushback to the project and even a lawsuit aimed at blocking it.
The Prince George’s County Planning Board will review a detailed site plan for the 131-acre Freeway Airport property Thursday, one of the last approvals St. John Properties needs before it can proceed with its 509-unit redevelopment of the site. The Baltimore-based developer is envisioning 416 townhomes and 93 single-family detached homes for the old airport, located where U.S. 50 meets Church Road, just west of Bowie Town Center.
The small, family-owned airport has largely been used as a maintenance facility and flight school these last few years, with private flights dwindling, leading to this redevelopment push.
But the whole process has grown a bit messy in the face of fierce opposition from neighbors and Bowie city officials, who fear the new homes will overwhelm local roads with traffic. In the midst of fights about the property’s zoning in 2019, a pilot that took off from the airport crashed and struck a car on Route 50, spurring arguments from the airport’s owners that they’d be better off shuttering the facility and putting it to another use.