Questions Remain Over Former Raley's Furniture Store's Future

Vacant building has attracted drug users, prostitutes and homeless squatters


Concerns about blight are growing over the vacant building on Great Mills Road now owned by Regency Furniture. (Photo: The County Times) Concerns about blight are growing over the vacant building on Great Mills Road now owned by Regency Furniture. (Photo: The County Times)

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (Sept. 26, 2019)—At the annual State of the County luncheon in Lexington Park Tuesday, Sept. 24, commissioners were asked what could be done about the skeleton of the building at 21716 Great Mills Road that once housed the Raley's Home Furnishings business.

For months the building has stood vacant and gutted with several of its outer walls torn down.

Commissioner Todd Morgan said the county has attempted to contact regional furniture retailer Regency Furniture about what they plan to do with the building—the company bought out Raley's Home Furnishings several years ago to build a new store there—but to no avail.

"Regency Furniture hasn't called back," Morgan told the attendees at the St. Mary's County Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event. "We've given them all the permits they need." Morgan said he has grown concerned about the building in its present condition as it has attracted drug users, prostitutes and homeless squatters.

Calls to Regency Furniture were not returned as of press time.

Sheriff Timothy K. Cameron confirmed Morgan's concerns mentioned at the State of the County event.

"We've heard a lot of concerns expressed about the people who are frequenting and loitering on that property," Cameron said. "They're trespassing as I'm sure they don't have permission from the owners to be there."

Cameron said the building, though missing some walls providing some measure of protection from the elements and as such became attractive to homeless people seeking shelter there.

Cameron said the property as it now stands brings more blight and decay to the area, which has struggled with revitalization efforts.

He said deputies assigned to the community continued to patrol and watch the property to forestall against the situation growing worse.

"We're trying to do what we can do before it can become an absolute nuisance," Cameron told The County Times.

For more local stories from the County Times newspapers, visit countytimes.somd.com or find a copy on local news stands.

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