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Leonardtown, Maryland Balances Growth With Tradition

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By : Justin Lee    99 or more times read
Leonardtown is a charming town in Maryland with a population of about 2,500. This is a close knit, pedestrian-friendly community where everyone has a familiar face and kids can spend their weekends fishing or playing sports.

With 300 years under its belt, Leonardtown is a community that has seen a lot of change. Years ago, the downtown was filled with large Victorian homes, and a bar on every corner, complete with slot machines.

In the years following World War II, business died off in Leonardtown, and got even worse after the Route 5 bypass was completed in 1992. However, lately things have started to pick up. The quaint downtown area is being revitalized with new restaurants, galleries and unique shops. The close proximity to the naval air station at Lexington Park has provided much needed employment opportunities.

The city sponsors a number of community events including a monthly late night shopping night, summer concerts, parades, a Beach Party, complete with truckloads of sand, Christmas-tree-lighting celebration, and the annual Italian dinner.

Real estate in Leonardtown consists of scattered developments with single-family homes, townhomes and some apartments. Architectural styles include a mix of small bungalows, large wooden-frame houses and modern multi-level homes. Planned developments such as Singletree, Avenmar at Breton Bay, Villages of Leonardtown, and Chestnut Hills have cropped up in recent years.

The $5.5 million Leonardtown Wharf project involved reuse of an old industrial/commercial site to develop a waterfront park with public promenade, dock facilities, protected wetlands area with observation boardwalk, plus adjacent commercial and residential development.

In addition, the town has an aggressive development plan for an additional 1,000 houses that includes:

- A 593 home waterfront development on Breton Bay with hotel/conference center, restaurant, marina, office park and golf course.

- Quality Built Homes development off Route 245 on the Lindsey Farm.

- A Marrick Homes development on the Clark Farm property.

- Leonardtown Landing, at the Leonardtown Wharf will be developing 26 luxury town homes.

Growth in Leonardtown seems inevitable and the real estate market here remains strong. Twelve properties for sale during the month of February ranged in price from $199,900 to $550,000. Home prices in the new subdivision of Leonard's Grant will range from $329,900 to $449,900.

Many of the longtime residents have expressed concern over the amount of growth and how it will affect the small town atmosphere they have come to cherish. The mayor and town developers maintain that with responsible planning, Leonardtown can provide residents with the best of both worlds with new and improved facilities, and other benefits that result from living in a prosperous town.

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