The Baltimore County Council voted to rezone the Solo Cup plant in Owings Mills from manufacturing to retail. The vote helps pave the way for Foundry Row, a Wegmans-anchored retail and office center that was dependent on the rezoning to be built at the vacant plant on Reisterstown Road.
The vote comes after months of debate between developers, special interest and community groups and council members.
Developer Greenberg Gibbons plans to build a $140 million center that would be anchored by Wegmans, and house a national fitness center, a national sporting goods retailer, a national shoe retailer and 40,000 square feet of office space. CEO Brian Gibbons hopes to open the center, called Foundry Row, by spring 2015.
"What the council did was [they were] able to rise above all this nonsense that was being put out there by two of the developers that we all know was behind [the opposition]," Gibbons said. "We're very excited about it."
Foundry Row was the subject of intense debate during the summer. Developers behind two other Owings Mills projects have expressed their opposition to the project, citing traffic congestion and an overabundance of retail among their concerns. A group called the Say No To Solo Coalition has tried to drum up community opposition with a petition, online campaign and other efforts.
Shirley Supik, leader of the Say No To Solo Coalition, said she plans to bring the issue to referendum.
"According to six of the people that sat up there, none of them gave a damn about what the people have to say," Supik said. "There was only one up there who gave a damn, and that’s Ken Oliver."