The community has been waiting a longtime for development in Owings Mills.
In 2012, elected officials, business leaders and residents unanimously agreed that the town could greatly benefit from development and redevelopment, but opinions differed on where that development should be.
The three projects on the books include Owings Mills Mall redevelopment, proposed by Kimco, the Metro Centre at Owings Mills, David S. Brown Enterprises’ transit-oriented development and Foundry Row, a Wegmans-anchored development proposed for the site of the vacant Solo Cup plant, which developer Greenberg Gibbons hopes to build.
The Metro Centre is currently under construction, with buildings housing apartments, retail, Baltimore County’s largest public library and a branch of the Community College of Baltimore County expected to open in spring 2013. Foundry Row received the rezoning it needed in order to build retail at the Solo Cup site, but a referendum effort threatens to overturn county zoning decisions.
Meanwhile, Kimco officials have been quiet since Foundry Row got its rezoning. Officials from the company said numerous times that Foundry Row would threaten the mall redevelopment’s success, even going as far as to say the company would abandon the project if the rezoning passed.
Here’s a timeline of how the past year played out:
- Kimco unveils its Owings Mills mall revamp design.
- That same month, Baltimore County Councilwoman Vicki Almond said she thinks all three projects can work in concert.
- Amid talk that Wegmans should relocate to the Owings Mills Mall, a company official sent Vicki Almond saying the mall is ‘not a desirable location.’
- Greenberg Gibbons officials remained committed to their project despite criticisms from other developers, including studies released by Kimco saying the market can’t handle absorb three retail projects of the traffic from Foundry Row.
- At the end of the month, renowned economist Anirban Basu praised Foundry Row for what it will bring to Owings Mills.
- Residents spoke their minds at a District 2 planning board hearing, mostly to express their support or opposition to Foundry Row.
- The Baltimore County Planning Board recommended retail at Solo Cup, essentially supporting the Foundry Row project.
- After the planning board recommendation, more groups came out in support and opposition of Foundry Row.
- The Baltimore County Council held a public hearing in District 2, where like the planning board hearing, speakers were divided in support and opposition of Foundry Row.
- A study funded by Greenberg Gibbons says that the $7 to $10 million the developer is willing to invest in traffic improvements should help the Reisterstown Road corridor.
- Interviews with businesses and residents in close proximity to Solo Cup showed that people are concerned about traffic and the effect on other businesses and jobs.
- The Say No To Solo Coalition delivered more than 7,000 signatures opposing Foundry Row to the Baltimore County Council.
- A poll funded by developers in opposition of Foundry Row revealed residents’ concerns, including the development process, the economy and taxpayer burden.
- The Say No To Solo Coalition refused to name its monetary backers, one of many tactics that had the group lose some clout among community members.
- On August 28, the Baltimore County Council approved retail zoning for the Solo Cup plant, making way for Foundry Row.
- A new developer-backed group delivered 70,000 petition signatures in hopes of bringing the Foundry Row zoning vote and a zoning vote from another district to referendum on the 2014 ballot.
- Developers paid $225,000 for that petition effort.
- 83,000 more signatures are delivered in the referendum effort.
- The Metro Centre at Owings Mills readies for the spring 2013 opening of several buildings, including two luxury apartment buildings with ground floor retail and a building that will house the Baltimore County Public Library’s largest branch and a branch of the Community College of Baltimore County.