Article by Janet Metzner
Video by Nick DiMarco
As contractors ceremoniously tore down one exterior cinder-block wall at the former Solo Cup plant, they ushered in a 9-month demolition project, making way for the new, retail development Foundry Row.
"It's going to be a spectacular development," said Brian Gibbons of developer Greenberg Gibbons after a ceremony Thursday at the plant, 10100 Reisterstown Road in Owings Mills. "Our goal is late 2015, but it could be 2016," he said.
The $140 million development project will be home for a new Wegmans among Foundry Row's 365,000 square feet of retail space.
Also planned are a national fitness store, a sporting goods store and upscale shops, restaurants, and 60,000 square feet of office space, according to the Greenberg Gibbons Commercial website.
Including construction and permanent jobs, Foundry Row will bring 5,500 new jobs to the site that Gibbons calls "the gateway for Owings Mills" and "the most high-profile location in Owings Mills."
While demolition is approved and has officially begun, developers Greenberg Gibbons and Vanguard Equities next must work on getting approval for construction, Gibbons said Thursday.
It's been a long, challenging road to get to this point, said Baltimore County Councilwoman Vicki Almond of District 2.
"It's so nice to be here for the demolition and to see it beginning," she said, noting that the planned development is "on time even with all the challenges."
Some organizations including the Pikesville Chamber of Commerce and the Liberty Road Business Association, have voiced their support for Foundry Row, in part because a new business would keep shoppers in the Reisterstown Road corridor, they have said.
However, others, including some business owners and a group of residents called Say No To Solo Coalition, are against it. They have said it would siphon traffic away from existing businesses.
Others believe the large development will create traffic jams.
Colleen Brady, president of the Reisterstown-Owings Mills-Glyndon Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber has supported the project.
"I think it's exciting to see new beginnings and to see everything come together," she said.
Gibbons said the development "will change the entire landscape" of Owings Mills, especially the view from the hill overlooking the plant.
"We are going to make it a much more attractive view," he said.
This story was written by Pikesville, Lutherville-Timonium Editor Janet Metzner. Video by Perry Hall Editor Nick DiMarco.
Clarification: An earlier version of this article cited an older press release from Greenberg Gibbons Commercial about the project that underestimated the total amount of space afforded to offices. The article has been updated with the most recent numbers.