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Community Surrounding Solo Cup Says 'No' to Foundry Row

Patch hit the streets to speak with residents and business owners near the Solo Cup plant, where developers are proposing to build the Wegmans-anchored center Foundry Row. Here's what they said.

As developers make moves on three Owings Mills projects, residents and business owners near the most controversial of the three remain concerned about negative impacts to the community.

From grocery store employees to business owners to residents of , everyone's got something to say about, the Wegmans-anchored center proposed for the Solo Cup plant.

Developer Greenberg Gibbons has applied to down-zone the property from manufacturing to retail, and plans to build a 130,000 square foot Wegmans, approximately 243,000 square feet of other retail, 13,500 square feet of restaurants and 40,000 square feet of office space.

The developers behind two other projects -- the transit-oriented development and the -- have to Foundry Row, citing traffic and an oversupply of retail among their concerns.

Patch conducted random man-on-the-street interviews in the area around the Solo Cup plant and the apartments directly across the street. Most people interviewed have concerns with the project.

Charmaine Brown, a employee, said she thought the development, specifically the Wegmans that will anchor the project, would have a negative effect on surrounding businesses, including Safeway.

“Traffic is the main reason why everybody’s against [the Solo Cup development],” she said.

Several others cited traffic as a major concern.

“Every day there’s an accident,” said Mabin Prabsan, the manager of Deli 23, an Owings Mills convenience store. “If they come, maybe every day [there will be] 20.”

Justin Rosen, a resident of , which is directly across from Solo Cup, said that he believed that the difficult turn into the apartment community will become even harder with the introduction of Foundry Row. New to the area, Rosen explained that he didn’t know too much about the issue, but wondered why the Wegmans couldn’t be a part of the Owings Mills Mall redevelopment.

Some don't think community opposition has much power in this situation.

“They may do [the three projects together] no matter what people want, and we’ll have to live with the consequences,” said Charles Winkelman, the owner of Signs by Tomorrow, an Owings Mills sign and graphics company. Winkelman is pessimistic about the Foundry Row project because of the current economic climate.

“Just a little drive about will tell you how many retailers are hurting in this area, and now they’re going to build a humongous campus to compete with these folks,” he said.

Prabsan had similar sentiments, saying that business was hurting, and the addition of the Wegmans could put him out of business.
While many oppose Foundry Row, there are some local residents that see the potential benefits.

“It brings something new and something interesting to the community,” said Janet Barnes, who lives in Mill Towne Village. Barnes shops at Giant, and doesn’t expect that to change with a Wegmans nearby. Still, she sees herself shopping at the new grocery anchor occasionally because of the convenient location.

Those on both sides of the fence will hear about the fate of the proposed development on Tuesday, Aug. 28, when the Baltimore County Council votes whether or not to rezone the Solo Cup plant.

KW August 17, 2012 at 01:59 PM
BrownGirl- You misunderstand me. I think that people who work in the area or come frequently for other reasons may have valid concerns about development, and their input should matter. Those people can be found directly in the OM area. It is not likely that a random person found at a grocery store in Timonium or a fair in Catonsville will be someone who meets that criteria. Again, if there is so much opposition in the OM area, why not obtain signatures from the OM area where you will find most of the people who have a vested interest in this matter? Yes, a random person from Catonsville who doesn't come to OM much might have heard the news stories and have an opinion, but should their opinion be given the same weight as someone who lives in OM? I'd say not. We all have opinions, whether the subject is our business or not.
Sher Katz August 17, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Browngirl, Wegmans pays more than a decent salary and has excellent benefits for their employees. Do you live in Owings Mills and have teenagers or kids in college trying to get part time jobs to help pay their expenses? I do. Wegmans even pays their cashiers way more than minimum wage. My oldest son has worked fo 2+ years locally at the same job. His pay is more than $3 LESS an hour than what I understand Wegmans pays their cashiers. Yes, he has tried to get another job, guess what, there isn't any. My second oldest son, tried for half the summer to get a job, nothing. He's been volunteering ever since giving up looking for employment. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2010/snapshots/3.html
BrownGirl71 August 17, 2012 at 02:41 PM
@ Sher... Yes, I live here and yes, I have children... I am putting children through college now. That was the purpose of my question. There are a lot of people in this very situation, and I would like to know how many regular FT jobs with sufficient salary and benefits would really be in play to sustain a household... not just jobs for teenagers or PT seasonal, temp type jobs that generally require people to work multiple PT jobs or seek public assistance to make ends meet. Thanks for the link... I will check it out.
Shirley Supik August 17, 2012 at 08:51 PM
The Coalition actually collected a little over 9,500 signatures in Districts 1,2 & 4. We pulled 2,500 because they were not residents of Baltimore County. However, they worked or shopped or visited friend or family in our area and felt since they travel Reisterstown Road and shopped in this area they had a right to voice their opinion. Since these are the people we want to draw into the area for economics, I felt the same way, but I knew that some people would find fault with anyone but locals, so I opted for just those at 7,100.
Jak Manson January 14, 2014 at 04:43 PM
When you are looking for a company that does neon signs, you want to know that you get the sign that you are wanting and it will help out your business or it will look amazing for what ever other reasons that you have it. There are not a lot of business out there that do this, but you need to know that you still choose the right one for the job. Jak Manson | http://bestneonsign.com/

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