Geoffrey Glazer, Kimco’s vice president of acquisitions and development for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, introduced the design concept to business leaders, stakeholders and politicians Thursday in a meeting at the mall. The designs show aerial and ground level views.
He shared the designs with Patch on Friday.
“There was nobody [Thursday]—nobody—even people that were in favor of other [zoning changes], nobody gave me any negatives to the architecture or the plan that we’re proposing to do,” Glazer said after the meeting.
Kimco, working in partnership with mall owner General Growth Properties, will use these renderings to market the project to potential tenants. The plan calls for approximately 1 million square feet of retail and restaurants and more than 4,000 parking spaces. Cafés and restaurants will be located throughout the development.
If all goes well, the project could break ground in late 2013 and open by early 2015, Glazer said.
The illustrations depict a multi-layered model, much like the Hunt Valley Town Centre, which promotes store visibility and allows for easy access, developers said. Macy’s and JCPenney, both of which own their own buildings, will be integrated into this design, provided the stores sign on, Glazer said. Although the stores do possess veto power over what is built around their stores, Glazer also said he hopes the retail giants will see potential for growth.
“They have not agreed to any of this, but I need to show them something that they believe will generate more traffic to their stores, not hurt them,” Glazer said.
The development’s hub, called the Grand Piazza, will have access points from the upper and lower parking fields with escalators.
The model also lays the groundwork for a pedestrian walkway linking the main retail space to the movie theater, which Glazer labeled an “afterthought” to the mall’s original construction.
“[We’re] looking to create a new pathway and visual corridor to get to retail,” he said.
Macy’s and JCPenney, provided they agree to the plan, will be the foundations for a mini-fashion district, Glazer said, adding that Kimco is seeking out similar fashion retailers to complement the two anchors.
Kimco’s proposed redevelopment will also connect to David S. Brown Enterprises’ Metro Centre project with a roundabout. While Glazer said he sees these two projects as working together, he said doesn’t think the area would also support redevelopment at the Solo Cup plant site, where Greenberg Gibbons hopes to open a Wegmans.
With all of the infrastructure that has been invested in the mall area over the past few decades, such as the construction of Interstate 795 and the extension of Owings Mills Boulevard, fixing the mall should be the number one priority, Glazer said. He said he believes major redevelopment of other properties would make the mall project less appealing to retailers.
“If you start rezoning other pieces of property along this corridor, it will give retailers other choices, other places to go,” Glazer said.
“We’ve got some phone callers from retailers who would like to be interested in this project, but are unwilling to commit while that’s hanging out there," he said. "[They’re] also saying that 'if a Wegmans goes out there, I can’t survive back here.'”