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County Planning Board Recommends Retail at Solo Cup Site

The Baltimore County Planning Board voted in favor of rezoning the Solo Cup property on Reisterstown Road in Owings Mills, where developers plan to build a Wegmans-anchored retail project.

The Baltimore County Planning Board Thursday afternoon voted in favor of rezoning the industrial Solo Cup property on Reisterstown Road in Owings Mills to make way for a Wegmans grocery store and other retail development.

The board’s recommendation will be taken into consideration by the Baltimore County Council when it makes the final decision in the fall.

Developers Greenberg Gibbons and Vanguard Commercial Property Development plan to invest $140 million in the 52-acre property to make way for a Wegmans-anchored retail center called .

“Obviously, we’ve very pleased and excited about it,” said Greenberg Gibbons chairman and CEO Brian Gibbons. “We’re looking forward to getting the final resolution done with the council later this year.”

Officials from other developers with nearby projects, such as hopeful Owings Mills mall redeveloper Kimco, were not as pleased.

“The Planning Staff identified significant traffic issues in its review of the property, and outside experts have raised similar concerns about traffic congestion, market over-saturation and the site plan review and approval,” said Geoff Glazer, Kimco's vice president of acquisitions and development for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, via email.

“We are disappointed that the planning board ignored these concerns."

He said that if the rezoning is approved by the county council residents will have lost any further chance to weigh in on how the project affects "the already difficult Reisterstown Road corridor traffic congestion and retail vacancies.”

Officials from both Kimco and David S. Brown, the company building the transit-oriented development , have argued that Foundry Row would and create additional problems, such as traffic congestion and excess retail and office space. Glazer has gone so far as to suggest he will abandon the mall project if Foundry Row gets its zoning.

Howard Brown, chairman of David S. Brown Enterprises, previously told Patch he is opposed to rezoning the Solo Cup property. He declined to comment on the planning board vote.

Gibbons disagrees with the opposing developers and said all the projects can get off the ground at the same time.

“I think our project is validating the market from a retail perspective,” he said. “Quality retail brings other quality retail.”

County Council Chairwoman agreed.

Gibbons said he would consider taking on the mall project himself.

“If Kimco is not moving forward with the mall, that’s something we’d be interested in looking at,” he said.

ReisterstownMAN May 04, 2012 at 10:30 AM
woohoooo for wegmans
ddbs00 May 04, 2012 at 11:21 AM
This is only halftime in the game. I'm sure Brown and Kimco will put the full court press on the county council to try to pull this one out for them at the end, even if it is at the expense of what the community wants.
BluePeace May 04, 2012 at 12:12 PM
I do not believe the whole council has any say; it's Councilwoman. Almond's call on whether or not to approve the rezoning for the solo cup property.
Chuck Burton May 04, 2012 at 01:24 PM
The Planning Board is correct - we who live in OM and vicinity need to be able to buy something besides autos along Reisterstown Rd. It's a shame Greenberg Gibbons doesn't have another big anchor besides Wegmans planned for the site - the only department stores in the NW area are buried back in Kimco's so-called Mall, out of sight and out of mind. JCP would do well to talk to GG. The only thing I want to see yet is GG's traffic plans _ they'd better be good.
Marc Shapiro (Editor) May 04, 2012 at 02:32 PM
I know they are actively working to complete a traffic study. I should have that this month.
Maryland May 04, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Kimco has made sure that they've been well-heard through this whole process. It seems more likely that the planning board found their concerns without merit rather than simply "ignoring" them.
Chuck Burton May 04, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Baltimore Business Journal states tjhat Kimco has announced that if Wegmans goes into Foundry Row, they will give up plans to redevelop the Mall. GOOD! It doesn't belong there anyway - hidden away amidst several highways. I still say the best use of the property would be as an extension of the existing office and residential development - probably mid to high rise. This might fit better with Mr Brown's Metro Centre, next door. GG says they would be interested in taking over the Mall - would like to know what they have in mind?
Marc Shapiro (Editor) May 04, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Greenberg Gibbons has no plans for the mall, that's something I wouldn't expect to see for quite some time. Kimco would have to drop out 100 percent, and I bet they wouldn't touch the mall until Foundry Row is built and filled with tenants. This is just my educated guess.
Chuck Burton May 04, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Yes, GG wouldn't likely announce any plans for rhe Mall until they fill the Row. but they wouldn't have stated an interest without having something in mind. How about squeezing JCP into a corner of the Row? Give it some general shopping a step up from Target and Walmart, which seem more interested in doing food, these days, than merchandise - I seldom find anything else I want in either one.
BluePeace May 04, 2012 at 09:07 PM
I have been a strong advocate for a public park, surrounded by lake, in the middle or within close vicinity of Owings Mills town center. I think the Mall site would be perfect for such: a man-made lake with parkland surrounded by restaurants and a small row of retail. Why not? It would be a different type of idea, yet, I feel, an inviting venue for all of the public to enjoy.
Zoobie May 04, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Shades of Columbia! Blue! As for Solo Cup, I feel for the ex employees who lost their jobs. My trucking company had a contract to deliver rolls of paper to solo, and it lost a good customer when the plant closed.I hope Wegmans gets the property and develops it wisely.
Sher Katz June 20, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Why isn't it an issue when the Metro and the Mall, literally in each other's backyards are being developed at the same time? The mall has been begging Wegmans for 10 years to locate there and they continually said no, obviously they had their reasons. Redevelopment can happen, can work but Kimco and Brown have not made their projects in Owings Mills a priority-which is obvious by the lack of work being done. Metro even has a HUGE tenant with CCBC and the library, but they still are dragging their feet on construction. The mall area has a built in customer base with the housing so close and being in such close proximity to Newtown and the train station, why aren't they making this work? Hasn't top management taken a step backwards to see they have been doing something(s) wrong? GG IS making their project seriously, a priority, and therefore it will happen and at a much faster pace than either the Metro or the Mall has historically proven.
Mike June 24, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Has anyone been to Columbia recently? They have a wegmans, a mall, and a gazillon retailers. Although traffic may be bad it doesn't stop people from going. We should be supporting renewal efforts in Owings Mills not fighting it.

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