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Update: Debate Intensifies Over Foundry Row Development

With the Baltimore County Planning Board recommending retail development at the Solo Cup site, more groups are stepping forward to have their voices heard.

Owings Mills developers are in waiting mode. It will be fall before the Baltimore County Council makes a decision on one of three grand visions for what had become a development dead zone where past building plans failed to materialize.

But community groups are marshaling to make their preferences known, particularly since the Baltimore County Planning Board recommended rezoning the Solo Cup site on Reisterstown Road for retail.

The Combined Communities Advocacy Council of Greater Randallstown (CCACGR) sent a letter to Councilwoman Vicki Almond last week in support of the proposed Wegmans-anchored retail project on Reisterstown Road.

The group joins the Owings Mills Corporate Roundtable, the Greater Greenspring Association, Reisterstown-Owings Mills-Glyndon Chamber of Commerce and Reisterstown-Owings Mills-Glyndon Coordinating Council in support of all three proposed Owings Mills projects.

“The Northwest Baltimore County area has been underserved by quality retailers and restaurants for years,” CCACGR chair Aaron Plymouth wrote. “We believe all three proposed retail projects will complement one another and will bring a desired town center concept for the Owings Mills area as well.”

has also expressed her support for all three projects.

Among the other two developments are the transit-oriented , which features , offices, shops and apartments. It is now under construction.

The other is Kimco’s proposed , which would abandon the indoor mall concept and feature an outdoor, pedestrian-friendly town center with approximately 1 million square feet of retail and restaurants, with a fashion district centered around the existing JCPenney and Macy’s.

But not all community groups are in favor of all development.

A group of residents calling itself the Say No to Solo Coalition recently joined officials from Kimco and David S. Brown, the developer building Metro Centre, in opposition to Foundry Row. Like the developers, Say No to Solo says Foundry Row will increase local traffic, hurt the market by creating an oversupply of retail and will prevent successful redevelopment at the Owings Mills Mall.

“We are a coalition of Baltimore County residents who think 400,000 square feet of new retail at the Solo Cup site on Reisterstown Road is bad for traffic, bad for business and bad for our communities,” the group’s website says.

The Baltimore County Council will hold a public hearing on rezoning issues at Pikesville High School on Thursday, June 7, at 6 p.m. Citizens can sign up to speak for two minutes.

Sher Katz June 23, 2012 at 01:31 PM
I don't understand why anyone is complaining about the Solo site being redeveloped when the Metro Centre is 6/10th of a mile from the Solo site and will use the exact same roads has already been approved AND the Metro Centre is going to be 75% LARGER than the Solo redevelopment. 2 + million square feet of space compared to 485,000 square feet of space.
Sher Katz June 23, 2012 at 01:40 PM
At least the pro-Solo mailers are forthcoming as to their backers. Can anyone say that about the say no to solo group? I received the anti-solo mailing-recycled it. And even though I'm on the Do Not Call List I received THREE phone calls from the anti-solo people. One pre-recorded and 2 "surveys" where the questions were skewed in favor of the anti-solo movement. Say No to Solo is looking for transparency? So why don't they reveal their financial backers, why don't they post their "public" IRS documents? Why are they not providing the up to date traffic studies-if I was able to find them it shouldn't be that hard for them? Kimco purchased their interest in the Mall 3 months after Greenberg Gibbons closed on the purchase of the Solo site and approx 5 months after they announced they would be looking at Wegmans, Whole Foods or Harris Tweeter to be their anchor store-so I don't understand what the REAL issue is.
BrownGirl71 June 24, 2012 at 11:38 PM
People are complaining because Metro Center and the OM Mall redevelopment project is already part of the County's Master Plan, for which tens of millions of taxpayer dollars have already been committed... Foundry Row was nowhere on the map at that time. The Master Plan should be seen to fruition and COMPLETION before any additional taxpayer dollars are committed to re-zone some other site less than a mile away. It also does not bode well that it appears that the re-zoning process has not been transparent and community input has not been given its due. Aside from the traffic headaches, I am greatly concerned about the recent MDE report that indicates there are environmental issues at the SOLO site that need attention... Seems like no one, except me, is worried about breaking up that ground which MDE says is contaminated. Let's just slow down and think seriously and responsibly about what is being proposed before final decisions and approvals are made.
Chuck Burton June 25, 2012 at 12:35 AM
And if there is contamination on the site, shouldn't SOLO be the one that pays for cleaning it up? They and their predecesors put it there, didn't they? As for a Master Plan, what kind of Master Plan is it that sees the Reisterstown Rd corridor as being good for nothing much but auto dealers and a handful of little shopping centers where many businesses without national or regional backing seldom last more than a few years. Are you afraid, Brown Girl and others, that the area can't absorb anything beyond Metro Centre, just because the Mall has essentially failed? Foundry Row should really complement Metro Centre, and even proper development at the Mall.
BrownGirl71 June 25, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Yes, Solo should clean up its mess. And no, I am not afraid of anything or anyone. I would just like to see the multi-million dollar commitments completed before the County binds taxpayers to the next project. Plain and simple.

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