Baltimore County Council Chairwoman Vicki Almond believes that the Big Three of Owings Mills development projects can work together, even as developers spar.
"I'm not saying I know more than them," Almond said. "But I have better contact with the community."
Almond, who represents the part of Owings Mills that includes the Solo Cup property, said she speaks with representatives for David S. Brown Enterprises, Kimco Realty, Inc., and Greenberg Gibbons Commercial frequently.
She just hopes that the developers will soon talk more with each other.
"With cooperation from developers in the area, we can make it better," Almond said. "I believe it can work. There's enough to go around. Each site has its own identity."
The sites Almond refers to include the Owings Mills Mall, set to be demolished and remodeled as an outdoor shopping center, the high-density, urban style Metro Centre, and Foundry Row, which would be a Wegmans-anchored shopping center on the current site of the Solo Cup factory.
The factory property must be re-zoned for commercial use before Greenberg Gibbons can begin its Foundry Row project in earnest.
That re-zoning has become a point of contention, as questions about the traffic impact on Reisterstown Road and the ability for the area to support three new retail centers have led the men in charge of David S. Brown and Kimco-developers for the mall and Metro Centre, respectively-to publicly note their opposition to the property's re-zoning.
Meanwhile, a flyer has circulated in the community urging people to call Almond and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz to stop re-zoning. Kamenetz has no official say in the property's fate.
While Almond said she is aware of the traffic issue, she does not think it is a deal breaker.
"I believe that traffic is a problem, but not a new problem," she said. "Gibbons is willing to do its part to help the traffic flow," and a traffic study is being completed.
As for the flyers, which were anonymously distributed, Almond did not mince words when asked her opinion.
"That's a fear tactic and a bullying tactic and I don't like it," Almond said. "If they think they're going to divide the community over this issue, I don't think they can."