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Almond: Owings Mills Projects Can Work in Concert

The Baltimore County Council chairwoman thinks Owings Mills can be transformed in five years, if developers work together.

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."

ddbs00 February 21, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Judging by the other Patch article regarding the unveiling of design plans for the mall redevelopment hoping all three developers will work together might be some serious wishful thinking.
Chuck Burton February 21, 2012 at 04:43 PM
But, has anyone noticed that at least part of the Metro Center is in the flood plane of Gwynns Falls, as is its only access road, Painters Mill? Another reason why it needs direct road access to the Mall.
Francine Bernstein Selzer February 21, 2012 at 09:10 PM
This is true, if everyone does work as a team ,teamwork, togetherness, business /developers can get the job done. This is important for the community, people,business to develope the new mall, Wegmans ..... Let's Do this together !! Community and Business spirit !!!
Steve Smith March 17, 2012 at 05:43 AM
I have several questions about the proposed projects. Specifically I am concerned with the Solo Cup facility location. I understand that the company stored and used several hazardous materials in and around the plant. Solo cup, in a hasty deal between our County Officials (Jim Smith, Kamenetz, Almond, Zirkin, Morhaim, Stein and Jon Cardin) and Solo Cup Corp. signed a deal that releases Solo Cup from any responsibility for left over contamination based on Solo Cup Corp. claiming that they "cleaned the site themselves". Excuse me for being skeptical, but these are the same County Officials who, along with Gov. O'Malley, hurriedly closed Rosewood because they figured they could sell off the property quickly before anyone realized how contaminated that area was! Now the whole Rosewood property is guarded around the clock (at the tax-payers’ expense) to prevent people from being exposed to the dangers on the property! So, I wonder who is now responsible for the cost of the cleanup of Rosewood? The tax-payers...of course! Now, returning to the Solo Cup area...Once the property is released for re-development and contamination is discovered (mark my words, it will have some sort of contamination) then how long will the eyesore be left there to rot away? What will our brilliant Democrat Leadership, who let Solo Cup run away and leave the Tax-payers to pay for the contamination cleanup, say then? This is one Republican (former candidate) who will be able to say, "I told you so!"
Kathleen Myers May 23, 2012 at 03:10 PM
If Owings Mills is believed to be in need...what about Reisterstown? It seems to be turning into a low income neighborhood? There are many middle class to upper class citizens in the area that pay taxes but there is VERY limited stores, restaurants, bars, etc. unless you go into other cities around us. Who is watching this because I live here and am worried and thinking about possibly relocating?

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