Baltimore County Acquires Additional 12 Acres Of Security Square Site In $6.85 Million Deal, Boosting Revitalization Efforts


A precedent photo used as inspiration during the Security Square Mall revitalization design process. (Credit: Baltimore County Government)

BALTIMORE COUNTY - On Wednesday, Baltimore County announced plans to purchase an additional 12-acre parcel of the Security Square site for $6.85 million. This acquisition, along with the previous purchase of the former Sears site, means that the county now owns over one-third of the entire Security Square site.

This new parcel will be acquired from property owner Helmsman Property Services, Inc., leveraging $6.85 million in State and County capital funds.

Baltimore County finalized the initial purchase of the former Sears property at Security Square Mall, in November of 2022. The $10 million deal with TF Baltimore MD LLC grants the county control over 18 acres of land, including a sizeable 202,653-square-foot building directly linked to the mall.

The layout of Security Square Mall, including the section now owned by Baltimore County. (Credit: Baltimore County Government)

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski heralded the acquisition as a demonstration of the county's commitment to revamping the site and transforming it into a thriving community hub.

"The Security Square Mall site is a critical anchor for the communities on the west side of Baltimore County, and our administration is committed to revitalizing the area and making sure it will serve as a vibrant community hub for years to come," Olszewski said. "This timely purchase demonstrates the County's commitment to making the community's vision for the site a reality."

House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones concurred, suggesting that such reinvestment was both necessary and deserved. She pointed to the funding from both the county and the State of Maryland as a critical factor in the site's revitalization efforts.

"The communities surrounding Security Square need and deserve reinvestment," Jones said. "Funding from Baltimore County and the State of Maryland to purchase the Sears Building is an important and necessary step in the revitalization of the Security Square Mall area."

Since its construction in the 1970s, Security Square Mall has housed various regional and national stores. However, the mall's recent decline due to the closure of key tenants like JC Penney, Bennigan's, International House of Pancakes (IHOP), and Sears has left the site underutilized. Earlier this year, Olszewski and Jones announced capital investments for the site's revitalization, backed by both the state and county.

An empty Security Square Mall parking lot represents the decay the area has seen over the past decade. (Credit: Baltimore County Government)

Baltimore County Council Speaker Julian Jones also expressed his enthusiasm for the project's progression, considering the investment a significant boost to the mall's redevelopment.

The purchase, funded by the Fiscal Year 2023 budget and state capital dollars, will enable the county to shape the future of the 90-acre Security Square Mall site. The site currently accommodates a multitude of businesses, including a Macy's department store, an AMC movie theatre, the Woodlawn Health Center, the North American Trade School drivers' academy, and the Set the Captives Free Outreach, Worship and Education (OWE) Center.

To involve the community in the mall's potential transformation, the Olszewski administration held a "charrette," an extensive visioning and design process where all stakeholders in a project attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions. The county enlisted JMT, Ayers Saint Gross, and Landwise to conduct this process, which started in the fall of 2022. The finalized vision for the project includes community hang-out areas, green space, outdoor dining, and more.

A precedent photo used as inspiration during the Security Square Mall revitalization design process. (Credit: Baltimore County Government)

Randallstown NAACP President, Ryan Coleman, is hopeful for the site's future.

"Efforts to breathe new life at Security Mall have continued with Baltimore County officially buying the old Sears property at Security Mall. The county government now has control of 18 acres of land at Security Mall. This will help the county guide the redevelopment process with the help of the community, including the Randallstown NAACP. We want to keep the momentum going and redevelop this site as soon as possible. I want to thank the County Executive, Speaker Jones, and the Randallstown NAACP," Coleman said.

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