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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Owings Mills Town Centre Part II: The Resurection

With the fate of the Mall all but sealed, it's time to explore redevelopment of the entire Owings Mills Town Center Site which includes the Mall and the Metro Station. The Metro Station, does have a massive development pan for its sprawling parking lots. Metro Centre at Owings Mills is set to include 495 Apartments, Office Space, Community College Campus, Library, Hotel, Retail Space, and Parking Garages.
As of right now, all that consists of Metro Centre is the new Parking Garages. Economic restraints have thwarted additional development. Metro Centre, as good as it will be when completed will have no connection to the Mall thus cutting Owings Mills Town Center in half.
General Growth Properties (GGP) have said off the record that they would like to redevelop the Mall. There are no specifics as to what GGP has in mind for redevelopment. Hunt Valley Mall, at the end of the Light Rail, was faced with a similar dilemma in the late 1990s and was redeveloped with a Wegman's Grocery Store and Upscale Retailers in an Open Arie atmosphere. Hunt Valley Town Centre is a huge success, bringing life to a once dead property. Could this be the future for Owings Mills Mall? I think that's the best route to go.
Owings Mills can be redeveloped similarly maintaing existing anchors (J.C. Penney and Macy's), adding new anchors and demolishing the existing Mall. This redevelopment effort will once and for all connect Metro Centre and the new Mall to make way for the long awaited Owings Mills Town Center.
The Parking Lots around the Movie Theater will be redesigned as access roads between the two properties. In addition there will be lighted pedestrian promenades for walk ability between the Mall and the Metro Centre Properties. Red Run Boulevard will receive much needed sidewalks as well as more adequate lighting.
Despite still having a future at the Mall J.C. Penney will be demolished and will be relocated at the back of Mill Run Circle where the current Food Court is. The massive three story Boscov's which is vacant can host an "R US" on each floor Toys R US, Kids R US, and Baby's R US. Each will have a floor.
The Macys will remain the same as will the vacant Lord & Taylor. The vacant Lord & Taylor Space will have a Whole Foods Market occupying it. The elevation of the Lord & Taylor building has would be customers entering on the second floor. Since a two floor Grocery Store is not practical the underground first floor will remain unused.
The Mall space in between Macy's and the old Lord & Taylor will be converted into a Barnes & Noble. The rest of the old Mall will be demolished as an Open Aire Outdoor Multi Story Retail Center with mid market to upscale Retailers.
Although GGP doesn't seem to be renewing leases,I think it would be beneficial to keep all existing Mall Tenants in order for them to be a part of the New Center. Additional Tenants GGP should try to woo include The Apple Store, Hollister, Fashion Bug, Buckle, Vans Store, Ann Taylor Loft, Rainbow, Old Navy, Zumiez, Champs Sports, Best Buy Mobile, Fossil, Sephora, The Sports Page, Wilsons Leather, dElias, Merle Norman, White Barn Candle Company, Zips Dry cleaners, Ross Dress for Less, Sleepys, Lucaya, and Cartoon Cuts.
In addition to luring new stores and retaining existing ones (and renovating them) and would be good for GGP to lure back some stores that have left recently including Spencer's, Hot Topic, Demo Sunglasses Hut, PacSun, Lids, Radioshack, Justice, and Mens Wearhouse Tux.
Also integrated into the new Mall should be the Sit Down Restaurants that are locaated on Red Run Boulevard before entering the Mall Parking Lot.
The Movie Theater, despite being the major blocking point between the Mall and Metro Centre will stay put as it is relatively successful as well as the Greenwich Village Apartments and Townhomes built on the demolition of the Old Sears Building.
Well after 25 long years long years and a life time's worth of failures and pitfalls, Owings Mills Town Center may finally be complete.

5 comments:

phyllis said...

I really think the mall needs an IKEA in the Boscovs location. With the new owings mill community college and stevenson university near by that would be perfect.

Brian Lindenmuth said...

Doesn't the B&N right down Reisterstown Rd at the 795/695 junction preclude one from opening up at the mall?

SeanJ said...

If Mondawmin can get a good facelift, so can OMTC. And like Mondawmin, it needs to take advantage of the metro nearby, not be embarrassed by it.

Anonymous said...

Right on to Sean's comment.

Jenine said...

Owings Mills just closed its interior section last Thursday. Macy's will be closed by mid-November and I don't know what's gonna happen to JC Penney. The first and only time I went to Owings Mills Mall was in 2011, and that was just to get fitted at Victoria's Secret. It seemed like they had a little more stores then. But, I just read somewhere that Kimco (the mall's main owners) already have redevelopment sketches in the works. I've seen them and they look very nice. Like you said, Hunt Valley is a success and the upscale customers there have returned. There are people off the Light Rail like myself that do shop at Hunt Valley Town Centre. I've even seen this homeless lady every now and then go to Wegmans. (You still get some crazies from the Light Rail.) But, it's nothing serious or anything.