Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Solo Cup Factory: Great Potential

Not to be outdone by the wonderful news that Owings Mills Mall will be redeveloped and that Metro Centre has finally broken ground, there has been still more great news involving Owings Mills; It's getting a Wegmans! Where? In the newly shuttered Solo Cup Factory, that's where.

I have been wanting to do a post on the Solo Cup factory for quite some time now but I had no angle on how to write. Now that there's good solid news on its future the post pretty much writes itself.

The Solo Cup Factory, located predominately at the intersection of Reisterstown Road and Painters Mill Road has long since been an anomaly in Owings Mills as industrial uses here have long since given way to Retail, Office, and Residential uses. Still, the Solo Cup factory has soldiered on as the lone industry in Owings Mills. I have always found its location odd and an eyesore to the surrounding Community.

Although Solo Cup has only been in the area since 2004, the factory known as Solo Cup has been a Baltimore County Staple for over 80 years. Before 2004 it was known as the Sweet Heart Cup Factory then Solo Cup purchased that company giving it the Solo Cup Name. It wasn't all that blog worthy until 2010 when I hear that the factory will shut down in 2012 resulting in a loss of 540 jobs.

The news was bitter sweet to me, on the one hand I don't ever want to hear that layoffs will take place but as a follower of development in the Greater Baltimore Area, I saw it as an opportunity to redevelop and improve the whole Reisterstown Road and Painters Mill Road corridor.

Despite Baltimore County's efforts to have the factory occupied by another Industrial Tenant, there were no takers. But don't worry, the factory won't sit vacant long by any stretch of the imagination. With the closure just months away there has already been interest in redeveloping the old place. None other than upscale Supermarket Wegmans has set its sites on Owings Mills and its preferred location is none other than the Solo Cup Factory! The Wegmans is set to open in 2014.

The new development known as Foundry Row will provide lots of competition to the exisitng Grocers in Owings Mills such as Two Giants, a Safeway, a Food Lion, and a Wal Mart to name a few. Now the competition of Wegmans is not that great of a concern to me. What is a great concern to me is how this will effect TOD efforts being made at the Mall and Metro Centre. The whole corridor of Painters Mill Road, Reisterstown Road,and Owings Mills Boulevard needs to be refocused as part of the development of the Metro Station Area.

This Retail has currently turned its back on the Mall and the Metro Station and in order stop that from happening again, the County, Developers, and the MTA must be proactive to make the entire Owings Mills Community centered on the Metro Station in the coming years.


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Unknown said...

Solo Cup shut their facility in Harford county a few years back. I heard they will still have operations in Bmore (Distributing I think) but they are closing the manufacturing. But don't quote me on it.