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Baltimore County Now

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Keyword: commercial revitalization

conceptual rendering of Towson Square Fronda Cohen
 Baltimore County Office of Communications

Towson is one of the most exciting suburbs in America.  Easy for us to say, but don’t just take our word for it.  A new survey by Business Insider ranks Towson #11 in the U.S.  The survey ranked nearly 140 suburbs across the country by what they call “excitement factors,” looking at:

  • Nightlife per capita (bars, clubs, comedy, etc.)
  • Live music venues per capita
  • Active life options per capita (parks, outdoor activities, etc.)
  • Fast Food restaurants per capita (the fewer the better)
  • Percentage of restaurants that are fast food (the lower the better)

Towson has more than 60 restaurants, including new downtown destinations Cunningham’s and Oyster Bay. Towson’s 55,000 residents can go for a run around the Towson University or Goucher campus, through welcoming neighborhoods, around the Towson Y, in one of four County parks, and soon at the new L.A. Fitness in Towson Commons.  New bike lanes will make cycling easier throughout Towson. Turn up the music at a WTMD live lunch at Olympic Place, in Towson University Center for the Arts and Stephens Hall, or Goucher’s KraushaarAuditorium. This summer, Towson Square adds 15 Cinemark movie theatres and eight new restaurants to downtown Towson. 

Not hard to see the excitement here!

Read more at Business Insider

photo of Pikes Theater signDavid Green
Division Chief, Neighborhood Response Team
Baltimore County Department of Planning

Thriving small businesses strengthen our traditional commercial areas and bring new shopping, restaurants and services near neighborhoods. Baltimore County’s Neighborhood Response Teams focus on connecting small businesses with the resources they need to create large community impact. Here a few recent successes from the past three months.

The Pikes Theatre had not shown a movie since 1983. Today, the Pikes is once again a destination for movie goers, thanks, in part, to Baltimore County’s Commercial Revitalization Program.  A building improvement loan from the County helped Ira Miller, an experienced local movie theatre operator, to reclaim the art deco building as a community movie theatre.  With an upgraded menu at the attached Pikes Diner, Pikesville’s traditional commercial corridor is brimming with new activity. 

The Green Turtle, a well established locally owned restaurant in Towson, now features the Turtle Shell, a rooftop bar and grill with expansive views of downtown Towson. Thanks to public and private financing from the restaurant owners, a local bank, Baltimore County, and the Maryland Neighborhood BusinessWorks program, the Green Turtle can be more competitive with national restaurants coming to Towson Square, a new entertainment venue just a short walk from the Greene Turtle. Towson Square will feature a 15-screen Cinemark movie theatre, eight new restaurants, and a parking garage.

Colin’s Seafood and Grill, a locally owned upscale, sit down restaurant was a just what the Liberty Road community wanted. The County’s Neighborhood Response Team connected the owners to the State’s Neighborhood BusinessWorks Program, which provided funding to build-out the 146 seat restaurant in the Randallstown Shopping Center.  Colin’s opened this fall and is now a Randallstown favorite.

Towson, Pikesville and the Liberty Road Corridor are three of the County’s 16 designated Commercial Revitalization Districts, areas that are often the front doors to many well established neighborhoods in Baltimore County. Neighborhood Response Teams in the County’s Department of Planning work closely with business and community organizations to identify opportunities for small businesses to grow and sustain these traditional commercial areas.

Is your business in a Commercial Revitalization District? For maps and more information visit our website Baltimore County’s Neighborhood Response Teams and Commercial Revitalization Program.     

photo of greene Turtle signFronda Cohen
Baltimore County Office of Communications

What started in the ‘60s as the place in town to get Frye boots became a friendly sports bar for college kids in 2004. Now, the Greene Turtle in Towson is ready to take on a new role: a casual, restaurant that appeals to families, neighbors, and film fans. 

“We see the Greene Turtle in Towson as a family-priced option for dinner before a movie, a gathering spot for local high school teams after a lacrosse game, a date night destination, and a neighborhood night spot for adults,” said co-owner Jill Guidera Packo, who with her brother Jeff Guidera are following in the tradition of the family owned Finkelstein Bootery at 408 York Road.  “What’s new is the rooftop Turtle Shell.”

When you step into the new third floor addition, you’re in a sleek, open, comfortable space with panoramic views of downtown Towson. There’s seating for over 100 at custom-made wood tables or at the long, full service bar.  A separate kitchen serves the Turtle Shell, which features a steam seafood bar.

From the glass enclosed rooftop you see expansive views of downtown Towson – look south down York Road past Towson University; look north at the changing reflections in Towson City Center. Windows open in warm weather to catch the breeze and an open deck area features heaters in cooler weather. 

The new Cinemark theatres at Towson Square (opening later in 2014) are expected to attract more than 500,000 movie-goers each year, making the Greene Turtle a fun, locally-owned stop before or after a feature. 
It’s a great time to be a restaurant in Towson --and an even better time to visit what’s new downtown.

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