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Baltimore County News

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Keyword: economic development

By Don Mohler, Baltimore County Executive

Construction is underway for Towson Row, the $350 million centerpiece of downtown Towson’s transformation. At a construction kick-off ceremony, I looked at the heavy equipment digging infrastructure for the luxury apartments, student housing, hotels, shops and restaurants that will generate 5,500 jobs and change Towson’s skyline.

I was thinking about County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. Towson Row symbolized his vision of what downtown Towson could be. He wanted the Baltimore County seat to be a place that didn’t roll up the streets at five o’clock. He saw the potential of building stronger ties between Towson University and downtown Towson. He often walked around to see what new shop or restaurant had opened, and marvel at all the construction cranes.

With Towson Row rising, downtown Towson’s transformation takes a major step forward. This is quality development with undeniable economic impact, bringing jobs, business activity and tax revenue for the entire County.

Towson Row will generate 5,500 construction and permanent jobs, $220 million in annual business activity and $92 million in annual employee compensation. Annual tax revenues topping $3.2 million will start three years from now, and increase as the project is completed.

During the construction phase alone, Baltimore County will see $490 million in business sales and $185 million in labor income.

There is quality at the helm of Towson Row, a joint venture of Baltimore County developers Greenberg Gibbons and Caves Valley Partners.

It’s exciting to see what’s come to downtown Towson in the past few years. With more than $1 billion in new private investment, more people are living here, more people are visiting here, and more students are learning here.

There’s the Towson Square entertainment center, with Cinemark movies and restaurants. The cranes are up next door at Circle East, with new apartments, shops and restaurants. [Who remembers this as the Hutzler’s building?]

Towson Commons is coming alive. CVS Pharmacy, Boho Nation, Chipotle, Hair Cuttery, Brown Rice Korean Grill, Insomnia Cookies, First National Bank, Kyodai Rotating Sushi Bar and Den Da Coffee are open, with C&R Pub coming soon.

There are too many new locally-owned shops and restaurants to keep up with, so I’ll just mention the lines to get into Nacho Mama’s, the happy hour crowd at The Point in Towson, the second location for a Fells Point favorite, and Cunningham’s, which regularly makes the Baltimore’s Best Restaurants lists.

Perhaps the most important change in downtown Towson is more than 3,400 new apartments and townhomes within easy walking distance of entertainment, shopping, parks, universities and workplaces. 

When I leave my office in the Historic Courthouse, I see residents jogging, walking their dogs, or grabbing a coffee and relaxing in the courthouse gardens. I see people meeting friends for dinner at an outdoor café, visiting the farmers market, or joining the hundreds of people at the free Feet on the Street Friday night concerts sponsored by the Towson Chamber.

Towson is one of the many reasons to love Baltimore County. Spread the word. #ILoveBaltimoreCounty.



Retailers Add to Redevelopment of the Former Owings Mills Town Center Site

Homesense, a new concept store from TJX, Marshalls, Burlington and Five Below will join Lowe’s and Costco at Mill Station in Owings Mills. Kimco Realty is developing Mill Station, a 640,000 square foot Signature Series development on the site of the former Owings Mills mall.

“The $108 million investment in Mill Station adds to the more than $1 billion of recent private investment in Owings Mills. The construction phase alone brings 250 jobs,” said Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler. 

The 148,000 square-foot Costco is under construction and is on track to open August 2018. The 132,825 square-foot Lowe’s is expected to open January 2019.  Homesense, Marshalls’, Burlington and Five Below will open in spring 2019.

“Mill Station is really coming together. These new stores will be a great addition for Owings Mills and Randallstown residents,” said County Council Chair Julian E. Jones, Jr.

Current tenants of Mill Station include AMC Theatres, Chido’s Tex-Mex Grill, Greene Turtle, Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Red Robin.

Gotham Greens, a national pioneer in high-tech urban farming, is opening a 100,000 square foot greenhouse facility at Tradepoint Atlantic, bringing 60 full-time jobs to the site of a former steel mill. Baltimore will be the third market for the growing ag-tech company, following New York and Chicago.

“Gotham Greens represents a new generation of jobs at Sparrows Point,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “Gotham Greens’ decision to locate at Tradepoint Atlantic is another step toward bringing 17,000 quality jobs to eastern Baltimore County and the region.”

Gotham Greens’ Baltimore County facility will grow fresh produce for restaurants, grocers and food service companies in the mid-Atlantic region. The climate controlled hydroponic greenhouse will be powered by 100% renewable electricity and use recycled irrigation water that yields more than 30 times that of conventional farms, with higher levels of food safety and environmental sustainability.

Photo credit: Gotham Greens and Julie McMahon

“Today marks a true milestone in the continuing revitalization of Sparrows Point. A community synonymous with the production of steel will now be home to a leading agriculture tech firm, producing locally-grown premium produce while bringing green jobs to the community,” said Eric Gilbert, Chief Development Officer of Tradepoint Atlantic.

“Urban agriculture, at its core, is about reconnecting with the community through food, jobs and economic development. To that end, we’ve found a great partner and are proud to be part of the American industrial turnaround story taking place at Tradepoint Atlantic,” said Viraj Puri, Co-Founder and CEO of Gotham Greens.

Gotham Greens is expected to open at Tradepoint Atlantic in early 2019.

Economic and Jobs Impact

An economic impact report projects Tradepoint Atlantic will generate 17,000 jobs in the Baltimore region, plus another 21,000 jobs during construction. Economic impact is projected to top $3 billion when development of the 3,100 acre site is completed in 2025, according to the Sage Policy Group study.

“There are more than 17,000 jobs on the horizon at full development, but jobs already are coming back to Sparrows Point from world class companies including FedEx Ground and Under Armour,” added Kamenetz.

Revised September 11, 2017