August 19, 2022 Baltimore County
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced that the County will acquire the former Sears property at Security Square Mall. Under the $10 million contract with property owner TF Baltimore MD LLC, Baltimore County will acquire approximately 18 acres of land that includes a 202,653 square-foot building directly connected to the mall.
“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.”
“The communities surrounding Security Square need and deserve reinvestment,” said House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones. “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.”
Security Square Mall was built in the 1970s and has been occupied by regional and national stores. However, in recent decades, as major tenants such as JC Penney, Bennigan’s, International House of Pancakes (IHOP) and Sears have shuttered and remained vacant, the site has declined and remains underutilized. Surrounding communities have long sought revitalization, and earlier this year Olszewski and Jones jointly announced capital investments from the state and county for the Security Square site.
“I am happy to see this project continue moving forward,” said Baltimore County Council Speaker Julian Jones. “This substantial investment will add to the ongoing redevelopment of Security Square Mall, promoting a vibrant area for Baltimore County residents to enjoy.”
The parcel that the County will acquire, using $10 million dollars in capital funds committed in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget as well as state capital dollars, is part of the approximately 90-acre Security Square Mall site that has multiple owners with disparate uses. In addition to dozens of retail stores on the interior of the actual mall property, the Security Square site currently houses 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.
“This purchase will be transformative for the community and catalyze growth for decades to come,” said Baltimore County Councilman Tom Quirk. “I’m thrilled that the administration is taking this step to ensure the county has a vested interest in the future of success of Security Square Mall.”
Recognizing that the success of the mall and surrounding site is vital to the overall health and wellbeing of the Woodlawn community, the Olszewski administration is planning a charrette to engage the community in a process to reimagine and potentially transform the mall into a more vibrant and community-focused anchor. The County has contracted with JMT, Ayers Saint Gross and Landwise to lead the charrette process, which will involve extensive community participation in a visioning and design process for the entire mall property. The charrette will take place this fall; a timeline and additional details will be shared in the coming weeks.
By acquiring this property, the County will be able to help guide the future of the Security Square site, along with residents, the community-at-large and numerous vested stakeholders, and will provide additional flexibility in terms of overall site planning. Plans for development, redevelopment or repositioning of the former Sears site, and use of the remaining funds committed for the site, will be informed by the outcome of the charrette. The purchase is subject to approval by the County Council on September 6, and will go to closing by September 30.