August 24, 2022 Baltimore County
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced the County will host a design charrette, a collaborative process that will engage Woodlawn-area residents and community leaders in reimagining the Security Square Mall area. The charrette, scheduled to take place in fall 2022, will provide a forum for ideas and feedback, allowing everyone who participates to contribute as an author of the plan for the site.
“Input in the planning process from local residents, community leaders and business owners — those who know the area best — is consistent with our values of open and connected government, and will be key to the success of a reimagined Security Square mall,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “Revitalizing this community hub will be a boon to the local economy and a game changer for the health and wellbeing of the Woodlawn community.”
One of the most unique aspects of the charrette process is the opportunity for community members, stakeholders, and designers to collaborate, in real-time, on a vision for the future. Consultants JMT, Ayers Saint Gross and Landwise have been contracted by the Baltimore County Department of Planning to lead the charrette process and the schedule will be as follows:
- Project kickoff meeting (V): Tuesday, September 13, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- Setting the vision workshop (IP): Wednesday, October 12 at 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Design open house session (IP) Thursday, October 13, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Design open house session (IP) Friday, October 14, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Design open house session (IP) Monday, October 17, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Design open house session (IP) Tuesday, October 18, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Design open house session (IP + V) Wednesday, October 19, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Design open house session (IP) Thursday, October 20, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Design open house session (IP) Friday, October 21, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Reimagine Security Square workshop (IP) Saturday, October 22, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Design refinement meeting (IP+V) Wednesday, November 2, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Closing presentation (IP+V) Wednesday, November 9, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
All in-person (IP) meetings will be held at the Set the Captives Free Outreach Center, located at 6901 Security Blvd., Windsor Mill, 21244. Virtual (V) meeting links will be shared on a soon-to-be-live website. While events do not require registration to attend, constituents with questions about the sessions or overall project should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Security Square Mall opened to the public in 1972 and has long 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 County Executive Olszewski and House Speaker Adrienne Jones jointly announced capital investments from the state and county for the Security Square site.
Last week, Olszewski announced that the County will acquire the 202,653 square-foot former Sears building, which is directly connected to the mall. 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.
Currently, the 90-acre Security Square Mall site has several owners with disparate uses. In addition to dozens of retail stores on the interior of the actual mall property, it currently houses a Macy’s department store, 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.