Towson Square Construction Begins

The movie theater and restaurant complex is slated for a 2014 opening.

Construction is moving forward on Towson Square, a commercial real estate development in eastern Towson.

The development is being built between Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia avenues, according to a newsletter from Councilman David Marks. The $85 million project is scheduled for completion in 2014.

In the newsletter, Marks called the complex a "key component of the revitalization of Downtown Towson."

The project, which is a partnership between Cordish Cos. and Heritage Properties, will include a Cinemark movie theater, an 862-space Baltimore County Revenue Authority garage and several restaurants.

JDStuts October 08, 2012 at 06:51 PM
"key component of the revitalization of Downtown Towson." Wait, isn't that what the now empty Towson Commons supposed to have done? Boondoggle.
Bart October 08, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Stuts, this is the same old, same old from you. You love whining without ever offering anything positive. Complain, complain, complain. Perhaps it should remain blighted until your idea of perfection comes along? I'll take the project and its jobs and thank Councilman Marks for the improvements.
J Garrett October 08, 2012 at 10:32 PM
YEA! They tore down some buildings and built a parking lot on Joppa Road. A major road now has a huge parking lot. Shouldn't we demand buildings that line the street? Giant parking lots are not conducive to a walkable environment.
Southland Hills Mom October 09, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Bart is absolutely right. JDStuts' endless negative rants get old. That said... I have serious concerns about the scale of the Towson Square development. Can the roads surrounding the new 16 theater movieplex, and 5 new restaurants handle the increased traffic? Will the roundabout be hopelessly overwhelmed on weekend nights when the movies let out? Remember the old Towson Commons garage and how long it took to get out of there after a movie? What is going to happen with this new monster garage dumping out onto small side streets? People north of the Beltway are not going to venture to gridlocked Towson when Hunt Valley cinemas offer easy in/easy out viewing. The other concern is the potential for large crowds to gather and just hang out. I hope there are very strict rules regarding curfews for young people and the need for young people to be in the company of adults after 9 pm. The large crowds in front of the Commons on a warm night were often very intimidating and rude to passers-by. Towson Square will be private property, so hopefully it can be properly monitored.
Bart October 09, 2012 at 02:43 AM
I fully agree, Mom. With the riot of a couple of weeks ago, planners are preparing for more security, better traffic control and crowd control. I'm sure everybody will work very hard not have a recurrance of the old Towson Commons troubles. Councilman Marks is trying to organize a special business district, with assessments, to provide for more security for Downtown Towson, to invite more attendance and foot traffic to the area. But to conclude that if it didn't work once, it will never work is short-sighted, and quite frankly, ridiculous.
Needaname October 09, 2012 at 10:54 AM
I am with you Southland Hills Mom. I would hope the police or owners of Towson Commons will be proactive and have SECURITY VISBLE AND PRESENT FROM THE OPENING. We never go near the Mall on the weekends.
Bill Smith October 09, 2012 at 12:04 PM
So let me see . . . we'll now have a 16-screen, 3,200-seat movie theater and an 862 space parking garage. Not to mention new restaurants with no new places to park. And somehow I don't see the mall operators offering their (already limited) free parking spaces up to the patrons of this new competitor for entertainment and dining dollars. If memory serves me, I think we had a movie theater and some restaurants already fail in downtown Towson. While these new theaters complexes are very successful in suburban settings with lots of convenient surface parking nearby - what makes the county/city leaders, the Baltimore County Revenue Authority and the developer think people will flock to fight to get into limited spaces in a parking garage when they can drive 15 minutes to either the east or the west and park with ease. The only potential demographic that might work is Towson University students who can walk to the theater - but oh yeah, they have their own theater and entertainment on their own campus . . . I see blight coming after the new car smell wears off. If Towson really needs (needs?) a 16-screen, 3,200-seat movie theater then perhaps looking right up Goucher Rd to the shopping centers with gaping retail holes would have been a better fit.
melinda clifft October 09, 2012 at 12:27 PM
I think this is a great idea there is several high end Highrise in the area that young adults live in not all college kids live in Towson I miss being able to walk to the movies have dinner out with friends or drive over I think if they do it right everything will work out and draw great amount of money for Towson and bring the right kinda crowd in.
BMW October 09, 2012 at 01:47 PM
I think Towson should have a free circulator bus like in Annapolis so people could get around easily and safely!!
Julie MB October 09, 2012 at 01:57 PM
We really looking forward to having a movie theater within walking distance, both for our family, as well as for our teenager. Carpooling out to Hunt Valley does end up taking up a pretty good chunk of time and gas; resources we would rather use towards improving Towson and making it a much more family-friendly place. I hope as this site is being developed and thought about, planners are considering all the neighborhoods that might support Towson more fully if they felt that family needs were being considered (and not just with an eye to making a quick buck on the college students in the area). To that end, I would love to see a site that takes into consideration smart handling of teen crowds (they will be there; is there a safe venue for them to be in to hangout with friends?), safety, lighting, attractive landscaping/streetscaping, appropriate venues for family dining at a variety of price points, more unique/eclectic mix of shopping venues, independent coffee place . . . As far as transportation/parking/gridlock, what about opening up some of the county parking spots that exist around the courthouse? What about creating shuttles from areas around Stoneleigh, Anneslie, Rodgers Forge, Ruxton, Southland Hills, West Towson, etc. to help alleviate the need to drive in to the area in the first place? I think there is a lot of possibility in the Towson area; I just hope they get it right.
JDStuts October 09, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Like all those jobs from Towson Commons? Look I can appreciate the shortsighted view of those not invested in revitalizing downtown, but the simple truth is there is a glut of commercial property in Towson and doubling down will not solve the York Road corridor issue. Bart, the developers are paid first and then bug out. The new facility with its financing shifts to a property manager whose only concern becomes maxing out rent. The crowd doesn't really matter, just the revenue. 10-15 years later the building reaches the end of its life cycle. Whether or not it's paid for hardly matters. The debt is bundled into depreciation on the property managers books so an empty shell like Towson Commons can remain so for years. Is this negative? No it's just business. But if you were concerned about where you lived you'd be educated enough to know how this will end. Mitt Romney's a tool but is he is correct - Hope is not a strategy.
JDStuts October 09, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Who is being negative now? Funny you are asking these questions after the shovels have started.
JDStuts October 09, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Bart, Your problem is you want Birmingham, Michigan's business district but think the solution is using a development model that has proven to fail - Towson Commons. What's that about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome?
JDStuts October 09, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Bill, Your intelligent analysis and logical reasoning have no place in this discussion. If you cannot commit to rabid boosterism of local pols providing temporary drywall jobs you'll need to find another forum.
melinda clifft October 09, 2012 at 02:56 PM
If you look on the map off where they are putting and add proper lights etc i think a parking area well do fine also the mall always has parking and it will be right there as well I can't wait to be able to walk to better thing in Towson before moving here I lived in fl in a area that had the same concept and it worked very well and I would recmend this for Towson I think it will be a great way to bring family time to Towson Also give the teens gone thing to do and also help the local business
M. Sullivan October 09, 2012 at 03:49 PM
I'm confused. What, exactly, is the difference between this development and the failed Towson Commons, only two blocks away? It seems like insanity. Or, maybe it's just me.
TowsonTransplant October 09, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Agree with Sullivan, why don't they just renovate Towson commons? What's the difference besides more traffic!!?
David Marks October 10, 2012 at 01:36 PM
The answer is, the present owner of Towson Commons has been unwilling to redevelop the retail part of the complex yet, despite prodding from me and others in county government. Baltimore County cannot simply condemn Towson Commons to make it happen. At the three other areas in Downtown Towson where revitalization is occurring - Towson City Center, Towson Square, and Towson Green - there are private investors working with the county to clean up sites and advance redevelopment. I agree with the concept of a circulator. It is one of several things that could be accomplished with a business improvement district.
Needaname October 10, 2012 at 01:49 PM
What is the reason for being 'unwilling to redevelop the retail part of the complex...' . Is there a tax break ?, does the Owner dislike Towson so much he is enjoying watching the neighbors squirm ?
JP January 02, 2013 at 05:21 PM
I drive 20 minutes to Harbor East (IN THE CITY) to go to the movies because I don't want to deal w/ some of the scum that patronizes White Marsh these days. Love the parking garage. Love the theater.


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