Revenue Authority Tentatively Approves Revised Towson Circle III Plan

The new plan eliminates office space and adds 150 more parking spaces to a public garage at a cost of an additional $2.5 million.


The Baltimore County Revenue Authority unanimously approved an amended lease agreement that will allow it to build a larger garage for the proposed Towson Circle III project.

The five-member board voted today to add 150 spaces to what had been a planned 712-space garage for the theater and restaurant complex slated to be built on Joppa Road adjacent to the .

A second amendment, also unanimously approved, will allow the authority to seek taxable bonds to finance the project instead of the tax-fee bonds that had been planned. Parking rates and private use requirements for the garage would not meet the requirements necessary to use tax-free bonds for the project, according to documents prepared by the authority.

The additional spaces for the garage will be built underground with the movie theater complex to be built on top, according to Michael Batza, chief executive officer of Heritage Properties, which will build the project along with Cordish Companies.

"We're going down into the earth for the extra 150 spaces," Batza said. "Either we do it now or we don't do it at all."

The extra spaces will cost the Revenue Authority an additional $2.5 million.

The authority and Baltimore County are partnering with Heritage Properties and Cordish Companies to build the project.

The county has pledged $6 million to the project. The additional costs for the new spaces bring the authority's commitment to more than $13 million.

Once the garage is built, the authority will purchase the garage from the developer and manage it.

The authority currently owns and operates four other public garages located in Towson.

The final lease agreement approved by the authority is contingent upon the approval of the Baltimore County Council.

Towsonite December 27, 2011 at 03:48 PM
Whoever at County thinks they'll be able to charge for parking and make the project a success are out of their minds. Even a system in which someone gets free parking if they show a store receipt won't work. They've got to make it free parking like TowsonTown Center and the Trader Joe's/Bahama Breeze garage or the project will die.
Bart December 27, 2011 at 04:29 PM
I disagree. If you go to Fells Point, the Inner Harbor, Power Plant, etc., you pay to park. They are great successes, and people somehow find a way to pay to park. It is high time Towson planners stopped cowing to the provincial "we've always done it this way" thinkers who have doomed Towson to mediocrity for all these decades.
Towsonite December 27, 2011 at 04:35 PM
Towson is not the Inner Harbor and I think that if a new movie theater complex is going to work in the burbs, you have to offer the same free parking that you get on The Avenue in White Marsh or the Hunt Valley Town Center. And you're not right about the "we've always done it this way". Currently you pay to park just about everywhere in Towson except for the mall -- and it hurts. That was one of the big issues with Towson Commons. Oh, and by the way, I've been to Fells Point recently -- and you don't have to pay to park in the evenings, unlike Towson -- where they gouge you all night and all day except Sunday.
K Blue December 27, 2011 at 06:32 PM
Perhaps the new theater is going to offer a discount or the first 2 hours free for cinema goers with proof of purchase. If they do that, I believe the cinema will be huge draw assuming that the service and the security is there. The Towson Commons cinema complex, IMHO, failed because of a lack of effective security AND a lack of decent service. The lines for food and drink were ridiculous and the service was less than ideal. Adding to that was the congregation of people outside the complex with nowhere to go and nothing to do except to see and be seen. In planning this new complex, I believe they need to think along the lines of where nonadults can congregate following the movies -- a restaurant, cafe, or coffee/ice cream shop of some sort that is affordable and attractive to that demographic either in the new complex or closeby.


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