“Grand Theft Retail”

An ordinary big box strip center on the Owings Mills Mall property?

Anchored by a Walmart Supercenter – that will close the Supercenter on Liberty Road and the Walmart/Sam’s Club on Reisterstown Road? Both of them.

Nicer brick maybe and some extra trees and bushes here and there in the huge parking lot? Sure, but it will still be a big box strip center. (The country adage about putting lipstick on a pig comes to mind.)

A strip center that succeeds only by stealing stores and customers from other centers nearby? That’s not development. Real development is way more imaginative, creating substantial net benefits for families and businesses throughout the community.

“Grand Theft Retail”?
Is this the best that Kimco can do?

The Kimco Burglar

Just to be clear, we don’t think Kimco is in any way dishonest or disreputable. Far from it. We think it’s a standup, highly successful and justifiably respectable company just doing what it does best. Unfortunately, what it does best is build strip centers – and the people of Baltimore County’s District 4 deserve better. They deserve a redevelopment plan that allows Kimco’s Owings Mills Mall property to realize its full potential for the greater community – and, quite probably, for Kimco as well.

Is the success of Kimco’s big box strip center on its Mall property going to come at the expense of businesses throughout the market? Absolutely. Will it result in the closure of the Walmart Supercenter on Liberty Road and the Walmart on Reisterstown Road? Count on it. Walmart is closing stores all over the country. Replacing two stores with one really big one is their corporate strategy.

So, is all this Kimco’s fault? Of course it is, because Kimco has options. It’s just that someone – notably Councilman Julian Jones, also a good guy – needs highly vocal public support to insist that Kimco consider other redevelopment options.

No one’s suggesting that Kimco not make profits, even impressive profits from the redevelopment of its Mall property. We just think… No.  We’re certain that there are more creative development plans, the success of which doesn’t come at the expense of established businesses, jobs and property taxes for infrastructure and services that are better spent elsewhere.

What do you think should go on the Mall property?

Maybe a mixed use, “Main Street” village with interesting shops and restaurants surrounded by offices and apartments? How about a major, indoor concert/sports/community center? (Something like the Verizon Center in Washington?) Or maybe a mixed use corporate campus generating jobs and even more business from which everyone can benefit? And we’re sure you have a suggestion or two of your own that we’d like Councilman Jones, Kimco and others to hear and think about.

Most importantly, we need to buy the time you and other people need to make your suggestions and work with Kimco to come up with a new plan that makes more sense.

That’s what our petition for District 4 Councilman Julian Jones is all about. That’s right. We have a petition we’d like you to read and, if you agree, sign in support of the Councilman’s efforts.

To see the petition, all you have to do is click on this link. That’s all there is to it. Any questions or advice? Just leave a comment below or send us an email to Info@BaltimoreRising.org.

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Thanks for letting us know what you think and for considering our petition for Councilman Jones. The redevelopment of the Owings Mills Mall property is about much more than what’s best for Kimco stock prices. It’s about the people and established businesses of Councilman Jones’ District 4 and the greater Baltimore County community of which it is a part.

Thank you. We’re Baltimore Rising, an independent, non-profit organization “Working to create jobs and increase family income through all-inclusive economic development throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area.”

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4 thoughts on ““Grand Theft Retail”

  1. Seymour Gorback says:

    The original mall had quality stores ie Saks, Cache, Ann Taylor and other QUALITY men’s and women’s retailers. It flourished until some moron had the Metro line extended.
    Shortly after crime rate rose to the point Saks had State Police at doors to assure patrons got to their vehicles.
    When Saks did not renew their lease, the exodus from the mall was rapid and saw a rarity in its time. Sears closed a free standing building they built.
    The lose of Hechts, Macy’s and JC Penny closes the circle.
    An Original Cross Keys style mall might make it.
    Wal-Mart disposes of stores after milking the area dry and then disposes of them as we dispose of toilet tissue. Count on this supermarket closing after it is no longer a strong profit center.
    Ask Wegmens why they passed the mall by.

  2. Monica Davis says:

    OK people, WAKE UP!
    I read the comments and I am sick to my stomach. Yes, we will bring Ann Taylor-Pottery Barn etc. as well as some affordable brand name stores for our young people to enjoy. I understand the notion of meet and greet, but let’s face the facts as it relates to architectural design and traffic. Last summer I had a tragic experience in Randallstown, the community I love and support. The traffic congestion on Brenbrook coming from Walmart and on Liberty Road almost made it impossible to bring control to a chaotic situation. Think outside the box, you can meet your friends family etc at the strip center and have more access to tea shops, ice cream bars and live jazz in the evenings- outside during the summer and inside during the winter at one of the nice eateries. Similar to The Avenue at White Marsh, but more personable. This plan Kimco has is about building up our community. Soon you will hear more about me and why I’m so passionate about my community and the businesses who live here with us. The Owings Mills Mall was a nice mall at some point, but over the years it became an eye sour riddled with crime. I have lived in this community for 16 years and I welcome CHANGE. Kimco is talking with Walmart about closing the two other stores because there is a plan to moving out one walmart and moving in another store move favorable to increase production and productivity. The Walmart on Reisterstown road was not producing as much since the opening of the Liberty Road location. There will not be two vacant buildings on Reisterstown RD or Liberty RD. We are looking to open a nice VICTORY FREEDOM CENTER soon in Randallstown for our youth of all ages. Why? While I support YMCA, not all families can afford a membership fee. We will not take business from the Y, we will actually talk to them and form a handshake to use their facility for some of our youth events. Keep watching, looks like a bad idea right now, but you are about to embark upon the best Randallstown Community Project ever. This is our home, so please lets come together to keep it as a great home to come home to. Come out to the meetings, allow your voice to be heard. Get others in your community to share their ideas on this message board, it’s time we stop talking and whispering about change and be about change. We can all be a part of this brick and mortar new beginning.

    • Hey. Thank you for your comment.

      What makes you think that Walmart will allow other, possibly competitive stores to occupy the Liberty Road and Reisterstown Road Walmarts when they close? Walmart is known for its tendency to keep stores it closes “dark.” Hence the term, “Dark Stores.” Walmart will continue to make minimum lease payments to keep a store closed rather than risk a competitor occupying that space. If that means trashing the shopping center, that’s okay with Walmart. The new Supercenter and other stores on the Mall property will just do all that much better – albeit at the expense of commerce at established neighborhoods in the area.

      And as for all that traffic congestion you’re worried about, it won’t be a problem any more. Store closings will take care of that. In fact, it could actually make more sense for the County to invest in alleviating congestion where it is currently a problem rather than in the improvements Kimco’s new big box center will require at the taxpayer’s expense.

  3. I think that is the most stupid decision ever! Walmart on Liberty rd is very convenient for myself and 2yr old asthmatic son. It’s a 3 minute commute and the main reason I chose to move in the complex I’m currently in. During the riots in April of last year, that development of the town center was threatened. I would never put myself at risk to go to that location if they’re would be another such reaction causing such activities. This is just my opinion I’m entitled to. Carry on

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