Petition Related To The Redevelopment Of The Owings Mills Mall Property

Welcome.
The petition begins after this brief introduction…

Hey. First of all, thank you for stopping by, reading and, if you’re interested, signing the petition below addressed to Councilman Jones. Mr. Jones represents Baltimore County’s District 4 where the Owings Mills Mall property is located. He’s a good man who, we believe, agrees that a property as prominent as Kimco’s Owings Mill Mall should be more than just a strip center for big box stores. And that under no circumstances should the redevelopment of the Mall property succeed at the expense of established businesses and jobs in other centers of commerce nearby.

Real development should be creative and important, bringing new commerce and other facilities that are of substantial net benefit to the greater community it serves. That’s what this petition is about. With your help, we want to encourage Councilman Jones to require that Kimco do better. No one’s suggesting that Kimco not make a substantial profit on its investment, but only that everyone in the community – local businesses and families alike – benefit in the process.

Here now is the petition we’re hoping you’ll sign and that we will then forward to Councilman Jones.  Its simple and clear message to the Councilman is that his constituents support specific actions to encourage a more creative, more beneficial redevelopment of the Mall property.

Oh, one other thing…  

On September 18, 2012, the Baltimore Sun posted an article on its website entitled “Pikesville Realty Company Wants To Buy Owings Mills Mall.” Here’s the fourth paragraph from that post…

%22Market Couldn't Support...%22 Screen Shot 2016-07-14

As you can see in the last sentence, it was Kimco’s opinion at the time that “…the market couldn’t support so much retail.” They’re making our point – and the point of this petition – for us. They were right then and they’re still right.  What’s changed since this surprisingly honest observation by Kimco in the fall of 2012? What’s changed is that they bought out their partner and now own 100% of the Mall property. Judging from their site plans, they no longer care if they succeed by pulling stores and customers from businesses elsewhere in the market. Or by requiring expensive, County taxpayer-funded improvements to infrastructure and for services from which Kimco will be the principal beneficiary.

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Petition For District 4 Councilman Julian Jones
Regarding The Redevelopment Of The Owings Mills Mall Property

Introduction

This petition is for registered voters who reside in Baltimore County Council District 4. It is produced by Baltimore Rising, an independent non-profit organization that is working to increase employment and family income and to improve the quality of life throughout the greater Baltimore metropolitan area. This is the online edition of the petition, available exclusively at BaltimoreRising.org.

The owner of the Owings Mills Mall property is planning to build a large strip center on that site consisting primarily of “big box stores.” These are large stores – like a Walmart Supercenter that would likely result in the closing of the Liberty Road Supercenter and its sister store on Reisterstown Road – typically having 50,000 to 200,000 square feet of retail space.

Unfortunately, many of these stores already exist in the market area served by the Mall property. It is, therefore, certain that the success of an Owings Mills Mall big box center will come at the expense of retail centers nearby.

Petition

By signing this petition you are asking Councilman Jones to take the following 3 actions on your behalf, on behalf of your family and local business interests. These requests pertain exclusively to District 4.

1. I am asking Councilman Jones to introduce legislation at the next meeting of the Council that will prohibit the placement of big box stores on the Owings Mills Mall property.

2. I am asking Councilman Jones to introduce legislation at the next meeting of the Council that will require that large scale developments fund independent economic impact studies. These studies will define the net impact of large scale development on jobs, household income, area commerce and County government receipts and expenditures.

3. I am asking Councilman Jones to encourage the owners of the Mall property to consider other options that will provide substantial net benefit to business and family life throughout District, such as:

  •  A mixed use Main St. village with a mix of smaller stores, restaurants and apartment residences.
  • A major indoor, all-season center for concerts, conventions and sporting events.
  • A mixed use, residential, commercial and workplace campus for new business development, medical services and/or community education.
  • Your suggestion?  …Please enter in the form below.
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10 thoughts on “Petition Related To The Redevelopment Of The Owings Mills Mall Property

  1. Build out the CCBC campus nearby to make Owings Mills a major hub — or even the major “central” CCBC campus — instead of a small peripheral campus.

    Use the rest of the space for mixed use small businesses —

    This will benefit the region, the neighborhood, and make Owings Mills a center of Baltimore County education … (Essex and Dundalk are so close to each other; yet Owings Mills campus would serve — could serve — the entire central and northern regions of Baltimore County and northern Baltimore).

    Thank you.

  2. your right about the walmart I agree. My question is by having the metro centre which plans on having 300,000sq ft of retail space, you don’t a Costco or a kohls would draw business to the smaller stores? Both of these stores cater to the demographics and house hold incomes and neither of these stores are in the area. You don’t need 10 big-box stores, but you do need something that can draw people to the area. I’m afraid if you put just small stores your doing the same thing that caused owings mills mall to go out of business, definitely when you have the metro centre that is practically doing the same thing as you described. Look at the metro centre plans. Most of your points I do agree on and I will be at the meetings.

    • Hey. I’d go in a completely different direction, away from the 100% retail, big box center which is what Kimco is planning.

      I’d either do a Main St. village concept that would include a mix of specialty shops, restaurants – including some with live entertainment – offices and apartments or an alternative mixed use concept anchored by a major concert/sports/convention/special events facility like the Verizon Center in Washington. That facility would be the only one in the county and would attract droves of consumers to the area without compromising a single commercial center already in place.

      I guess my point is that it doesn’t have to be – and probably shouldn’t be – a retail-only, big box store strip center to realize the full potential of the Mall property.

      Thanks for your comment. Please encourage family and friends to leave their own suggestions for everyone, including Councilman Jones, to read and think about. And while they’re here, ask them to read our petition!

      -Les
      Baltimore Rising

      • Jeff, I wholesomely agree with you in regards to the Main St. village concept – a project that would feature a mix of specialty shops, restaurants and open ‘green’ space. I prepared a ‘vision’ plan for the Mall redevelopment that I submitted to Kimco back in April. I am not sure if any of my ideas excited them. I feel that the mall redevelopment should take into account the adjacent Metro Centre and provide connectivity to that and the surrounding areas; I would hate to see the Mall be redeveloped into a big-box center with rows and rows of parking without much green space and opportunities for pedestrian walk-ability. I think the mall site would be an ideal location for a family and business friendly community village with shops, offices and retail, with landscaped avenues that converge at a ’round-about’ that features a water fountain, for example. Owings Mills could become a tremendous destination if the mall redevelopment is planned with something unique, special and complementary to its surrounding uses!

        • Hey, Derrick. Thank you for the comment. Would you please email me a copy of the “vision plan” that you sent to Kimco. And would it be okay if I forwarded it to Councilman Jones?

          Please encourage everyone you know to read and sign our petition.

          Thanks!

          -Les
          Les@BaltimoreRising.org

        • Great ideas Derrick. It is a shame that development has no connection to transportation and walkability issues — Foundry Row is a walking street that is disconnected from the trains.

          The new development must not ignore walking pedestrians from the trains and buses.

  3. I think a perfect fit for the property and surounding properties would be a major indoor, all-season center for concerts, conventions and sporting events along with a mixed use of Main St. village with a mix of smaller stores, restaurants and apartment residences. NOTE: AMC Theatres are staying along with the private townhouses all while connected to new Owings Mills Public Library. It would look very similar to Bayshore Town Center in Wisconsin.
    http://www.bayshoretowncenter.com/

    • Thanks for the comment, Jeff. Not only would the center you describe bring all sorts of commerce to the area – without stealing any stores or customers to do it – think of the potential benefits to families who would enjoy the center and village shopping. It’s a great idea. Are you envisioning something like the Verizon center in Washington? -Les

      • I understand we don’t need another walmart. however how can you tell kimco who spent they’re money, what they can and cannot have on they’re private property? Mom and pop stores don’t draw the business that a Costco or a Kohls would bring. Its safer to know that you have tenants with 20 year contracts then a Toms Cafe’ who might not beable to sustain the $15hr minimum wage increase in the near future. Its funny how no one put up 2cents to save the mall but everyone wants to petition to stop good paying jobs in the community that can afford to pay people top dollar

        • Okay. Let’s think about this one question at a time…

          1. Can you tell the owner of property what he/she/it can put on it? Sure. That’s what zoning laws do, for example. You can’t build an apartment building on a lot zoned for single family homes. The very fact that Kimco has to ask the County for permission confirms that the County has the authority to approve or disapprove the specifics of any development plan it submits. Suppose, for example, that the costs of infrastructure and services the County might need to provide exceeds the gain to the County in property tax revenues. That would be a reason to disapprove a specific development plan. In this case, the real problem may be that the success of Kimco’s site plan would come at the expense of business elsewhere in the District – and the net gain could actually be negative.

          2. Actually, while Mom and Pop stores can’t compete head-on with a Walmart Supercenter – and that’s a serious problem with adding more big box stores to the District – small stores can benefit from the traffic big box stores generate. In this case, that advantage is going to work in reverse. When the Walmart Supercenter opens on the Mall property, the Liberty Road and Reisterstown Walmarts will close and that loss of traffic at those centers will hurt many small businesses located nearby.

          3. No question about it, Walmart and many other big box stores are more viable financially than small businesses, but don’t think that they won’t come and go too. Walmart’s current strategy is to close 2 stores and open one really big one to replace them. Walmart isn’t going to flinch when it comes to closing down the Liberty Road and Reisterstown Road stores – even if it means paying rent on a store that’s closed. They’ve got the money and they don’t care. There’s even a name in the industry for these locations. They’re called “dark stores” and their effect on a community can be devastating. By comparison, a neighborhood or community can take the hit when a small store closes and a new one will open up soon enough. “Dark stores” can stay vacant for years.

          4. Last question has to do with high minimum wages. Even if the law doesn’t require a small business to pay a minimum of, let’s say, $15/hour doesn’t mean that they won’t end up paying that same rate in order to compete with larger companies for qualified employees. The minimum wage law they’re considering in the City applies to companies with only 25 or more employees, not just to big box stores. And then there is the question of benefits. Many large retailers save money by keeping hours worked low enough so that they don’t have to pay benefits.

          All that said, we can still agree to disagree about your points. The one thing I hope we can agree on is that there are better redevelopment plans for the Mall property that Kimco hasn’t considered – more creative plans that would be equally or more profitable for Kimco and far more beneficial for the greater community. The problem is that building strip centers is what Kimco does. Our hope is that our petition and involved residents like yourself can encourage Kimco to do better.

          Thanks for your comments. Please tell your friends and neighbors to stop by and voice their concerns as well.

          -Baltimore Rising

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