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Harris Teeter, Old Navy, Loft to open with Target at Canton Crossing

Developers announce lineup of shops and restaurants

By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun

7:34 AM EST, February 5, 2013

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The Target opening this fall in Canton at one of the city's largest new retail developments will be joined by a Harris Teeter grocery store and a lineup of stores and restaurants that includes Old Navy, Michaels, Loft, ULTA Beauty and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.

The developer of The Shops at Canton Crossing announced those tenants and others Monday and said it has leases or commitments for most of the 325,000-square-foot-center under way on Boston Street.

Construction has begun on a 135,000-square-foot Target and some of the other stores, while Harris Teeter will start construction on a store in the next few weeks. Target announced in December that it planned to anchor the center and would open in October.

The $105 million Canton Crossing project sits on 31 acres of waterfront between Baylis and South Haven streets. The project is being developed by BCP Partners, which includes principals of Chesapeake Real Estate Group, 28 Walker Associates and Birchwood Capital Partners.

Others among the planned 30 shops include discount store Five Below, mattress retailer Sleepy's, BB&T Bank, Vitamin Shoppe, optician MyEyeDr., Nail Trix and Fresh Cleaners, said Chesapeake Real Estate Group officials. Restaurants that have signed leases include Mission BBQ, which has locations in Perry Hall and Glen Burnie; Samos, a Greek restaurant opening its second city location; sandwich shop Jimmy John's and Yogi Castle frozen yogurt.

"There clearly was a pent-up demand for this type and mix of tenants," said Doug Schmidt, a Chesapeake Real Estate partner. "Customers … were going to the suburbs to do their shopping, for basic things that people need and shop [for] often."

It will be the first Baltimore City location for several of the tenants, including Michaels, ULTA Beauty, Old Navy, Vitamin Shoppe, Sleepy's, Red Robin and Five Below.

Target has one city store, at Mondawmin Mall in Northwest Baltimore, while Harris Teeter opened its first city store at McHenry Row in Locust Point at the end of 2011. Loft has a store at the Inner Harbor in The Gallery.

Additional apparel shops and restaurants will be announced soon, said Neil Tucker, another partner with the development firm. Most shops are expected to open by the end of the year.

The center can make the Canton area more livable, Schmidt said, and has the potential to encourage redevelopment, just as the Safeway that opened in the neighborhood more than a decade ago did.

Chesapeake Real Estate sought Target and Harris Teeter after meeting with community groups and studying retail gaps in the market, Tucker said. It then sought co-tenants that would complement the anchors, he said.

"We recognized that there was really an apparel void in Baltimore," Tucker said. "You have some nice higher-end or boutique shopping in Harbor East and in Federal Hill and in other pockets of the city, but there really was no place to be able to go and buy kids' clothes and moderately priced apparel."

Canton residents often find themselves leaving the city to shop at suburban malls, including White Marsh and Eastpoint malls, said Darryl Jurkiewicz, president of the Canton Community Association. Residents welcome the addition of more stores at Canton Crossing, he said.

"Most people are excited about it," he said. "We need retail in the neighborhood."

City Councilman James B. Kraft, who represents Canton, said he believes the planned stores — especially Target and Harris Teeter — will "meet a lot of needs in the community. People won't need to drive to Towson, White Marsh or Columbia. There is concern about an increase in traffic in a highly congested area, but overall, we think people are looking forward to it being open."

BCP Investors plans to eventually build a 100,000-square-foot second phase of shops for a total of 425,000 square feet. For now, the undeveloped parcel will be used for parking. PNC Bank is providing a $44 million construction loan for the first phase.

Birchwood Capital acquired the former industrial site just east of the current Canton Crossing office tower in June 2011 from ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil had used the land as an oil refinery and terminal through the 1990s and spent years working on environmental cleanup there.

Lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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