The demolition of the former Hilton Flower Shop on Frederick Road will lead to a parking lot, at least for the time being, according to those involved with the project.
"It's going to be demolished," said Stephen Maddock, CEO of Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland, which occupies the building next door and is funding the demolition. "It's an unsafe building."
OACM bought the building in mid-March, just a month after the shop closed its doors, according to property records.
The speed at which the building became available surprised company executives, Maddock said, and as a result much of the plan for the site is still a work in progress.
"Right now, it's just going to become a parking lot," he said of the site in the 900 block of Frederick Road.
In the future though, he and others at OACM would like to see the construction of a new building which would feature retail space on the ground floor and office space above.
For at least the next year however, he said, Catonsville residents should expect the site to be used as additional parking for OACM.
County Councilman Tom Quirk, who represents District 1, which includes southwest Baltimore County, said he has heard a mix of reactions from the community about the demolition of the building.
"Nobody likes change," Quark said, adding that he had always liked the flower shop building's look. "The fact of the matter is that that building was in serious disrepair."
That maintenance work that would have been required to restore the building would have been very expensive, he said.
OACM's long-term plan to build new shop space on the site would be beneficial to the whole community, he added.
"We'd like to — long term — keep that retail frontage," he said.
The tearing down of the current building is expected to be finished by next week or the week after, Maddock said.
The majority of the work taking down the building's frame will happen this weekend.
Much of the next couple weeks will be spent filling the cellar hole, removing debris and planting new greenery around the site.