I've been going to Green Spring Station my entire life. As a kid in the 1980s, I visited the Nut Farm for their popcorn and snacks, Harvey's for burgers and cottage fries, and Greenspring Raquet Club for tennis lessons. As an adult, Green Spring Station has become the most convenient meeting spot for lunch as well as some necessary retail therapy. On a daily basis, I'm sure many of you sit at the traffic light on Falls Road, reading the marquis for events and sales. On my most recent visit, I was curious about the many changes taking place at this popular Lutherville venue.
I was fortunate enough to have coffee and a brief tour with the most gentlemanly father/son team behind the success of Green Spring Station and learn of their family's evolution in the area. Tom Peddy, and his son, Ted Peddy, have been working together since 1994, but their family's history in the development of Green Spring Station real estate dates back to the mid 1930s. During the Great Depression, Tom's father left his family's dairy farm in Georgia in hopes of a new beginning. He began tending bar in a restaurant and after three months, in May of 1936, he and his brother bought that same restaurant for $3,000 in a bankruptcy sale and renamed it the Green Spring Inn. Tom Peddy proudly stated that "his father never put another dollar of cash into the business," of which his father was part owner and operated until he died in 1965.
After graduating Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration in 1966, Tom joined his uncle and continued the operation of the Inn. He and his uncle began assembling parcels adjacent to the Inn, and with Tom's real estate partner, Herb Fredeking, began developing those properties into retail and office space. The Joppa Concourse was built in 1979, in 1983 the Falls Concourse opened, and in July of 1994, Johns Hopkins became a tenant, and an integral part of the area's continued success, drawing customers from around the world.
In order to learn the family business, Tom worked at the Green Spring Inn from the age of 11, and worked every New Year's Eve for most of his life. Son Ted also began working there at the age of 11. Ted, a McDonogh graduate, and high scoring lacrosse attackman at Penn State, also holds a degree in hotel management. After graduating in 1991, Ted spent a couple years as the manager of Chili's in Annapolis. In 1994, he joined his father in real estate, by founding Foxleigh Management. Prior to Ted's arrival, Green Spring Station subcontracted landscaping, housekeeping and management. Under Ted's management, these services were taken care of "in house."
Given their family's long history in the area, the Peddys are proud of the success their tenants have had. As Tom explained, "they intentionally select boutique tenants with a niche rather than leasing to chain stores." Many of their tenants have been leasing for over 30 years, and simply retire or move locations within the complex. With a $2 million renovation of the retail areas planned for next summer, customers can look forward to stunning, illuminated entrances, modernized store fronts, and new boutiques to shop. While there's a great story behind every tenant and their success, they are too numerous to mention; however, you should be on the lookout for some newcomers, like Becket Hitch, Bare SkinLabs and Francesca's Atelier.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun