Marks said he and Del. Stephen Lafferty, a Democrat who also represents Towson, wrote this month to the Maryland Transit Authority to request a study for a Towson circulator that could run along York Road from Anneslie to the Towson roundabout. The goal, Marks said, would be to provide free transportation downtown on evenings from Thursday through Sunday.

"Hotels and apartments certainly have a different traffic impact than what might have been proposed, but we still need to step up our efforts to develop a transit circulator, and we need to do it quickly," Marks said.

Kamenetz said that over the past three years, about $600 million has been invested in Towson. Earlier this year, county officials said some 1,500 new apartments have been built in Towson in the past four years, and other developments either planned or under way include the $85 million Towson Square entertainment complex with a 16-screen theater, the $60 million 101 YORK student housing and retail complex and the $27 million public-private Towson City Center, a renovation of the former Investment Building at the Towson roundabout.

Towson City Center was also developed by Caves Valley, and Adler said Wednesday that when the development group moved into its office on the top floor last year, the partners looked out over Towson and realized something was missing.

Adler predicted Towson Row will fill that missing element, creating "the perfect gateway for the southern end of downtown Towson."

"We think the timing of our acquisition coincides with Towson being on the upswing, and ready for a positive transformation into an urban center," he said.

Towson Row

•200,000 square feet of office space

•100,000 square feet of retail, restaurants and a grocery

•350 high-rise apartments and condos

•300 student housing units

•200 extended-stay hotel units

•1,000-plus garage parking spaces

•Overall one million square feet of mixed-use space

Source: Caves Valley Partners