Plans for a new Enterprise Rent-A-Car shop on the site of a long-boarded-up burger restaurant in Towson will go before the Baltimore County Development Review Committee June 24, according to Ellen Kobler, a county spokeswoman.
Enterprise Holdings, headquartered in St. Louis, plans to raze the old Gino's Hamburgers restaurant to construct a 1,600-square foot car rental agency on the property at 619 York Road, according to Ned Maniscalco, an Enterprise spokesman. The new building is expected to open in February.
He said the new building would be smaller than what's there now with more green space in keeping with the area's designation to be more pedestrian-friendly. As for the actual design of the building, Maniscalco said, "It would be premature to say ... until we go through the planning process."
"We're really pleased that eyesore that's been there for decades is finally going to go away," said Paul Hartman, president of the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations.
He said he and GTCCA member Ed Kilcullen met with David Karceski, the attorney representing Enterprise Holdings, on June 6. They were briefed on plans for the building, a rectangular building with a glass facade fronting York Road with parking for their fleet vehicles as well as customer and employee parking. One of the two curb cuts on York and one on Joppa Road will be eliminated, according to Hartman. Streetscaping along Joppa is also planned.
"It's an improvement — that's for sure," Hartman said.
"We're thrilled that another property that has been in disrepair is being transformed," said Nancy Hafford, executive director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce.
Enterprise's present branch office, at 10 W. Susquehanna Ave., is one of the existing businesses relocating to make room for the development of Towson Row, according to Hafford. She said she had worried that the relocation of businesses such as Enterprise would lead to them moving to other areas.
"A lot of the businesses are staying," she said. "They want to stay in town."
Towson Row, a $300 million development to be built on 5 acres on York Road, was announced in June 2013. Plans call for 200,000 square feet of office space, as well as apartments and condominiums, student housing, a hotel and more than 100,000 square feet of retail.
Kobler said the June 24 meeting is open to the public but is not a hearing. The project is first on the agenda for the 2 p.m. meeting.
The meeting serves as part of the planning process to determine if plans for the razing of the old building or construction of the new may proceed. "It's common for commercial properties," Kobler said.
A Design Review Panel hearing is set for July 9 at 6 p.m.
Enterprise, which is named for the aircraft carrier on which the company's founder, Jack Taylor, served during World War II, has more than 6,000 car rental offices nationwide.
"This is one of the most visible eyesores in Downtown Towson, and it will be good to have the site improved and redeveloped as a business," County Councilman David Marks said in an email.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun