The first business to join the Loch Raven Commons development in Towson — gas and convenience store Wawa — has been confirmed.
The Wawa has been long-rumored for the mixed retail and residential development, which is being built at former site of defense contractor Raytheon Co. in eastern Towson.
The project's developer, Wilmington, Del.-based Buccini/Pollin Group, confirmed that Wawa will be joining the project.
Officials with Wawa, a privately held East Coast chain with 640 stores, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company's name is the Native American word for Canada goose.
Ken Kearns, vice president of the Buccini/Pollin Group, said the group is in discussion with other tenants, but declined to name them.
"[We're] working with retail prospects but nothing is set in stone," he said.
The Joppa Road project will include three buildings with a combined 20,000 square feet of retail space, Kearns said, noting that the Wawa is included in that figure.
The project also features four apartment buildings, with 192 units, he said. The property is 9.35 acres.
A completion schedule for the project wasn't immediately available.
The former Raytheon building has been demolished, Kearns said. Builders will focus on installing underground electric lines and stormwater management systems.
Loch Raven Commons is a planned unit development, meaning while the project did not match zoning code for the site, it was allowed to advance by the County Council by providing a benefit to surrounding communities.
According to County Councilman David Marks, who represents Towson, neighboring communities Loch Raven Village and Towson Estates will receive $50,000 in benefits, to be put toward landscaping and pedestrian improvements, among other unspecified capital improvements for public property.
An agreement to allow the transfer of money from the developer to the community groups is nearly finished, Marks said.
Loch Raven Commons was approved by the County Council on April 7, 2014. A development plan for the project was approved by a county hearing officer in October 2015, and was then approved by the the Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections' project manager in April of 2016.
"I think this really anchors the western end of the Joppa Road corridor and it will enhance the whole Loch Raven Village area," Marks said.