Towson Circle redevelopment project gets new name

Parts of the former Towson Circle shopping center have a new name ahead of a new look.

The mixed-use shopping center being developed at the intersection of East Joppa Road and York Road, in downtown Towson, will be called Circle East, according to Tim O’Connell, a spokesman for Retail Properties of America Inc., which is developing the property.

The Illinois-based real estate investment trust, which has owned the property since 2004, focuses on shopping centers. The company announced plans to redevelop the property in 2015 and subsequently acquired the Towson Square movie theater and restaurant project next door.

The property is also the former site of a Hutzler's department store, which closed all of its locations in 1990.

RPAI plans to turn the existing site, east of the Towson Circle on York Road, into a mixed-use development that will include double-sided, street-level retail with approximately 390 residential units, O’Connell said in a Sept. 22 email.

The 240,000 square foot, $30 million redevelopment project is described as a walkable environment, “unlike anything in the area” and "poised to transform downtown Towson," according to the developer’s plans.

Construction has already begun on Circle East, which will replace the site of the former Barnes and Noble book store, which closed in June.

The Trader Joe's grocery store that formerly operated at Towson Circle reopened in the Shops at Kenilworth in March after 17 years in downtown Towson.

“While we do not have any shops, services, or restaurants to announce at this time, our goal is to add as many attractive retailers to support the project, and the local Towson community,” O’Connell said.

Retail Properties partnered with apartment developer AvalonBay Communities on the residential portion of the redevelopment, O’Connell said.

The Arlington, Va.-based company operates apartment complexes nationwide, including 10 properties in Maryland with one in Hunt Valley, according to its website.

Construction is expected to begin within the next year, according to Jason Reilley, Avalon Bay’s senior director of investor relations.

The site on the north side of Joppa Road currently includes below street level parking; in addition, the vacant site of the former Bahama Breeze restaurant has been fenced off to traffic and pedestrians.

“We have publicly disclosed very little,” Reilley said in a Sept. 21 email. “However, these will be luxury apartments.”

Avalon Hunt Valley features modern kitchens with stainless steel appliances, white cabinets and granite countertops, according to its website.

Community amenities include a yoga studio, pet park and garage parking with rents starting at $1,400 for a 576 square-foot studio to $2,505 for a three-bedroom apartment.

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