Developers are planning greater commercial and residential building in the Constant Friendship Business Park in Abingdon, and are seeking the community's input as they proceed with their projects.
Two Community Input Meetings are scheduled this month regarding development at the retail complex near the Route 24 and I-95 interchange
The first meeting took place Thursday evening at the Ramada Conference Center in Edgewood, regarding plans to subdivide the Target property at the intersection of Constant Friendship Boulevard and Arundel Court, and create a small lot out of a portion of the store acreage, to then sell to a business developer.
A second meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21 at the Abingdon branch of the Harford County Public Library regarding plans to build a 58,000-square-foot storage complex, a 72-unit senior citizen housing complex, an 84-unit garden apartment complex and community center that takes up about 4,000 square feet.
The buildings would be constructed at the end of Arundel Court.
Six people showed up Thursday to hear Keith Stanley, a project manager with the Timmons Group, a Richmond, Va.-based engineering and design firm, present the Target Corporation's plans to subdivide its 18.15-acre property.
Officials with the Minnesota-based retail corporation are seeking Harford County approval to section off .82 acres of the property, which is a grassy, unused area, and keep the remaining 17.33 acres for the Target store and its parking lot.
"We are holding this meeting to propose the out parcel," Stanley told the audience.
The smaller lot would then be marketed to a small-scale business such as a snowball stand, a drive-through restaurant or a convenience store.
Stanley said the Timmons Group has been hired by Target to investigate creating small lots on its Mid-Atlantic properties to then sell for the development of businesses that would complement the Target stores.
"People are going to shop at Target and grab their kids a snow cone on the way out," Stanley said, giving an example.
He said Target is responsible for marketing the property once the lot is created.
Stanley stressed he does not know the exact type of business that would go in the Constant Friendship lot. The developers of that property would need to go through the county approvals process to build it, which would include a second Community Input meeting.
"Someone will be back to discuss with you what that development is," Stanley told the audience.
Stanley said the operators of the new business would share the existing entrance to the Target lot off Arundel Court – a new entrance will not be built for the smaller lot, which will have its own parking area.
He said the owners of the small lot and Target will have "cross maintenance" and "cross-access" agreements that will allow the Target lot to be used for overflow parking if needed.
A Target sign is also in the grassy area, and Stanley said it will not be moved.
Three Abingdon Community Council members were among the six people in the audience Thursday, including Vice Chairman David Copenhaver, Recording Secretary Donna Copenhaver and member Joan Hamilton.
They questioned Stanley on the amount of traffic the new business is expected to draw, and what type it would be.
Stanley said traffic analyses had not been completed, and the amount of traffic would vary depending on the business.
"You always like to wait until you have all the facts before you make a decision," Hamilton said after the meeting.
David Copenhaver complimented Target on holding the Community Input Meeting, which is required by Harford County as part of the development process.