The developer of the new Aumar Village Shopping Center in Fallston says he is still in talks with a national grocery chain about moving to the shopping center on the corner of Routes 1 and 152.
"We're talking to a national chain moving up from the South who have indicated that they would like to see a proposal in writing for consideration," Mike Euler said early last week. "They would take the month to look it over."
Euler wasn't able to say on the record which chain he was referring to and he noted that, even if all goes well, it still would be about six months until the company signed a lease.
It's taken many years for Euler and Aumar Village to get where it is now — a McDonald'sup and running, a CVS and Texas Roadhouse restaurant to be open in the next few months and an APG Federal Credit Union branch under way.
Euler has proceeded cautiously in signing tenants. Last year he said he is interested in a quality mix of tenants, particularly in the selection of the grocery store, a key piece and the anchor of the project.
"It's a neighborhood center," Euler emphasized. "It's not a strip mall, it's not a shopping mall."
Euler said the CVS pharmacy will most likely open in September.
There's currently a CVS in the Fallston Mall, which is diagonally across Route 1 from Aumar Village, and it's Euler's understanding that the current location will close once the new one opens.
Texas Roadhouse is aiming for an Oct. 1 opening. Currently the nearest location is in Pasadena.
Euler touted the restaurant's practices for never cooking frozen steaks, making its own bread every day and getting involved in the community.
The restaurant will have invitation only VIP nights on training days Sept 29 and 30, with proceeds going to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center. Fallston's popular Anne's Playground will have a mural and plaque dedicated to it inside the restaurant.
The footings for APG Federal Credit Union were due to be completed this week, Euler said.
To coincide with the rest of the buildings, the bank will have a brick façade.
APGFC is also community-based, Euler noted.
"They do community seminars that educate people on the different products they offer," Euler said.
Depending on how big the potential grocery store ends up being – estimated at 60,000 square feet, there should be about 8,000 square-feet of flex space left for another type of retail store, Euler said.
Euler said he's spoke with a few companies about the possibility of a sub shop or a 24-hour gym near the grocery store in that flex space, but those plans are yet to be determined, he added.
One factor about Aumar Village — named in honor of the property's former longtime owners, the late August Rogan and his wife Marie — that the developer has stressed all along is that Fallston residents won't need to drive to Bel Air or Abingdon to run their basic errands.
"When this is done, people will drive here and keep their cars here [in Fallston]," he said.
Considering this, Euler believes that traffic on local roads will be less in the long run.
During community input meetings held about the project in 2008 and 2009, Fallston residents questioned the shopping center's impact on traffic at an already busy intersection.
After several traffic studies, it was decided the entrances and exits on Route 1 will be right in, right out and left in, and Route 152 will have a "Maryland T," near the bank, which will be similar to what is at the Bel Air Bypass at Route 24 near Harford Mall.
Euler commented that the state prefers Maryland T's rather than "popping [traffic] lights everywhere" because it adds for better circulation.
In addition, putting a traffic light on Route 152 between the Route 1 intersection and Harford Road would most likely add more congestion, he noted.
Nevertheless, some concerns have continued be raised from the community about the entrance onto Route 1 and the potential for accidents, even though drivers exiting Aumar Village onto Route 1 are only permitted to go in one direction – south.