An derelict service station on a high visibility corner along Bel Air's busy Baltimore Pike corridor finally is being torn down to make way for a medical office building.
The vacant former Shell station, at 703 Baltimore Pike on the southeast corner of Baltimore Pike and South Tollgate Road, is being redeveloped by owner Meir Duke of Reisterstown. An assistant at Duke's Owings Mills office said he was not available to talk Tuesday.
"It's just a prime example of redevelopment for the infill areas that the county encourages to be developed," Lou Schaffer, a project manager with Frederick Ward Associates of Bel Air, said Tuesday.
Schaffer presented plans for the 3,654 square-foot building to the members of the Harford County Development Advisory Committee in June 2013. The site plan was approved in November 2013, according to a copy of the site plan provided Tuesday by the county's Department of Planning and Zoning.
Frederick Ward Associates engineered the site plan, and King Construction Inc. of Baltimore is the contractor overseeing the demolition of the service station and the construction of the medical office building.
Schaffer declined to say Tuesday who the building tenant would be. He said he is "bound" to keep that information confidential until the developer could obtain a tenant permit from the county. When the plans were reviewed by the Development Advisory Committee last summer, however, a dentist's office was listed as the user.
"It's going to be very, very nice, especially right next to Silver Spring," Doug Colonell, president of King Construction, said Tuesday.
Colonell was referring to the Silver Spring Mining Company restaurant, which is next door to the service station property.
Construction machines were out Tuesday taking the service station buildings down, and Colonell said the demolition should be completed by Wednesday, with construction beginning on the new building almost immediately.
"Footings are set to got in next week for the foundation, and then the shell building should be complete by June 1," Colonell explained.
He said the building should be ready for the tenant by July. The property will be served by public water and sewer, according to the site plan.
Colonell said features include new lighting and an "environmentally-friendly roof" on the brick and glass building.
Colonell said "site work" such as stormwater management modifications must be completed as well. He said Harford County officials are working with the developer to "fast track" the stormwater management permit.
"Harford County's been instrumental in helping us fast track this project," he said.
King Construction has overseen the building of several commercial buildings in Bel Air, including the octagonal building in the Bel Air Town Center that houses a FedEx Office printing and shipping center, the La-Z-Boy furniture store off Marketplace Drive and the Noodles & Company restaurant in the Tollgate Town Center.