JCPenney could be coming to Boulevard at Box Hill

Will a JCPenney department store be filling the more than 87,000-square-foot retail space at the Boulevard at Box Hill? That's what it looks like.

While Penney's Corporate Communications Senior Specialist Sarah Kelleher said in an e-mail Tuesday the company has "not announced any plans to open a store in Abingdon," construction information website listed the store under "new construction" for the Abingdon community.

According to the website, the estimated value of the space is between $5 million and $10 million, and is accepting construction bids "by invitation only." It also has the square footage listed as 87,270.

When asked about the project, Thomas L. Fidler Jr., of MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services, said, "We are expecting to announce our second anchor for the Boulevard at Box Hill by next Friday [Jan. 13]. We've been talking with a few different possible tenants and are hopeful to land the right tenant that will be a strong attraction for the rest of the boutique shops that will be part of the next phase."

He did not name JC Penney.

What would fill the space near Wegmans and the newly constructed Joe's Crab Shack has been a matter of speculation for months, with tales of another Walmart or movie theater.

Box Hill developer Ward Properties has stayed hush on the matter, saying it would not release the identity of the occupant until the lease had been signed.

This would be the only JCPenney department store in Harford County.

The project is on the Harford County Council's Zoning Hearing Examiner schedule for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 11 – two days before Fidler said the announcement is expected – in the second floor conference room of the county office building at 220 S. Main St. in Bel Air.

While JCPenney is not specifically mentioned, four cases are on the agenda: Case 5760, Village at Bright Oakes & Boulevard at Box Hill, 3411 and 3491 Merchant Boulevard, Abingdon; 5761, Boulevard at Box Hill 1 LLC, 3410 Merchant Boulevard, Abingdon; 5762, Village at Bright Oaks & Boulevard at Box Hill, 3411 & 3491 Merchant Boulevard, Abingdon; and 5763, Boulevard at Box Hill 20 LLC, 21 Wegmans Boulevard, Abingdon.

In all four zoning appeal cases, special development approval is being sought for an integrated community shopping center. It is "appealed because a special development to locate an integrated community shopping center…in the Commercial Industrial District, requires approval by the Board of Appeals," according to the agenda.

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