Urban Outfitters' arrival seen as boon to Towson core

Urban Outfitters, a trendy, sometimes quirky clothing store that also carries furniture and accessories, will open the doors to its new store, located in the old Hudson Trail Outfitters location on York Road in downtown Towson, on Thursday, Oct. 6.

The opening of the new store, which spans two floors and 8,746 square feet, is seen by some as a positive step for a downtown Towson area that has been having trouble keeping its old businesses and drawing in new ones in recent years.

While an Urban Outfitters spokesman said it is the company's policy to not give interviews, county officials and residents are optimistic about the possibilities the store brings.

Fifth District County Councilman David Marks, who represents Towson, called the new store a "fantastic addition to downtown Towson."

"It's another sign that revitalization is happening, from the renovation of the old Investment Building to new movement on the Towson Circle III project," said Marks. "Even in a rough economy, these good things are happening."

County Department of Planning Director Andrea Van Arsdale said Urban Outfitters' choice of Towson for a location represents a "major win" for the area.

"It's bringing a national retailer with a huge following into downtown Towson," Van Arsdale said. "It should have huge synergistic affects for the area. Every young kid is going to be there."

Nancy Hafford, director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce, said that the addition of a clothing store to the Towson core was necessary.

"We have great restaurants and jewelry shops, but no clothing stores," Hafford said.

Hafford believes that the store, which targets young people, will be a hit with the college students.

"I think this is going to bring a lot of students from Towson University and Goucher into town," she said. "We love that they support the mall, but would also love for them to spend money in the Towson core."

Matthew Sikorski, president of the Towson University Student Government Association, said the store has already been featured in The Towerlight, Towson's student newspaper, and that students and community members are excited for the store's opening.

"A lot of the students that I talked to love the store, so they were happy to see it come so close to campus," Sikorski said.

He added that the store will be a "welcome addition" to an uptown Towson area that is a "very integral part of the Towson student experience."

"With the mall, various restaurants and music venues, a majority of students will take a trip up to that part of town at the very least once a year, if not multiple times a month," Sikorski said.

"I don't necessarily think that this clothing store will change the perception of the area," he said, "because students use it so much already."

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