A city design panel reviewed plans Monday for a proposed 500,000-square-foot shopping center at the Canton Crossing mixed-used development.

Plans call for a mix of large and small stores in a Main Street-style setting to be built in two phases along Boston Street in Canton. Developers are working to line up a big-box store and a grocer as anchors.

In an initial review of the project, which would be built on 31 acres, members of Baltimore's Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel recommended finding ways to make the entrance along Boston Street and a large parking lot more attractive and user-friendly.

The developers, a partnership of principals from Chesapeake Real Estate Group and Birchwood Capital Partners, said they had been able to reduce the amount of surface parking by planning a 600-space, below-ground garage.

Doug Schmidt, a principal with Chesapeake Real Estate, said that the partners were hoping to line up the anchor tenants soon and that the deals should attract other tenants.

The developers, who purchased the site in June from Exxon Mobil Corp., said they hoped to break ground by next summer.