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Proposed White Marsh outlet mall gets OK

Proposed White Marsh outlet mall gets OK
Paragon Outlets rendering

A Baltimore County administrative judge has approved a proposed outlet mall in White Marsh that's drawn opposition from neighbors and rival retailers.

Paragon Outlet Partners has proposed a combination of outlet stores, non-outlet stores and residences on an 83-acre property across Interstate 95 from the White Marsh Mall and The Avenue at White Marsh. Two existing office buildings on the site would be rebuilt.

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John E. Beverungen, a Baltimore County administrative law judge, ruled on Tuesday in favor of changes to the project's planned unit development with two conditions. The main tower sign can be no more than 75 feet tall and cannot name individual stores, and the developer must follow updated rules for controlling stormwater pollution from the site, Beverungen ruled.

The outlet mall would be the first phase of the project, and developers have said they would bring in high-end brands such as Calvin Klein, Coach and Kate Spade. Paragon is headquartered in Baltimore and has developed outlet malls in California, Florida, Minnesota and Texas.

Several residents testified during the administrative hearing, which stretched over eight days in the summer and fall. They raised concerns about traffic, flooding of White Marsh Run, stormwater runoff, crime, light pollution, school overcrowding and existing empty retail locations in the area, according to Beverungen's ruling.

Representatives from other businesses also spoke against the Paragon project, including the owner of Boscov's department store and the manager of the Limited, both located at White Marsh Mall, as well as Della Rose's restaurant at The Avenue at White Marsh. Representatives from White Marsh Mall testified against the project, including a retail analyst who predicted a 15 percent drop in sales for the mall due to the outlets.

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