Canton Crossing retail center set to break ground in August

The groundbreaking for a Main Street-style shopping center on a 25-acre parcel just south of Brewers Hill is set for the middle of August, the developer said Monday.

Preparatory work on below-grade utilities recently began at the Canton Crossing site, which used to be an oil terminal, said Neil Tucker, a real estate developer and broker with Chesapeake Real Estate Group LLC.

The retail center, near the First Mariner Tower and Merritt Athletic Club, is slated to open in October 2013, Tucker said.

Roughly 90 percent of the space in the 320,000-square-foot development is already spoken for, he said.

The development, off Boston Street between Baylis and South Haven streets, will have two anchors and is expected to have 30 businesses, including seven or eight restaurants and a bank branch, Tucker said.

The developers have held discussions with potential anchor tenants, including Target and Harris Teeter.

Tucker said he hoped to be able to announce specific tenants within the next few months. Canton Crossing will be the first or second location in Baltimore for most of the tenants, he said.

On Thursday, the city's Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel is expected to take a final vote on the development's design.

The shopping center is being developed by principals from Chesapeake Real Estate Group and Birchwood Capital Partners, both based in Baltimore.

The developers bought the site last summer from Exxon Mobil Corp.

A second phase of the shopping center is planned but requires approval from environmental regulators, Tucker said. That approval could be a few years away, he said.

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