Baltimore County acquires more property at Security Square Mall as part of repurposing effort

Thank you for supporting our journalism. This article is available exclusively for our subscribers, who help fund our work at The Baltimore Sun.

Baltimore County has acquired a 12-acre parcel at Security Square Mall in Woodlawn as part of an ongoing effort to repurpose part of the shopping center into a community hub.


County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., a Democrat, announced Wednesday that his administration would pay $6.85 million to purchase the extra acreage from owner Helmsman Property Services after buying the former Sears building at the mall last fall. The added land means the county soon will own a third of the overall mall site, which has seen decline in recent years as anchor tenants like Sears, IHOP and JCPenney have closed there.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Olszewski and other Democratic Baltimore County officials, including House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones; Sen. Charles Sydnor; Del. Sheila Ruth; and County Councilman Pat Young of Catonsville, framed the impending sale as an opportunity to reinvest in the community near Interstates 695 and 70 in western Baltimore County.


“Security Square’s redevelopment is essential to our neighborhood, and the county’s acquisition of the site shows a long-term commitment to ensuring this gets done,” Jones said. “I look forward to the site’s transformation and applaud the county’s commitment to a community-focused approach to this project.”

Olszewski referenced the ongoing Master Plan 2030 process, which recommends that the county “retrofit” divested properties like the Security Square Mall for new uses.

“We are reinvesting directly in the health and safety of our communities while also making clear that progress needs to be fair, equitable and accessible to all of our residents,” he said.

County and state leaders earmarked $20 million last year for mall revitalization efforts, with another $10 million set aside in the 2024 fiscal year proposed budget, which the county council will approve next Thursday. The county will host a May 31 community meeting at the mall to discuss the site’s future.

There are plans to use some funds immediately to repair infrastructure around the site once the sale is final, according to county Deputy Administrative Officer Sameer Sidh.

The mall also houses the county-run Woodlawn Health Center, a nondenominational church called Set The Captives Free, and the Outreach Worship and Education (O.W.E.) Center.

The sale also gives Baltimore County the power to terminate or extend leases for tenants still at the county site that was purchased, Sidh said.

For the record

This article has been corrected to say the county now has the power to terminate or extend leases for tenants on the county site that was purchased. The Sun regrets the error.