Towson project takes new shape, from 'circle' to 'square'

Cordish Companies and Heritage Properties recently served up another alteration on Towson Circle III, the $85 million development in downtown Towson.

Renderings of the project at last month's Greater Towson Committee meeting were titled "Towson Square" — instead of the long-referenced Towson Circle III — and Taylor Gray, development director at Cordish, confirmed to the Towson Times on last week that the project had indeed been re-branded.

"It was never intended to be Towson Circle III," Gray said. "It was really a place holder, and we arrived at Towson Square as we were working through the design.

"Taking into account the importance of public space, walkability and pedestrian ambience, we felt 'square' was an appropriate name for the product we were delivering."

The name change may also prevent a little confusion for Towson residents.

The initial Towson Circle project — the old Hutzler's building that houses a Barnes and Noble and Trader Joe's — is typically referred to by that name.

However, the development that consists of a parking structure next to the Towson Town Center mall and the Bahama Breeze restaurant is called Towson Circle II — though it's not widely known by that name.

Towson Square will feature a 16-screen, 3,200-seat Cinemark movie theater, five restaurants and an 862-space parking garage that will be funded, and operated, by the Baltimore County Revenue Authority.

The 4.2-acre development, which is flanked by East Joppa Road and Virginia and Pennsylvania avenues, will feature a one-way entrance off East Joppa Road, with four of the restaurants flanking the street that leads to a European-style fountain and the Cinemark theater at the end.

A fifth restaurant will be attached to the movie theater.

When the latest update on the project was announced in January, officials said the work would begin that quarter, but Gray said the companies have actually been targeting a summer groundbreaking and have remained on schedule for that.

"We're not far off at all," he said. "We'll be making additional tenant announcements as we get rolling with the construction. We're on schedule."

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