Owings Mills Wegmans developers say project on track

Developers of the Foundry Row retail project in Owings Mills say they are on track to start construction this summer on a $140 million shopping center featuring Baltimore County's second Wegmans grocery store.

In an opinion issued this week, the county Board of Appeals upheld an administrative law judge's earlier decision to approve the development at the site of the former Solo Cup plant on Reisterstown Road. And Thursday, officials at Greenberg Gibbons, the center developer, said their company has settled a lawsuit that Solo Cup filed against it involving damage to energy plant equipment on the 50-acre property.

"We are pleased to have come to a resolution on this issue," said Brian Gibbons, Greenberg Gibbons' chairman and CEO, in a statement. "Our schedule for Foundry Row ... remains on track and we're receiving tremendous interest from potential tenants."

The development is set to include a gym, restaurants, stores and offices. Greenberg Gibbons hopes to break ground in August, said Tom Fitzpatrick, the company's president and chief operating officer, adding that more than 75 percent of the space is either leased or under negotiation.

The company expects Foundry Row to open by early 2016.

The project was a target of an unsuccessful referendum drive funded by other developers that sought to overturn the county's zoning maps. The Board of Appeals decision came after companies with ties to David S. Brown Enterprises and the Cordish Cos. appealed an administrative law judge's decision approving the project. Attorneys for the companies did not return calls seeking comment Thursday.

In the appeal, opponents raised more than a dozen objections to the development, including alleged flaws with a traffic impact study. The Board of Appeals, though, determined the development plans satisfied county regulations.

County Councilwoman Vicki Almond, who supported rezoning the land in 2012 to make way for Foundry Row, said she believes the project will benefit the community.

"It's been such a long time since Owings Mills had any real retail in the center because the mall has not been good for years," the Reisterstown Democrat said, referring to the Owings Mills Mall. "So I think this is really going to give a boost to Owings Mills."

Some residents have raised concerns about traffic that could result from the Wegmans. Almond said Greenberg Gibbons would be "held accountable" during the permit process to ensure local roads aren't overburdened.

"Yes, there's going to be traffic, but I think ... in any place that people want to go to, you're going to have some traffic," Almond said. "But I really think we're going to be able to handle it."



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