Shake Shack is the first of 21 potential retail and restaurant shops to sign on as a tenant at Circle East in downtown Towson.

The burger and milkshake shop will be located in a 3,200-square-foot space in the mixed-use development at the intersection of York and Joppa roads.


The retail portion of the $30 million Circle East project is expected to open in late 2020, according to the project’s developer Retail Properties of America Inc., or RPAI.

“We are excited to add the first Shake Shack to the Baltimore suburbs,” said Greg Goldberg, vice president of leasing for RPAI’s eastern division, in a prepared statement.

The closest Shake Shack to Towson is on Pratt Street in Baltimore. The chain’s other Maryland locations include The Mall in Columbia, M&T Bank Stadium and the MGM National Harbor Casino.

Goldberg said the quick service restaurant, which specializes in beef burgers, chicken sandwiches and frozen custard, will be favored by “a market comprised of young, affluent and educated shoppers” in the area.

He added Circle East will “continue to attract both national and local retailers, services and restaurants … that will deliver a true ‘main street’ to Towson.”

An RPAI representative could not immediately be reached for further comment.

The Circle East development includes retail and residential components, with approximately 370 apartment units being constructed across Joppa Road, managed by Virginia-based AvalonBay Communities. Residential move-ins are expected to begin in the first half of 2020.

Circle East broke ground in 2017, replacing the former Towson Circle, which housed a Trader Joe’s and Barnes and Noble. The new building includes 240,000 square feet of retail space.

As part of the overall Circle East project, RPAI also plans to redevelop the old Hutzler’s building south of Joppa Road and west of York Road. Fourteen retail spots are planned there. The development firm also plans to open outdoor patio space on Shealy Drive.