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Black Oak marks completion of $60 million Eldersburg Commons

Black Oak marks completion of $60 million Eldersburg Commons
R. Dixon Harvey, State Del. Susan Krebs and Carroll County Commissioner Doug Howard at Thursday's formal completion of the Eldersburg Commons project, which redeveloped the former Carrolltown Center. (Submitted)

More than 10 years after purchasing the aging Carrolltown Center in Eldersburg with an eye toward redevelopment, officials at Black Oak Associates on Thursday marked the formal completion of the $60 million Eldersburg Commons retail center that took its place.

The former enclosed mall has been redeveloped with 275,000 square feet of retail space, anchored by a 190,000-square-foot Walmart Supercenter, which opened late last year, as well as free-standing retail buildings and pad sites with tenants including AT&T, Chipotle, PETCO, Sleepy's and TJ Maxx.

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Black Oak initially purchased Carrolltown in 1993, sold it in 1999 then bought it back in 2004. The company closed the mall interior in 2005 and announced plans to turn it into an open-air plaza.

The redevelopment hit snags over years, including negotiations with Sears Holdings – which operated a Kmart at the center and held a long-term lease. Once the Kmart closed in 2012 as part of a corporate restructuring, it opened the door for Eldersburg Commons to advance.

R. Dixon Harvey Jr., partner at Black Oak Associates, said a ribbon-cutting Thursday celebrated the team approach – and the patience – exhibited by Eldersburg residents, county officials and the company.

He also touted the project's sustainable approach -- some materials were reused from the Carrolltown demolition, he said, and the new center includes some rooftop solar panels and other environmental features.

Carroll County Commissioner Doug Howard, who represents Eldersburg, recalled the former mall's role as a community focal point, and said Eldersburg Commons has taken a similar approach. He noted the center includes sidewalks and layout features that enhance connectivity to the adjacent Eldersburg Library, surrounding neighborhoods and other business properties.

Also attending was State Del. Susan Krebs, who presented Harvey with a legislative proclamation marking the center's formal completion.

Representatives of Black Oak said the center is nearly 100 percent occupied, with several new tenants including Hair Cuttery, Luxury Nails & Spa, Menchie's Frozen Yogurt and Sunny's Fine Wines & Liquors opening soon.

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