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About a year after a tornado touched down in Mount Airy, damaging Twin Arch Shopping Center, the T.J. Maxx store there is reopening.
About a year after a tornado touched down in Mount Airy, damaging Twin Arch Shopping Center, the T.J. Maxx store there is reopening. (Dylan Slagle/Carroll County Times)

About a year after a tornado touched down in Mount Airy, damaging a shopping center, two affected stores are preparing to reopen.

The T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods stores, which closed in Twin Arch Shopping Center after the Nov. 2, 2018, tornado, are scheduled to reopen Sunday, operating from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to the store’s website.

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Robyn Properties, a commercial real estate management company based in Ellicott City, manages the shopping center on Twin Arch Road off Ridge Road, or State Route 27. According to the property manager of Twin Arch, Kim Dorman, the tornado hit the rear, right corner of the center’s roof.

“We’ve replaced the roof and had to do a complete tear out of the inside due to the water damage,” she said.

Dorman could not give a specific cost of the damages to the stores, which are conjoined, or the merchandise inside, but she described the damage as “quite extensive" and noted it took the full year to repair. No other businesses reported damage, she said.

Robyn Properties also acquired another Mount Airy property recently.

Robyn Properties acquired Mount Airy Plaza in September, paying $4 million, according to state property records. The three-level center housing office, medical and retail tenants is located at the corner of S. Main Street and E. Ridgeville Boulevard.

Mt. Airy Plaza in Mount Airy, Maryland.
Mt. Airy Plaza in Mount Airy, Maryland. (Courtesy Photo)

The 34,000-square-foot building was about 60% occupied, according to Nicholas Pirone, founder and president of Robyn Properties. The company plans to upgrade the building and improve its occupancy, he said.

Robyn Properties plans to invest more than $1 million in property upgrades to “benefit existing tenants, including improvements to the building facade, parking lot and common areas,” it said in a news release.

Pirone said he saw Mount Airy Plaza as an opportunity to add value.

“I saw the opportunity because I buy value-added property, meaning I can buy property and create value by fixing it up, doing improvements and bringing new leases — bringing new tenants to the building, which in turn, brings a higher value," he said.

Pirone would like to bring in businesses that complement those already at the plaza. There are currently medical tenants, a real estate company and a dental office, as well as a nail salon coming soon, he said.

In leasing to more businesses, Pirone said Robyn Properties has increased the building’s occupancy to 80% in the past couple of months, he said.

“The ultimate goal is to be 100% leased and have a new building, a prominent building on a busy intersection that serves the community versus a vacant building that is aesthetically not pleasing to the community,” Pirone said.

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