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A contruction crew works at the site of the Eldersburg Commons shopping center Tuesday, Jan. 13.
A contruction crew works at the site of the Eldersburg Commons shopping center Tuesday, Jan. 13. (DAVE MUNCH/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

The shopping center being built on the former site of the Carrolltown Mall in Eldersburg is slated to open this fall, with a grand opening celebration scheduled for Oct. 15.

Black Oak Associates, a regional private development company that owns several properties in Carroll County announced that construction on the buildings at Eldersburg Commons began Thursday.

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"The foundations are being poured as we speak," said Dixon Harvey, founder and partner of Black Oak.

Harvey said Black Oak's contractor, Glen Arm Building Co., of Towson, has begun construction of the building that will house T.J. Maxx and Petco, and they will be keeping pace with Irwin & Leighton, the construction company that is building the future home of the Wal-Mart Supercenter, which will anchor the center.

Infrastructure work on the site, which is situated near the intersection of Liberty and Ridge roads in Eldersburg, began last year and is about 50 percent complete. The work consisted of installing utilities, such as water, sewer and a stormwater drainage system, Harvey said. Once it was completed, crews began grading the pad sites to prepare for building foundations, he said.

"We are very excited to be in the final stages of the project as we complete leasing and go vertical," Harvey said in a prepared news release.

In addition to Wal-Mart, T.J. Maxx and Petco, the site will also be the home of an AT&T store and quick-service eateries Chipotle and Noodles & Co. These six businesses, along with three others that were not identified in the news release, will comprise 85 percent of the site, Harvey said. Black Oak has another 10 open leases it is still trying to fill, he said.

"We are trying to work out the best merchandising mix," Harvey said.

Most of these last 10 tenants will be located adjacent to Wal-Mart along West Hemlock Road, he said.

When completed, the development will take up roughly 290,000 square feet, with the Wal-Mart Supercenter taking up 189,000 square feet. Its projected cost is $50 million.

The site was originally purchased by Black Oak Associates in 1991. The firm worked to redevelop the land as a mall.

Though the company had some financial success for a time, Harvey said, it sold the property in 1998. Harvey said Black Oak's proximity to Eldersburg — the developer is based in Owings Mills —enabled the firm's managers to keep a close eye on the site and the economic situation in the area. They had remained interested in the property, and in 2004 they repurchased it with the idea of redeveloping it.

"We have been working on this for a while, so it's exciting that it is almost finished," Harvey said.

Reach staff writer Wiley Hayes at 410-857-3315 or wiley.hayes@carrollcountytimes.com.

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