Bel Air Town Center, which will soon be home to Maryland's first drive-through only Starbucks, recently got a facelift. The 93,000-square-foot neighborhood shopping destination, at the intersection of Routes 1 and 24, has undergone a $1 million renovation and improvement program.
Owners Christopher Kurz and Peter McGill of McGill Development Limited Partnership No.3 sought to provide a more colorful, Main Street village appearance and make the Center more user-friendly for customers and tenants.
Façade changes include adding decorative stonework to columns, installing fabric awnings over several spaces and widening the sidewalk to accommodate outdoor seating with umbrella tables by the center's restaurants and food tenants.
The improvements also include new merchant signs under the roof canopy, a lighting upgrade, new flower beds along the expanded sidewalks and additional landscaping.
"This redo of Bel Air Town Center represents a strategic decision not only to improve the facade of this center, but in the long run, to enhance the landscape of this city center tract and to attract the type of tenants and retails specialists that the Bel Air community and government want to have in their neighborhood," Trish Heidenreich, director of economic development for the Town of Bel Air, said.
Heidenreich gave those remarks at an Oct. 2 luncheon for Harford County and Town of Bel Air officials to showcase the rejuvenated center. Additional VIPs in attendance included Harford County Executive David R. Craig, Robert J. Reier, Bel Air Town Commissioner, and James C. Richardson, director of Harford County Office of Economic Development.
Originally built in 1990 and expanded in 1998 and 2001, Bel Air Town Center was designed to cater to the smaller merchants. With a blend of local and national retailers and restaurants, it comprises 20 tenants: AAA, Bel Air Hair Salon, Chili's, C.R. Wings, FedEx Office, Golden Szechuan, Healthbridge, Lendmark Financial, Leslie's Pool Supplies, Liberatore's, Long and Foster Realtors, Only Nails, Open Door Café, Professional Vision, Spirit Halloween, T-Mobile, Taco Bell, Weight Watchers, Wireless Zone and Woodlea Bakery.
Starbuck's has signed a letter of intent with Bel Air Town Center to open its first drive-through only location in Maryland with no interior seating. It will feature a walk-up window and exterior seating.
"The 'Main & Main' location of Route 1 and Route 24 has always provided Bel Air Town Center tenants with the ability to reach a large market share of potential customers," Thomas L. Fidler Jr., senior vice president and principal of MacKenzie Retail LLC, which is handling the leasing of Bel Air Town Center, said.
"Its proximity to the core population base of Harford County has always offered the stability of continuous visibility and convenient access to Harford County residents," he added. "Now, the added aesthetic improvements will only enhance the success of the center and its tenants."