The owners of Chatham Mall in Ellicott City are spending $2 million to renovate the 15-year-old shopping center that boasts a Caldor and K mart as anchor stores.
TTC The project, which involves interior and exterior changes, is being handled by Whiting Turner, the Baltimore-based contracting firm. Completion is set for November.
Part of the renovation involves enclosing the mall's central entryway, which was previously covered by a canopy. The new design calls for a 15-foot, glass-fronted structure that is expected to give the mall a brighter, more modern focal point.
"It's a good idea at about every eight to 10 years to take a good hard look at what you've got and make any necessary changes or renovation," said Michele Ryan, executive vice president of Resource Realty Co., part-owners of the mall.
"If we can't offer the shopper convenience, and we can't offer the tenant an updated look, we'll lose market," Ryan continued.
Besides the new entry, the exterior of the mall will receive a new facade, which includes brick and stucco. Entrance-way signs will also be updated.
The interior of the mall is being redesigned to accommodate new tenants and current tenants who are expanding.
Highland Associates, a Clarks Summit, Pa., architectural firm, designed the project.
World of Shoes and Computer Hut have signed new leases. Radio Shack and Jo Ann Fabrics and Crafts are both expanding.
Some of the mall's current tenants are Newscenter, U.S. Cleaners, South Pacific Restaurant, Raabe's Paint Center and Goodyear Tire and Auto.
In addition, Chatham Mall has several free-standing stores, including a Giant Food, Signet Bank and Hardee's.
Ryan said that despite the recession, the mall has weathered well because of the major tenants it has.
"We sit in a very good position," she said. "We have one of the best Giants in the Baltimore area and . . . top producing K mart and Caldor [stores]. Having those three is a definite plus."
The following real estate transactions were reported by W.CPinkard & Co.:
* Wells Alumination Corp. has leased 8,100 square feet at the Cromwell Center in Towson for its headquarters. The landlord is Minebank Partnership. W.C. Pinkard negotiated the transaction.
* Proceres, a construction company, has leased 8,100 square feet at 8520 Corridor Road in Savage. The landlord is Creaney & Smith Developers. W.C. Pinkard negotiated the transaction.
* G.B.K. Inc., a prescription mail order company, has leased 6,400 square feet of space at 11460 Cronridge Drive in Catonsville. W.C. Pinkard represented the tenant and Continental Realty represented the landlord, Continental Properties.
* Psychiatrist Fred S. Berlin has leased 5,000 square feet at 104 E. Biddle Street in Baltimore. The landlord is Mount Vernon Heights Associates. W.C. Pinkard negotiated the transaction.
* Progressive Casualty Insurance Co. has leased 4,000 square ++ feet at Security Office Park in Woodlawn. The landlord is South Charles Street Realty Corp. W.C. Pinkard negotiated the transaction.
* Chase Bank of Maryland has renewed its lease of 3,300 square feet at the B&O; Building in Baltimore. The landlord is Baltimore Charles Associates. W.C. Pinkard negotiated the transaction.