After three years of controversy, the Towson Commons mixed-use complex in Towson made its debut quietly yesterday, as a seafood restaurant opened its doors. Meanwhile, the project's developers continued to fight a weak market in trying to lease the eight stories of office space.
L&N; Seafood, a division of Mobile, Ala.-based Morrison Inc., opened a 162-seat restaurant that Morrison executives say will be ready to compete with local restaurants in a seafood-loving town.
"We want to be the seafood experts," said Peter J. Donovan, regional director for L&N;, a 10-year-old chain known for mesquite-grilling its fish. "We're an upscale yet casual seafood grill. We're certainly not white-tablecloth . . . but you probably won't come in straight off the tennis court either."
Gregory Arnold, vice president of LaSalle Partners, the developers of Towson Commons, said the development's grand opening will be next month, when General Cinema Corp. will open eight movie theaters at the site. The project's food court and retail shops will open then, too.
The restaurant is L&N;'s only Baltimore-area outlet. An L&N; restaurant at Owings Mills Town Center Mall closed last month. Towson Commons was proposed in 1989 after other developers tried unsuccessfully for years to put together financing and a plan for the site on York Road.