Nottingham Square, considered one of the last and best commercial real estate centers available for development in White Marsh, has snared its fourth "big box retailer" -- Service Merchandise -- and is negotiating with a fifth major merchandiser, according to officials involved with the new development.
Through brokers KLNB Inc., Nottingham Square shopping center, on Campbell Boulevard just east of Interstate 95, has already lined up:
* Best Buy, a Minnesota-based consumer electronics giant, the first to open about three weeks ago, with a 62,000-square-foot store.
* Dick's Clothing & Sporting Goods, a fast-growing Pennsylvania chain, which is to debut about 55,000 square feet of retail space with a test-run today and a grand opening Friday.
* Target, the nation's third-largest discount chain, with headquarters in Minnesota, which is under construction with a 125,000-square-foot store to open this summer.
Service Merchandise, a Tennessee-based catalog chain selling everything from diamonds to small appliances, has committed to open a 50,000-square-foot store next summer at Nottingham.
The target audience: up to 750,000 potential shoppers within a 20-minute commute.
"That's powerful demographics," said P. Douglas Dollenberg, president and chief executive officer of Nottingham Properties Inc., known as the master developers of White Marsh, including Nottingham Square.
"Big box retailer" describes a cavernous, "warehouse" type of operation of 50,000 to 100,000 square feet or more.
Nottingham has yet to close a deal on a fifth and final warehouse-style retailer on a 5.8-acre site that can accommodate up to 60,000 square feet. But Mr. Dollenberg said that within the next 30 days, the developer could land a retailer dealing in anything "from bricks and mortar to towels."
In selling parcels to the other four retailers, according to public documents, Nottingham received an average of about $435,000 per acre, or $10 per square foot, a rate consistent with similar retail land transactions in Baltimore.
"We're meeting the demands of retailers on the northeast side of Baltimore," said Thomas H. Maddux, one of the lead KLNB brokers working on the Nottingham Square project.
The developer also is looking to lease parcels in the front of the center for a service station, fast food restaurant, branch bank and other small retailers, ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 square feet.
Once retailers lock up all the sites at Nottingham Square, White Marsh will be left with only about 10 acres to 15 acres of zoned commercial land for development, Mr. Dollenberg said.
By the end of next year, the developer expects to have in place a ramp off White Marsh Boulevard onto Philadelphia Road to feed into the center. For the time being, shoppers will take the White Marsh Boulevard exit off Interstate 95, turn left on Honeygo Boulevard, then make another left onto Campbell Boulevard.