Company planning to buy closed Arundel mall


An Atlanta company with deep roots in retail development, including a long list of projects with Wal-Mart, is poised to purchase the shuttered Parole Plaza, an eyesore that has annoyed Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens and residents for years.

County officials confirmed yesterday that representatives of Jacoby Development Inc. have signed a purchase agreement with Carl Freedman, a Cherry Hill, N.J., developer whose family has owned the site since 1958, and whose plans for a $250 million makeover have been stalled for nearly a decade.

"Both sides have worked hard to get the deal done," William A. Badger Jr., president and chief executive officer of Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp., said yesterday. "I think it will be a matter of weeks before it's finalized."

How much the Jacoby group will pay for the land was unclear yesterday.

A source familiar with the real-estate deal added that Jacoby executives will take advantage of a 30-day "due-diligence" period to survey the mall site - wedged between Route 2 and Riva Road near Annapolis - and review existing development standards.

Jacoby officials, who were en route to Atlanta from Annapolis yesterday evening, could not be reached for comment.

Freedman also was unavailable for comment.

County officials, who were only vaguely aware of the purchase agreement details, were hopeful that the deal would go forward. They said Jacoby Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James F. Jacoby has been eyeing the property for more than five years.

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