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Foundry Row Moving Forward As Possible Referendum Looms

Foundry Row developers updated the community on the project in a public concept meeting Thursday night.

As the Baltimore County Board of Elections nears a decision on whether or not to bring recent zoning changes to referendum, Foundry Row developers are moving full steam ahead.

“We believe we have every legal right – the county also believes we have every legal right – to process this plan,” said David Gildea, attorney for Foundry Row developer Greenberg Gibbons.

Foundry Row officials updated the community on its plans for the $140 million center in a community input meeting at New Town High School Thursday night. The Wegmans-anchored development is set to contain 420,000 total square feet of retail, restaurants and office space at the site of the vacant Solo Cup plant on Reisterstown Road.

Two groups backed by opposing developers have asking to bring the county’s rezoning decisions to referendum, very little time was spent on the issue at Thursday’s meeting. Those groups aim to overturn two zoning decisions, one being the Baltimore County Council rezoning The Solo Cup site from manufacturing to retail in August, making way for Foundry Row.

Shirley Supik, leader of the Say No To Solo Coalition, said Foundry Row officials can do and say what they want, but she believes the people have spoken out against the project via those signatures.

“As long as the people are not happy with it, then it cannot go forward," she said.

While the referendum has been the subject of heated debate among the communuity, it was discussed minimally at Thursday's meeting.

“People were interested in the actual project,” said Ruth Goldstein, president of the Greater Midfield Association, which represents homes in the Greenspring Valley.

Questions from the crowd focused on traffic, the mix of retailers and road improvements.

Mickey Cornelius of Baltimore-based The Traffic Group reviewed the $7 to $10 million in road improvements Greenberg Gibbons plans to make, which his study says will improve traffic conditions in the corridor.

Mike Pieranunzi, a landscape architect with Century Engineering who gave the main presentation, said the project will have about 90 more parking spaces than the county’s required 2,150.

Greenberg Gibbons CEO Brian Gibbons, who wanted the aerial view of the project to be more symmetrical, made a small tweak to the plan. He added a fourth story to the Foundry Building, the focal point of the project’s Main Street, by taking 20,000 square feet off of a retail building.

The Foundry Building, which was originally going to house a bottom floor of retail and two upper floors of office space, will now house three upper floors of office space, giving the project 60,000 square feet of office space and 360,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

In addition to Wegmans, Foundry Row will house a national fitness center, a national sporting good retailer and a national shoe retailer. Gibbons hopes to open the center by spring 2015.

As the referendum threatens to stop Foundry Row, Greenberg Gibbons has taken its own action with the county Board of Elections.

“We have filed an objection and I think it’s under consideration,” Gibbons said.

Cheryl Aaron, zoning committee chair at the Greater Greenspring Association, said the referendum going to ballot was set a “devastating” precedent for Baltimore County communities.

“There was nothing wrong with the [Comprehensive Zoning Map Process],” she said at Thursday’s meeting. “We’ve had more access than ever in this go-round.”

Sher Katz January 08, 2013 at 07:43 PM
or it will sit there and fester as an eye sore like many other parts of Owings Mills...
Ginger Reposado January 10, 2013 at 01:50 PM
I was one of the people that signed under false pretense at the Reisterstown Library. I was pretty pi**ed when I found out that I was duped into adding my signature to try to keep Wegmans out of the community. I love Wegmans, I travel to the location in HV for my major shopping. It would be nice to have one closer for those who enjoy shopping there but don't feel the trip/savings is worth it to travel to Hunt Valley. I do believe that if Owings Mills Mall were developed like Hunt Valley people would find a way to tolerate driving on 795 to get there, but that will never happen. I'm kinda sad I won't be here to see it come to fruition, I'll be moving to St. Thomas USVI in the summer. I hope they hire from within the community when they do open :)
Shirley Supik January 13, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Mr.ddbs00, Mr. Gibbons bought a manufacturing site. He did not buy a retail site and as long as Baltimore County does not rezone these 54 acres, it is not naive or misleading to believe that inovative manufacturing could come to that corner. In the past, as all our County Executives have stated, Baltimore County Manufacturing sites should be protected. This property is no different. Mrs. Bevins is saying developers are now running the show, but she should back up. That is what started it all, big developers like Brian Gibbons pushing something down the throats of the people and when the people spoke out, the Council ignored them and now Mrs. Bevins is once again trying to stop the voice of the people---Just let them vote. One last thing Mr. ddbs00. Everytime you insinuate that we dupped the signers, you make yourself look foolish. First, the people of Baltimore County are more intelligent than that and second, I think people would find it laughable to think we could have dupped 170,000 signers.
Shirley Supik January 13, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Browngirl, Do not worry. Those that need to be are engaged.
Shirley Supik January 13, 2013 at 06:00 PM
Sher Katz, If you don't like the vacancies, call Economic Development and hastle them. If you don't like Frank's sitting vacant, Call Rite Aid. They are the ones who have a binding contract for that property that Kimco can't get out of. Find out who the developer is who was supposed to work a large project across from Franks and is now stalled. Don't just sit on Patch and conplain.

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