By Kevin McManus, WFMD Radio
Monday, June 20, 2015
Merchants and business people along the Golden Mile are excited about what will be taking place at the site of the now-closed Frederick Towne Mall. The developers of the site are not only planning to build a 155,000 square-foot Wal Mart, but also 40,000 square feet of retail space around the department store.
Justin Kiska, the President of the Golden Mile Alliance, says that 40,000 square feet includes 16 spaces for retail outlets and offices. There will also be two PAD sites for restaurants. “It is going to bring a new fresh look to the Golden Mile, and especially to a property that has pretty much fallen apart over the past several years,” he says.
The project, which consist of four buildings, will be known as the Frederick Towne Center. The former Frederick Towne Mall will be demolished with the exception of Boscov’s and Home Depot.
Kiska says one exciting facet of this project is the two, 6,000 square foot PAD sites that could be used for restaurants. “I know that companies like Chipotle and Panera, they tend to look at areas right around major hubs like this. But the good thing we could also see brand new restaurants or brand new shops like there are along Shab Row in downtown Frederick,” he says.
He says Gary Brooks, the owner of Barley and Hops on Urbana Pike, is considering opening a second restaurant in Frederick and it could be located at Frederick Towne Center.
While many believe the Golden Mile has lost some of its luster, Kiska says it’s still very vibrant. He says it’s estimated that 50,000 travel down West Patrick Street each day, and this shopping center could give that area an economic shot in the arm. “The merchants, the business owners, they all realize that this is going to increase the traffic along Route 40. As in traffic I mean people coming to shop, to dine, looking for services,” says Kiska.
“This is actually going to be that visual symbol that the Golden Mile is alive, is vibrant, is revitalizing,” he says.
By Nancy Lavin, The Frederick News-Post
Monday, July 20, 2015
Developers behind a project to bring a shopping center to the former Frederick Towne Mall site are looking for commercial tenants to fill a 40,000-square-foot building included in the plans. Property owner Rockwood Capital recently published a leasing brochure for the 16 spaces it hopes to fill with stores, restaurants and other businesses.
The four-building project known as the Frederick Towne Center will also include a 155,000-square-foot Wal-Mart and two smaller lots. The long-vacant mall will be demolished except for Boscov’s and Home Depot.
Since the planning commission approved the final site plans in October 2014, the developer has been working to finalize the necessary easements, approvals and permits with various state agencies, a process nearing completion according to Adam Greenberg, the Mid-Atlantic director of leasing for the project developer, DLC Management Corp.
Greenberg said construction on the project is slated to begin in the fall, with early 2017 as the target opening date.
Architectural renderings in the leasing brochure depict a one-story building with room for 16 individual businesses or commercial spaces, which will range from 1,200 to more than 5,000 square feet, according to Greenberg. The exact specifications and aesthetics of the building may change slightly, he said.
Justin Kiska, president of the Golden Mile Alliance, praised the design as a superior replacement to the vacant, crumbling structure that has sat abandoned on the site for years.
“I think it looks fantastic,” he said. “It’s a totally different look and feel than what most people think of for the Golden Mile.”
As of early July, Greenberg said the rental prices for the spaces had not been determined, but would vary depending on the size and location of each site in the building. Although no offers had been submitted, he said the developer received several letters of interest in recent months from potential tenants.
“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” he said. “There’s clearly a demand from the community for more high-quality dining and shopping space.”
The flexibility the new shopping center building provides will allow for “anything and everything” in terms of commercial tenants, according to Kiska.
Although he acknowledged that national chains such as Chipotle or Panera Bread will likely be among those eyeing the site with interest to lease, he said it also makes way for “the possibility of new independent shops we don’t even know about yet.”
Gary Brooks, owner of Barley and Hops Grill & Microbrewery on Urbana Pike, said he was exploring the possibility of opening a second business in one of the 16 small storefronts or one of the two separate, individual lots.
Brooks said he was discussing details of a lease with Greenberg. Although details have not been ironed out, Brooks said the new business would be another restaurant, but not a brewery, since he can hold only one brewer’s license in the state.
Regardless of who leases the storefronts, the prospect of beginning construction is welcomed after years of public hearings, architectural renderings, debate and discussion.
“For the last three years, it’s been, this is what’s going to happen. Now, it’s actually happening,” Kiska said.
Greenberg agreed, characterizing the project as “unlike anything that currently exists on the Golden Mile.”