“Grand Theft Retail”

An ordinary big box strip center on the Owings Mills Mall property?

Anchored by a Walmart Supercenter – that will close the Supercenter on Liberty Road and the Walmart/Sam’s Club on Reisterstown Road? Both of them.

Nicer brick maybe and some extra trees and bushes here and there in the huge parking lot? Sure, but it will still be a big box strip center. (The country adage about putting lipstick on a pig comes to mind.)

A strip center that succeeds only by stealing stores and customers from other centers nearby? That’s not development. Real development is way more imaginative, creating substantial net benefits for families and businesses throughout the community.

“Grand Theft Retail”?
Is this the best that Kimco can do?


Just to be clear, we don’t think Kimco is in any way dishonest or disreputable. Far from it. We think it’s a standup, highly successful and justifiably respectable company just doing what it does best. Unfortunately, what it does best is build strip centers – and the people of Baltimore County’s District 4 deserve better. They deserve a redevelopment plan that allows Kimco’s Owings Mills Mall property to realize its full potential for the greater community – and, quite probably, for Kimco as well.

Is the success of Kimco’s big box strip center on its Mall property going to come at the expense of businesses throughout the market? Absolutely. Will it result in the closure of the Walmart Supercenter on Liberty Road and the Walmart on Reisterstown Road? Count on it. Walmart is closing stores all over the country. Replacing two stores with one really big one is their corporate strategy.

So, is all this Kimco’s fault? Of course it is, because Kimco has options. It’s just that someone – notably Councilman Julian Jones, also a good guy – needs highly vocal public support to insist that Kimco consider other redevelopment options.

No one’s suggesting that Kimco not make profits, even impressive profits from the redevelopment of its Mall property. We just think… No.  We’re certain that there are more creative development plans, the success of which doesn’t come at the expense of established businesses, jobs and property taxes for infrastructure and services that are better spent elsewhere.

What do you think should go on the Mall property?

Maybe a mixed use, “Main Street” village with interesting shops and restaurants surrounded by offices and apartments? How about a major, indoor concert/sports/community center? (Something like the Verizon Center in Washington?) Or maybe a mixed use corporate campus generating jobs and even more business from which everyone can benefit? And we’re sure you have a suggestion or two of your own that we’d like Councilman Jones, Kimco and others to hear and think about.

Most importantly, we need to buy the time you and other people need to make your suggestions and work with Kimco to come up with a new plan that makes more sense.

That’s what our petition for District 4 Councilman Julian Jones is all about. That’s right. We have a petition we’d like you to read and, if you agree, sign in support of the Councilman’s efforts.

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Thanks for letting us know what you think and for considering our petition for Councilman Jones. The redevelopment of the Owings Mills Mall property is about much more than what’s best for Kimco stock prices. It’s about the people and established businesses of Councilman Jones’ District 4 and the greater Baltimore County community of which it is a part.

Thank you. We’re Baltimore Rising, an independent, non-profit organization “Working to create jobs and increase family income through all-inclusive economic development throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area.”

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