Business, Politics

Baltimore County to acquire additional 12-acre site at Security Square for $6.85 million [VIDEO]

WINDSOR MILL, MD—County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Wednesday afternoon announced that Baltimore County will acquire a new 12-acre parcel at Security Square for $6.85 million. In combination with the prior acquisition of the former Sears site, Baltimore County will now own over one-third of the overall site at Security Square, which officials say will help support a coordinated, long-term vision for the site’s redevelopment.

“With this strategic purchase, Baltimore County is even better positioned to support a coordinated, long-term vision for the revitalization of the Security Square area,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “We believe this site can once again become an economic gem, providing a better quality of life and sense of community for our hardworking residents.”

This new parcel will be acquired from property owner Helmsman Property Services, Inc., leveraging $6.85 million in State and County capital funds.

“Security Square’s redevelopment is essential to our neighborhood, and the county’s acquisition of the site shows a long-term commitment to ensuring this gets done,” said House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones. “I look forward to the site’s transformation and applaud the County’s commitment to a community-focused approach to this project.”

Built in the 1970s, Security Square Mall has been occupied by a mix of regional and national stores. However, as major tenants such as JC Penney, Bennigan’s, International House of Pancakes (IHOP), and Sears have shuttered and remained vacant, the site has declined and remains underutilized. Currently, more than 20 percent of the one million gross square feet of built space on the site is vacant.

Surrounding communities have long sought revitalization; however, potential solutions have been complex as the approximately 90-acre site has multiple property owners with tenants offering disparate uses, including the Security Mall site, a Macy’s department store, an AMC movie theatre, the North American Trade School drivers’ academy, the Set the Captives Free Outreach, Worship and Education (OWE) Center, and the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services’ Woodlawn Health Center.

Starting last year Olszewski and Maryland Speaker of the House Adrienne A. Jones renewed efforts at the location, starting with jointly announcing $10 million in capital investments from the state and county for the Security Square site.

In August 2022, Olszewski announced the acquisition of the 202,653 square-foot former Sears building, which is directly connected to the mall.

Earlier this year, Baltimore County and the State of Maryland committed another $10 million in State and County capital funds to help this site meets its potential.

With this second property acquisition announced on Wednesday, Baltimore County will now own over a third of the overall site, which will support ongoing efforts to help guide the future of the Security Square site along with residents, community members and stakeholders.

“With this acquisition, Baltimore County is making another critical investment in the economic growth and quality of life in western Baltimore County. I am thrilled to see continued progress at this site and look forward to seeing a community-driven vision come to life at this once-vibrant community hub,” said Baltimore County Council Chairman Julian Jones. “Thank you to Speaker Adrienne Jones and County Executive Johnny Olszewski for continuing to invest in this important community anchor. Together, we will continue working to drive progress across Baltimore County.”

“Baltimore County’s continued investment in revitalizing Security Square Mall is yet another example of our commitment to this essential economic and community hub in southwestern Baltimore County,” said Baltimore County Councilman Pat Young. “This acquisition brings Baltimore County another step closer to taking this community-driven effort from vision to reality at Security Square Mall. I look forward to continuing to work with County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Speaker Adrienne Jones, and our community partners to continue revitalizing Security Square Mall and southwestern Baltimore County.”

The County’s planned purchase of this additional parcel is subject to approval by the County Council.

More in the video below.

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