Business, Politics

Baltimore County releases ‘Reimagine Security Square’ report outlining long-term, community-driven roadmap for future of site

WINDSOR MILL, MD—Baltimore County today released the “Reimagine Security Square” final report outlining a long-term, community-driven roadmap for the site’s redevelopment.

This new report, released in partnership with JMT, Ayers Saint Gross, and Landwise Advisors, comes following an extensive community-design charrette process and proposes a holistic and aspirational vision for the future of the Security Square site.

“In alignment with our residents’ goals and desires, this report presents a long-term vision for Security Square to provide a safe, vibrant, and walkable regional anchor for residents of all ages,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said. “Fully realizing this framework for the future will take sustained effort, dedication, and funding. Baltimore County has already taken a number of important steps and remains committed to working in collaboration with all business, community, and government partners to continuing making progress in the years ahead.”

Security Square Mall was built in the 1970s and has been occupied by regional and national stores. However, in recent decades, as major tenants have shuttered and remained vacant, the site has declined and remains underutilized. Currently, over 20 percent of the 1-million 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.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski and Maryland Speaker of the House Adrienne A. Jones have led renewed efforts to jumpstart redevelopment at the location, jointly announcing a combined $30 million in capital investments from the State and County for the site. Leveraging this funding, Baltimore County acquired the former Sears building in 2022 and, earlier this month, announced plans to acquire another 12 acre parcel at Security Square — granting the County ownership of more than one third of the overall site.

Recognizing that the success of the site is vital to the overall health and wellbeing of the surrounding neighborhoods, last fall the Olszewski administration embarked on a process to engage community members in a process to reimagine Security Square into a more vibrant and community-focused anchor.

In partnership with JMT, Ayers Saint Gross, and Landwise Advisors, Baltimore County, hosted a dozen meetings — which were attended by over 1,000 residents — and provided additional public input opportunities for residents to offer their ideas for the entire property.

The final “Reimagine Security Square” report released this week summarizes the Security Square’s existing conditions and challenges, provides a 10-year market analysis to assess the site’s potential, recaps the robust community engagement process, and shares a vision for the future of the site.

The community’s holistic vision for the redevelopment at the site is a long-term framework that focuses on three core design elements:

  1. A greenway network of outdoor amenities that could provide spaces for people to walk and bike, as well as potential fields, public gardens, and other passive activities;
  2. Mixed-use opportunities that could include residential, workspaces, and expanded restaurant and retail offerings; and
  3. Entertainment and activity centers, including potential event spaces, recreational facilities and other potential community-focused uses.

This aspirational plan is intended to be a flexible framework using timeless design principles to ensure effective neighborhood design as this vision comes to life.

The first phase of future redevelopment will focus on infrastructure improvements and improving the visual aesthetics of the site, laying the groundwork for further development opportunities in future years.

As with any development plan, many external forces such as financing, demand, owner interests, community needs, and more may change over time.

“We are very excited to have the final charrette for reimagining the security mall property. We believe this report captures the community’s vision and desires for the future of the property and thank JMT and Ayers Saint Gross for their work with and for the County,” said Baltimore County Director of Planning Steve Lafferty. “This report provides us with a sound direction for redeveloping this important property in Woodlawn.”

The full report is available online here (PDF).

Please follow and like us: