Retail Properties of America is under contract to purchase Towson Square from Cordish Cos. for $40.5 million.
The development was completed in 2014 and is anchored by a 15-screen Cinemark Theatre and by restaurants that include Bobby’s Burger Palace and Bonefish Grill. The retail center is currently 96 percent occupied, according to Retail Properties of America’s third quarter investor’s report.
This move comes after it was revealed at the end of 2014 that the Illinois-based developer was interested in redeveloping its Towson Circle project, which is near Towson Square. At that time Retail Properties of America’s CEO Steve Grimes said during an earnings call that the company was interested in redeveloping the property to include 400 residential units, a hotel and street-level retail that was better accessible.
In an emailed statement Wednesday the company said it views the acquisition of Towson Square as benefit to any planned redevelopment of Towson Circle, which is anchored by Trader Joe’s as well as Barnes & Noble.
“Towson Square is anchored by a newly constructed, 15-screen Cinemark Theatre and also includes several national and regional restaurants that we believe are beneficial to the redevelopment and overall environment as we explore our redevelopment plan at Towson Circle. This acquisition underscores the benefits of owning and controlling strong, adjacent real estate and provides us with unique integration opportunities long term,” according to the company.
The company has declined to discuss any further details about the project publicly. But in July Councilman David Marks, who represents the Towson area, said he had been briefed on plans for Towson Circle.
At that time Marks said the construction work at Towson Circle could begin as early as late 2017. He also said the version of the project he had been briefed on no longer included a hotel and emphasized residential units.
In recent years Towson has become a hotbed of investment. Projects like the mixed-use Towson Row, which is under construction, are aimed at bringing a denser, more urban style of development to the suburban county seat.
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has previously said, only partially joking, that the development model for Towson is Bethesda. In fact Kamenetz was so adamant about that model of development that members of The Cordish Cos. development team visited Bethesda and designed Towson Square to reflect what they found in the Washington suburb.
“We took the county executive’s vision literally,” Taylor Gray, development director of The Cordish Cos., said in 2014.