More than three years since it closed in late 2017, the former Target in Mondawmin Mall will soon be given new life by Whiting-Turner president and CEO Timothy Regan, who officially purchased the building for $1 million on Tuesday.
Regan is a longtime supporter of the Mondawmin community, which is composed of eight West Baltimore neighborhoods, having previously co-founded TouchPoint Baltimore, a community center in the Mondawmin Mall. The facility houses two local nonprofits: Thread, which coaches and supports high-need high school students, and Baltimore Corps, which works to advance social innovation in the city. It also partners with the nearby Center For Urban Families.
Regan founded TouchPoint alongside Exelon Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Calvin Butler in 2015.
Plans for the new facility, which will be called the TouchPoint Empowerment Center, have not yet been decided; Regan plans to work with Greater Mondawmin Coordinating Council, a group of eight individuals who represent each of the neighborhoods that make up Mondawmin, to decide what the 127,000-square-foot space will be used for.
Possibilities include retail space for local entrepreneurs, an expanded TouchPoint facility, workforce readiness programming delivered in collaboration with the Center For Urban Families, an events space, a teaching kitchen or a new Whiting-Turner office location.
“Collectively, TouchPoint and the community will explore options that will create new economic opportunities for local residents, provide a range of in-demand services and position the community for ongoing growth,” Regan told The Daily Record in an email. “The focus will be on opportunities that have the greatest potential to make both immediate and lasting impacts on the community.”
Though Regan is not a native of the Mondawmin community — he originally hails from Gardenville in Northeast Baltimore — he said he wants to develop Mondawmin Mall because thousands of people pass through the area each day, making it an ideal location for a community hub.
“I believe strongly that investment in underserved communities can have a meaningful impact on those who reside there. The Mondawmin Mall touches thousands of people every day and is therefore an ideal location to develop a platform where members of the community can launch businesses, organizations, programs and collaborations to realize the vision they have for their neighborhoods,” he said. “The mall’s standing as a longtime business and community hub uniquely positions it as an anchor for future development and larger economic growth throughout West Baltimore. We believe this essential investment will demonstrate the value of others to make additional and complementary investments in the area over time.”
The announcement comes following years of decline for the mall, which was once a high-priority area of development for the city; in 2006, then-owner General Growth Properties Inc. put $70 million into renovating the facility (GGP was acquired in 2018 by Brookfield Properties, which is best known in Baltimore as the owner of the The Gallery mall in the Inner Harbor).
Throughout the years, various ideas for revitalizing the mall have been posited, such as former Mayor Catherine Pugh’s 2017 call for Goldman Sachs to fund a movie theatre in the area, but none have come to fruition.
In a news release, Adeline Hutchinson, president of the Greater Mondawmin Coordinating Council, praised Regan’s plan to revitalize the long-vacant Target.
“Tim has long been a valued and highly involved community partner, and I couldn’t be more pleased to expand our collaboration,” she said. “Today’s announcement represents a critical investment in our neighborhood and resolves widely held concerns about the future of a prominent local landmark that has sat empty for years. Tim’s ongoing commitment to Mondawmin and our neighbors speaks to his belief in the area’s potential for continued growth. This will be a transformational project for West Baltimore.”
The redevelopment of the site is expected to be a multimillion-dollar endeavor, and Regan is currently the sole investor. However, he said, the team plans to “evaluate various options to maximize the site’s impact” as the redevelopment gets underway.
Work is expected to begin on the redevelopment as quickly as possible, with the goal of opening the facility within the year.