ELDERSBURG -- With few stores remaining in the aging Carrolltown Center, owners of the mall announced Monday that they are planning a $50 million renovation of the facility beginning in the fall.
The renovation will consist of the complete destruction of the largely vacant Eldersburg shopping center and construction of eight new buildings with about 20 merchants in them, according to Dixon Harvey, president of Black Oak Associates, owners of the mall. Harvey made the announcement about the new "Eldersburg Commons" to a crowd of more than 200 Eldersburg residents at the Sykesville-Freedom Fire Hall.
"There are a number of leading retailers that want to be in Eldersburg," Harvey said. "Those retailers will come here for the right project and the Eldersburg Commons is the right project."
The new shopping center will be anchored by a Walmart Supercenter. Harvey said the Walmart at Md. 26 and 32 would move to Eldersburg Commons and be upgraded to a Supercenter.
Several residents expressed concern that a Walmart Supercenter would not be a great fit for the new shopping center. Harvey emphasized the importance of having the major retailer at Eldersburg Commons and the effect it would have on encouraging other businesses to locate there.
"Walmart is what makes this whole thing happen," Harvey said.
Aside from the Walmart Supercenter, Harvey said he is working to have national, regional and local retailers locate in the new shopping center. Harvey said the retailers could include a new movie theater, beauty and home goods store, a pet store and clothing store.
Black Oak Associates is also planning on having five or six restaurants at Eldersburg Commons. After initial conversations with eateries, Harvey said the new shopping center could have Mexican, Asian and Italian restaurants as well as a steak house there. The plans would leave enough room for the restaurants to offer outdoor dinning, Harvey said.
All of the restaurants and buildings would be connected by crosswalks, he said. The retail and restaurant space would total approximately 290,000-square-feet. The Eldersburg Commons would have a much more inviting, friendlier atmosphere compared to the current facility, Harvey said.
The Carrolltown Center, often called the Carrolltown Mall, is one of the worst-looking facilities in the area and has sat idle for far too long, said Commissioner Doug Howard, R-District 5. Redeveloping the property would be a major step forward to revitalizing the Eldersburg area, he said.
"I think it'll revitalize the eastern part of Liberty Road down toward the reservoir," said Howard, who organized the town hall meeting Monday
Property manager Ray Keil said the only businesses that would remain in Carrolltown Mall are Wendy's, Bank of American and Denny's, which are all located at the edges of the 30-acre property. KLNB Retail, out of Towson, will manage the project leasing.
Harvey said Black Oak submitted its development plans to the county Monday. Depending on how quickly the plans are approved, Harvey said construction could begin as early as the fall and wrap up in spring 2015.
News Story Provided by Carroll County Times