The Towson Row project, which has left a 5-acre vacant hole in downtown Towson for the past year and a half, is back on track, says developer Caves Valley Partners. They say they are downscaling the project — a blend of apartments, a hotel, office and retail space — and partnering with Greenberg Gibbons.
“Based on my experience with The Shops at Kenilworth, also developed by Greenberg Gibbons, the community should expect a much stronger dialogue about the future of Towson Row,” Councilman David Marks said in an email today. “In my conversation this morning, I confirmed that the southern side of Chesapeake Avenue will be reopened to pedestrian activity promptly.”
Whole Foods’ lease is still valid for the project, Brian Gibbons, chairman of Greenberg Gibbons, said in an interview. However, he said, it is contingent upon the grocer approving of the revised parking-garage plan. Caves Valley had planned to put an underground garage at the site, but later discovered a rock layer that made that impossible.
Gibbons said the new above-ground garage will hold about the same number of cars as the planned underground facility, which was slated to have 1,500 spaces. He said leasing will begin in earnest next week and that so far Whole Foods is the only entity that has signed a lease. Because of the new parking situation, Gibbons said, the revised plan will have 50,000 fewer square feet of office space and 100 fewer apartments.
“I think this will be a transformative project for the urban gateway to Towson,” Gibbons said. “And we plan to execute this at the highest level.”
He said construction should be “at full speed” by the end of 2017 and that the project should then take about two years to complete.
Caves Valley is the developer behind the controversial Royal Farms project proposed at the intersection of York Road and Bosley Avenue.
The news release from Greenberg Gibbons and Caves Valley is below.
Owings Mills, Md. (May 15, 2017; 11:30 am) — Greenberg Gibbons and Caves Valley Partners (CVP) announced today that they have formed a new joint venture to develop Towson Row, the $350 million mixed-use destination at the southern entry point of Downtown Towson.
Under the joint venture, Greenberg Gibbons and CVP will be co-developers of the project. The two companies will collaborate to build and execute the project with Greenberg Gibbons spearheading the retail, residential, student housing and hotel components and CVP taking the lead on the office component. Towson Row will be constructed on five acres between York Road, Towsontown Boulevard, Washington Avenue and Chesapeake Avenue. The 1.2 million-square-foot development will include over 100,000 square feet of retail/grocery/restaurant uses, 150,000 square feet of Class A office space, 250 luxury high-rise residential units, 300 exclusive high-rise student housing units and a hotel.
“We are excited to partner with CVP on this transformational landmark project and facilitate the vibrant revitalization of Downtown Towson,” says Brian Gibbons, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Greenberg Gibbons. “As a local company that really knows this market, we see tremendous opportunity to create a positive economic impact while bringing exciting benefits to the community. While there are obstacles to overcome and challenges ahead, we are confident that our joint venture has the experience, capital and commitment to move this project forward.”
“Greenberg Gibbons has a proven track record in executing complex, mixed-use projects that integrate retail, office and other uses, as demonstrated by their successful development of Hunt Valley Towne Centre, Annapolis Towne Centre, Waugh Chapel Towne Centre, Foundry Row and The Shops at Kenilworth to name a few,” says Arthur Adler, a partner at CVP. “They are the perfect fit to help us create a vibrant community asset at Towson Row.”
Demolition of the Towson Row site was completed in fall 2015. Greenberg Gibbons and CVP will work with Baltimore County officials and the local community to submit a revised site plan that slightly reduces density and addresses design and geotechnical concerns that have caused recent delays. The joint venture plans to begin construction by year end. Features of the project include a warm, inviting central plaza, a vibrant streetscape, and unparalleled views of the Baltimore region.
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz applauded this partnership: “This collaboration is welcome news,” he said. “Greenberg Gibbons has enormous experience and a proven commitment to the region and has developed many of Baltimore County’s premier mixed-use destinations. We look forward to working with these two well respected local companies to facilitate continuing progress that helps bring Towson Row out of the ground.”
About Greenberg Gibbons
Founded in 1968, Greenberg Gibbons is one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s premier developers of mixed-use, town center and retail properties. The company’s portfolio includes more than 5.5 million square feet of existing and new development. Its signature projects include the award-winning Hunt Valley Towne Centre, Annapolis Towne Centre, Waugh Chapel Towne Centre, Towne Centre Laurel and the newly opened Foundry Row. For more information, visit www.ggcommercial.com.
About Caves Valley Partners
Caves Valley Partners (CVP) was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Towson, Maryland. CVP identifies real estate projects in all categories, from residential and commercial land development, to mixed-use properties, to big box retail centers, and selects projects that demonstrate the potential to be transformational to their community. For more information, visit www.cavesvalleypartners.com.