Efforts in bringing new life to the Woodlawn area are advancing as Baltimore County plans to purchase the former Sears property at Security Square Mall.
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. announced a $10 million deal with property owner TF Baltimore MD LLC, that will give the county ownership of 18 acres of land and the 202,653 square-foot anchored facility.
Obtaining possession of this once thriving shopping venue will permit the county to manage the mall’s redevelopment process and allow collaborative efforts with the community on the future of the property.
“The Security Square Mall site is a critical anchor for the communities on the west side of Baltimore County, and our administration is committed to revitalizing the area and making sure it will serve as a vibrant community hub for years to come,” Olszewski said in a statement. “This timely purchase demonstrates the County’s commitment to making the community’s vision for the site a reality.”
Security Square Mall was once home to many national stores, including JCPenney and International House of Pancakes (IHOP). But over the years a decrease in customers led to an increase in store vacancies.
“Revitalizing this community hub will be a boon to the local economy and a game changer for the health and wellbeing of the Woodlawn community,” Olszewski said.
“The communities surrounding Security Square need and deserve reinvestment,” said House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones in a statement. “Funding from Baltimore County and the State of Maryland to purchase the Sears Building is an important and necessary step in the revitalization of the Security Square Mall area.”
The county has not announced plans on what they will do with the former Sears property, but they are looking for community input by hosting a charrette this fall.
The Olszewski administration will hold an input session in which community members, stakeholders, architects, design professionals, and transportation experts will work together on the property’s vision through a “process to reimagine and potentially transform the mall into a more vibrant and community-focused anchor,” county officials said.
“Input in the planning process from local residents, community leaders and business owners, those who know the area best, is consistent with our values of open and connected government. And will be key to the success of a reimagined Security Square mall,” Olszewski said.
The property’s purchase will need to be approved by the Baltimore County Council, which is scheduled to meet Sept. 6. It is slated to go to closing by Sept. 30.