Hekemian & Co., owner of the Rotunda mall in Hampden, has named the Greenbelt, Md.-based Bozzuto Group as general contractor for the Rotunda’s upcoming redevelopment. According to local land use consultant Al Barry, who works for Hekemian, the choice of Bozzuto and the “imminent” selection of a grocery store will open the way for construction to begin as soon as mid-September, 2013.
In the past few years, the Bozzuto Group has successfully completed a number of major construction projects in Baltimore, including the Fitzgerald, a luxury apartment building adjacent to the Lyric Opera House and the Union Wharf in Fells Point, a high-end mixed-used development on Wolfe Street.
Plans for the redesign of the Rotunda (approved in February of this year) include 382 residential units, 182,000 sq. ft. of retail space and 153,00 sq. ft. of office space, as well as parking for 1,100. Target date for completion has been given as summer 2015.
The choice of an anchor grocery store for the Rotunda continues to be shrouded in mystery. “This is a highly sought after retail space,” says Barry, and several groceries have been openly in the running, including Graul’s Market, Fresh Market and MOMS Organic Market. In March, Graul’s lost its perceived front-runner status over the issue of square footage, according to owner Dennis Graul, in an interview with the Baltimore Messenger. Graul stated that Hekemian had scaled back its original plan for a 20,000 sq. ft. grocery store to a 10,000 sq. ft. store, a size which, of the three, only MOMS would be able to accommodate. This Friday, Mr. Barry stated that “no lease has been signed with any grocery store,” and he indicated that Graul’s is still a contender.
Chris Bell, Senior Vice President at Hekemian & Co., a real estate company based in Hackensack, New Jersey, would not comment on the selection, but noted that “on August 20 there will be a meeting of our citizens’ advisory task force, with whom we have been working for months, and at that point we will be ready to release more information.”
We’ll let you know when we know more.