Caldor Inc., the parent corporation of the Caldor department store chain, is reopening a location in Severna Park that it abandoned nearly two years ago.
Caldor moved out as an anchor tenant in the Severna Park Mall in September 1989 after failing to reach a lease agreement with the mall's management.
But that was when Caldor was owned by May Department Stores Inc. Subsequently May sold the chain to a group that operates as Caldor Inc. Its officials say they are eager to return to a location they considered profitable the first time around. The store is slated to open in October.
"We were doing very well in Baltimore, and we're anxious to renew our presence in Severna Park," said Paul Carlucci, Caldor's director of marketing.
Carlucci would not reveal the exact cost of renovating the Severna Park store but said the price tag would be "several million dollars." The store has 89,000 square feet of space and will employ about 175 full- and part-time workers.
Officials are calling the store new because it will incorporate a new interior design that is being installed at other Caldor locations.
That design calls for more lighting and a different color scheme, Carlucci added. In addition, departments will be laid out to group merchandise more logically and to improve the flow of customers. The store will also be adding Gitano brand mens' and womens' apparel departments.
There are 122 Caldor stores in eight states in the East. The Norwalk, Conn., company plans to open four other stores this year, including stores in Massachusetts and New York.
Currently, there are seven Caldor stores in the Baltimore area.
The return of the chain to Severna Park is being welcomed by the mall's beleaguered management, which has seen the center lose a majority of its smaller tenants since the original Caldor closed.
Of about 30 storefronts available inside the mall, only five are occupied. The tenants include Kona Tiki Restaurant,Horn & Horn Cafeteria,Fashion Bug and the News Center. Giant Food is currently the mall's only anchor tenant
Mall manager Howard Dixon praised Caldors decision to return and said he hoped it would bring in other retail tenants." We think it's a good thing that will be an asset to the mall,".Dixon said.
The following are lease transactions handled by Kayne/Levin/Neilson/Bavar Realtors:
* Eastern Foods Inc., a national supplier of salad dressings to restaurants, has opened a distribution center at the Corridor North Industrial Park in Savage. The Atlanta supplier leased 6,000 square feet of office and distribution space at 10640 Iron Bridge Road. The center will serve Baltimore and Washington.
* Chesapeake Physical Medicine Associates has opened offices in the Arbutus Business Center at 1585 Sulphur Spring Road in Arbutus. The physical therapy practice leased 3,500 square feet of space.
* American Kenpo Karate Inc. has opened a martial arts studio at Merritt Point Shopping Center in Dundalk. The karate school leased about 3,200 square feet at the retail center at 1611 Merritt Blvd.