If you had to think of a place in Baltimore County so jammed with commercial development that you can't imagine a spot to put more, what area would come to mind?
Try Security Square Mall and environs, a shoppers' haven credited by most business authorities with being the single busiest mall in the area.
If the mall itself weren't enough, there's a Hechinger's and a small strip center on the mall's outer fringe, at Security Boulevard and Rolling Road, and several small strip and discount centers sit across Rolling Road, and acres of new-car showrooms line the north side of Security Boulevard.
That doesn't count the catalog stores, car dealers and other warehouse outlets east of the Beltway along Security Boulevard.
But there was an open 3.2-acre spot. So a new 32,500-square-foot shopping center, featuring a Staples office supply store and 210 parking spaces, is under construction on it along Rolling Road.
The site is next to Interstate 70, just across the street from the Security Square Mall parking lot near the Montgomery Ward store. Ward's moved there last year into a former Hutzler's store.
Michael F. Klein, president of Klein Enterprises, one of two local firms involved in the $3 million project called Security Station, said work should be finished by June.
Atfeld Development Co., which had been working to get the project going for the past two to three years, brought Klein into the deal last February, to help with financing and for Klein's experience in building larger centers, Klein said.
Despite the abundance of shopping centers already in the area, Klein said, the local convenience center being built should do well. The other stores draw people from the growing communities nearby.
Staples or Household Bank, which also has committed to a 4,000-square-foot building, will draw them, Klein said.
Other, smaller spaces have been leased for a dry cleaners, a loan office and a dental office, Klein said. Stores ranging in space from 1,500 to 2,000 square feet will fill the rest.
Klein said his firm will widen Rolling Road in front of the center to provide a right-turn lane for southbound traffic. A left-turn lane already exists for motorists coming north from U.S. 40 on Rolling Road.
The marketing behind the center is geared not to impulse buyers but to those shopping for specific needs, Klein said. Also, many businesses don't want to pay mall rents, but want so-called "satellite" locations near major malls, he said.
There are now four Staples in the region, on Russell Street in Baltimore, Pikesville, Towson and Eastpoint.