J.C. Penney building left vacant once again Last occupant moves to new quarters

May 03, 1992|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,Staff writer

WESTMINSTER -- The J.C. Penney building at 56 W. Main St. is once more up for sale or rent, as the two most recent occupants give up their leases.

Jazzercise, which opened in October, is moving into new quarters in Carroll Plaza today.

Profiles, the under-21 club that moved in last July, closed at the end of December.

Ross Martin of Mount Airy and Jim Maddox of Baltimore operated Profiles for four years, offering teens an alcohol-free place to dance and socialize on Friday and Saturday nights.

Martin said Profiles' lease was up at the end of the year, and the partners decided to call it quits then.

"It was a lot of work," Martin said. "When we first started Profiles, there was nothing for kids, but now there are other places. We served our cause, and we decided to move on."

Maddox also had married the year before and wanted his weekends free, Martin said.

With other places for teens to go, fewer were coming to Profiles, which could accommodate 300.

"We were getting 200 a weekend toward the end," Martin said. "But we never recouped our investment after we moved [from Carroll Plaza]. "We spent a lot of money fixing up the [Penney's] building."

Martin said Profiles' regular customers were disappointed at the closing, but noted that many were going to the new teen center in Mount Airy.

Three months after Profiles moved into the building, Jazzercise opened on a sublease from Martin and Maddox.

Jazzercise owner Carey McFadden said Thursday that she is moving her exercise operation to more spacious quarters above Frisco's Pub in Carroll Plaza Shopping Center.

"It's really too bad, because [Penney's is] a good location," McFadden said.

The building's owner, Young Soo Kim of Ellicott City, said he would consider selling or leasing the building.

"What I would like, is someone to bring their own business in and renovate," he said. "It could be one business on both levels, or two businesses, each using one level."

J.C. Penney operated at the site for more than 60 years. The retail store closed in January 1990, but the catalog order store remained until September, when it moved to Cranberry Mall. The building stood empty until Profiles opened last summer.

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