Antiques Bring Life to Glen Burnie

December 02, 1992

These may be tough times but people still spend money for things they really want.

Collectibles seem to be among those things. That explains why Glen Burnie has started to experience a mini-boom in the collectible trade.

Although downtown Glen Burnie has had a sprinkling of antique and collectible shops for years, multi-vendor operations are a relatively recent development.

First came "The Neatest Little Shop," a collection of seven vendors, located on Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard.

It was followed this fall by the Chesapeake Marketplace, another seven-vendor cluster that is housed in one of Glen Burnie's oldest buildings, just around the corner on Crain Highway.

(Nobody living probably remembers that a portion of that structure was a stable once upon a time; the building was later widely known as the old Albrecht's Pharmacy).

Joe Steward, the dynamo entrepreneur behind the Chesapeake Marketplace, thinks the location of the emporium is unbeatable. It is just a block from the Arundel Center North government office complex and the Superblock redevelopment area that could take off some day. The Glen Burnie terminus of the popular B&A bike and nature trail that goes all the way to the banks of the Severn River is just around the corner.

In antiquing, more is usually better. For that reason, a concentration of antique and collectible vendors, combined with a number of existing stores selling everything from crafts to baseball cards, may be exactly what Glen Burnie's downtown area needs to attract visitors to finally make it commercially viable. Local merchants are anxious to spur consumer interest.

As flea market goers and collectible enthusiasts know, people travel great distances in search of new outlets, as long as these outlets offer quality merchandise at affordable prices. Once a certain area establishes a good reputation, shoppers follow in abundance.

Glen Burnie's antique and collectible vendors have to make themselves known within Anne Arundel County, but they also have to find a way to make themselves known to the specialty shoppers from Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County who travel to Glen Burnie to patronize the burgeoning group of "superstores," east of the Motor Vehicle Administration headquarters, along New Ordnance Road.

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