As part of a $2 million renovation and image makeover, Security Square Mall announced new leases yesterday with eight retailers, among them the Sports Zone, a sports apparel and footwear store expanding into the Baltimore market, and Super Kids, a specialty children's store making a temporary mall location permanent.
Mall owner Capitol Investment Associates has begun changing the merchant mix to better compete with newer, more upscale malls in the region.
By fall, the mall also will get a redesigned food court centered around a huge jukebox, to add to remodeled restrooms and new signage, landscaping and security cameras.
The newly signed stores will cover 22,000 square feet at the 1.2 million-square-foot mall in western Baltimore County.
Other tenants include Shingar, a women's apparel store; Changes, which sells men's casual and dressy clothing; Silver Time, specializing in silver jewelry and watches, an AT&T kiosk and two food stalls, Vittorio's and Ocean City Fries & Dogs.
All are permanent, long-term leases -- with some shifting from temporary leases -- ranging from five to 10 years, said Deirdre Moore, mall manager.
"We're really looking to further refine the merchandising mix of the center and will be taking leases as they expire and turn them over to people who better complement the existing mix of the shopping center," she said.
The mall, anchored by Hecht Co., J.C. Penney Co., Montgomery Ward & Co. and Sears Roebuck & Co., is about 96 percent leased, with a 62,000-square-foot space left vacant by F.W. Woolworth, which closed its store in November.
Mall managers expect about five more new stores within the next couple of months and are still seeking a national restaurant chain, Moore said.
The Sports Zone, a Rockville-based chain of 13 stores in Maryland, Washington and Virginia, has chosen Security Square the launching pad for its suburban Baltimore expansion, which will include about three more locations, said Karen Fredman, vice president.
The chain, which sells high-end, fashion-oriented athletic shoes and clothing, opened a store on North Howard Street in downtown Baltimore last November.
"Our concept is to have an anchor store in each city -- in Baltimore it's North Howard -- then we surround it with suburban locations," Fredman said. "We wanted to be in that [Woodlawn] area, and the mall renovations made it a better fit."
Superkids, a Baltimore-based chain with five locations in the city and Baltimore County, has been in a small, temporary spot at the mall for the past three years and opted to sign on permanently when space vacated by a Maryann apparel store opened up, said Gary Schoenemann, president of Super Kids Inc.
In the newly remodeled 10,200 square feet of space, the retailer can showcase the child-size brands of Ralph Lauren Polo, DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger and Nautica, he said.
"Just as stores need to remodel, malls need to remodel at least every 10 years," Schoenemann said. "What worked 10 years ago looks tired and dated. People like to see something new and different and fresh."
Pub Date: 5/08/98