Overhaul set next year for Owen Brown Village Center 'A more visibly open environment' planned

July 31, 1998|By Dana Hedgpeth | Dana Hedgpeth,SUN STAFF

Renovations of the Owen Brown Village Center are scheduled to get under way as early as next year.

Officials at Giant Food -- which operates the center through its GFS Realty subsidiary and has a supermarket there -- said yesterday they plan to abandon the center's somewhat enclosed structure for a more open style, similar to a strip mall.

They have proposed moving the Chevy Chase Bank building now at the front of the center to a vacant storefront and removing the dark-brown awnings that cover some of the center's storefront windows.

"The intent is to have the center adopt to the current trend of a more visibly open environment," said Stephen Oseroff, a vice president of GFS Reality.

In the last year, several businesses, including a jewelry store and a book shop have left the center off Cradlerock Way, because of financial losses. The News Center's vacant storefront will be replaced this month with a Dollar Tree store.

A renovation at the Owen Brown center, which was built morthan 20 years ago, would follow the lead of Columbia Management Inc., a Rouse Co. subsidiary that manages Columbia's nine other village centers.

Columbia Management is spending millions of dollars this year to renovate three of its centers: Harper's Choice, Long Reach and Oakland Mills.

Pub Date: 7/31/98

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