Bel Air mall getting 8 more tenants

Tollgate growing under Cordish Co.

June 06, 2000|By Meredith Cohn | Meredith Cohn,SUN STAFF

Tollgate Marketplace in Bel Air, one of the state's largest open-air shopping centers, will grow this summer with eight new tenants that include Petco, Men's Wearhouse and Pier I Imports.

The Cordish Co., based in Baltimore, plans to expand the center by 64,000 square feet to 550,000 square feet. The bulk is leased, the company said. The other tenants include Sports Zone, TGI Friday's, Standard Carpet & Flooring and Mattress King. Grand openings are planned throughout the summer.

Tollgate, at the intersection of Route 24 and Route 1, was bankrupt and sold at auction to Cordish six years ago. Anchors at the partially enclosed mall, including Giant, TJ Maxx and Staples, were not thriving, according the Allison Parker, a spokeswoman for Cordish.

The developer overhauled it and opened up the mall so all the storefronts faced their parking lots. Added were retailers including Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Home Depot, Toys `R' Us, Circuit City, Michaels and JoAnn Etc.

"Tollgate Marketplace now offers a total package of restaurants, value-oriented retailers and fashion tenants for the thriving Bel Air market," said Reed Cordish, a vice president of the Cordish Co.

The Cordish Co. used its relationships with national and regional retailers to lure potential tenants for a look at the center, where construction of the new space has started. Many are present in other Cordish Co. developments.

Leasing began in November on the expansion. Although sales at the existing stores had been lagging before Cordish bought the center, they began improving with the upgrades, Cordish said. The company saw further potential because the center is located at a main intersection and the market is strong, he said. The area has above-average median household incomes, a dense collection of multifamily housing and an existing critical mass of retailers.

The Cordish Co. expects two to four more retailers to fill the 14,000 square feet still not leased. Further expansions are possible, the company said.

"This is a good example of what we do," Cordish said. "We turn around or revitalize projects that are struggling or failed. In this instance, the strength of the Bel Air market and location at a prime intersection leave us with no doubts in our ability to revitalize it."

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