Light signals stores' arrival

Route 140 traffic faces new control at Market Street

6 businesses to be in center

Westminster

September 10, 2001|By Childs Walker | Childs Walker,SUN STAFF

A new traffic light will begin regulating traffic today in Westminster, signaling the imminent arrival of a new shopping center on Route 140.

Although the light at Market Street might slow traffic headed out of town, it will make access to the six-store Westminster Marketplace easier, said Thomas B. Beyard, the city's director of planning and public works.

The center will include Kohl's department store, BJ's Wholesale Club and Home Depot home-improvement store. The construction of the Kohl's is complete, and the store will open Oct. 5, said assistant manager Marcia Parker-Thompson. Construction on the Home Depot will be finished later this month. That store is to open Oct. 25, said assistant manager Alex Madariaga. A spokesman for BJ's Wholesale Club said that store will open in mid-November.

With Westminster's population growing and its average income rising, such development is inevitable, Beyard said. "I've heard no negatives from the business community. This creates more selection, and I think that's what the consumer wants."

Baltimore-based HRW-LMT Development broke ground for the shopping center in September last year. Plans for the project received a jump-start in June 1999, when the city annexed 54 acres and zoned the area for commercial use.

As part of the project, the developer is spending $1.3 million for road improvements and a new water tower for the east side of the city.

Market Street will be paved and open to the public by Sept. 21, said Henry Resnikoff of HRW-LMT.

In addition to the three anchor stores, other businesses at the site might include a bank, a restaurant or a small retail store, Resnikoff said. One of the plots is spoken for, but Resnikoff would not identify the occupant.

With traffic levels increasing on Route 140 and the value of commercial property rising, the city probably has not seen the last of developments like Westminster Marketplace, Beyard said.

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