Old Ward store at Security Square sold

Various uses considered for `a great location'

January 23, 2002|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore real estate investment group has bought the former Montgomery Ward department store at Security Square Mall in Baltimore County and is exploring uses for the site that include retail, office, medical and institutional tenants.

Security Wards LLC, a private entity headed by Michael B. Glick, purchased the two-story, 143,252-square-foot property for $2.1 million from two California-based real estate partnerships: Manchester Maryland Properties and Second Manchester Maryland Properties. Glick is the managing principal of Baltimore-based Corridor RF&S Real Estate LLC, a real estate broker and investment company.

"I think it's in a great location; it's in great shape," Glick said yesterday. In 2000 Ward had spent $3 million on property renovations that included new air-conditioning, new roofing and interior cosmetic finishes as part of a company-wide image makeover.

Glick said he's in discussions with retail, storage and office users and hopes to fill the space "as soon as we can."

The ownership change improves the outlook for Security Square Mall, which has had two of its seven anchor stores vacant for many months. Wards, which dropped the "Montgomery" from its name in 1999, shut due to bankruptcy in March, and J.C. Penney Co. closed its outlet store in August as part of larger, company-wide restructuring strategy.

"Certainly, you want to have [the anchor stores] filled," said Deirdre Moore, Security Square Mall's vice present and general manager. "We've probably had less impact because we have five existing strong anchors. ... We've found business to be very steady and very strong, especially in light of the economic picture."

The remaining anchors include Hecht Co., Sears, Roebuck and Co., Burlington Coat Factory, Old Navy and the eight-screen General Cinema. The mall's owner - Security Square Associates of Chevy Chase - owns the General Cinema, Burlington and Old Navy properties. Hechts, Sears and J.C. Penney's own their stores, Moore said. The mall, at the Beltway and Security Boulevard, also has 120 specialty stores and encompasses a total 1.1 million square feet.

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