Big office park to get first retail

December 01, 2007|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,Sun reporter

The first shops and restaurants will be opening by April at Baltimore Crossroads @95 in Baltimore County, a 1,000-acre, mixed-use business park that is expected to eventually employ more than 10,000 workers.

St. John Properties, an office developer at the business park near White Marsh, has begun work on the first phase of a planned 140,000-square-foot retail development, said Gerard J. Wit, a St. John vice president.

St. John Properties has completed seven buildings at the park, including three office buildings and four flex-office buildings.

Finished about nine months ago, those buildings have about 350,000 square feet. They are about half leased to small and midsized business tenants, Wit said.

Wit said the leasing has been slow but that he expects the addition of small restaurants and service retail such as banks will help fill the speculative buildings.

"The two questions tenants always ask is, where do I park and where do I eat," said Wit. He said the developer just received the county permits to start construction. "Now with the addition of retail, we're hoping that will jump-start the pace [of leasing]."

The Crossroads Village Center will be a 30,000-square-foot strip center with free-standing Wawa and Royal Farm stores, and two banks, Wit said. The developer expects to fill the strip center with tenants such as full-service and quick-serve restaurants, a salon and dry cleaners.

The business park is slated to have more than 5 million square feet of flex-office, office, warehouse and industrial space, plus 400,000 square feet of shops and two hotels.

Chesapeake Real Estate Group is erecting three buildings in the park, including a 100,000-square- foot structure in which BGE Home is leasing 55,000 square feet for a headquarters and warehouse.

First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. completed a 300,000-square-foot warehouse over the summer. It also has built a 130,000-square- foot building for moving company, Alexander's Mobility Services.

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