New year brings business openings and closings

January 12, 2012

Well, the New Year 2012 has arrived. It is true that the older one gets, the faster time flies. And this year has truly flown by!

With the beginning of any New Year, the anticipation of change and betterment is on everyone's mind. The Owings Mills community is no exception as plans are under way for some major changes in the area. First is the "de-malling" of the Town Center. The anchor stores, J.C. Penney's and Macy's, are slated to stay while the rest of the mall will be torn down to make way for free-standing box stores, such as the ones at Hunt Valley or White Marsh. It will be interesting to see if that type of retail will attract more shoppers to our area.

Another proposed change may involve the Solo Cup property at Reisterstown Road and Painters Mill. Wegman's has expressed an interest in the site, and time will tell if it becomes a reality. Traffic at that intersection is the main concern of local residents, and a study will be made to address the issue.

Stevenson University continues to expand and has purchased a parcel of land off Crondall Lane. Stevenson has proven to be a vital part of the Owings Mills community, and has improved the area in so many ways.

The new Olive Garden restaurant is being prepared at Restaurant Row on Owings Mills Boulevard. I haven't heard of an opening date yet, but it will be nice not to have an empty building there anymore. It seems that all throughout the area there are businesses shutting down and buildings being left vacant. Let's hope that 2012 brings an upswing in the economy.

A major shake-up is to be presented when the 2012 legislative session convenes in Annapolis. New state district boundaries will be re-drawn; fortunately it appears the Owings Mills will be left intact as District 11. Residents north of Gwynnbrook Avenue, and the town of Reisterstown, may not fare as well. It is proposed that they be changed to District 10. Many residents are not happy with the proposed plan and a letter-writing campaign has begun to challenge it. Time will tell if community input carries any weight with the governor. However, it is heartening to see a community coming together when there is an issue at hand.

In this New Year, it's nice to hear about others reaching out to help those in need. Reisterstown Senior Center is putting up a "Mitten Tree" during the week of Jan. 16 for the children at Hannah More Shelter. Donations of mittens, scarves, and hats are welcomed and will be put to good use during the cold, wet, snowy months ahead. In memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, this outreach answers his question "What are you doing for others?" The center hopes that the community takes this challenge to heart and gives with a generous spirit. Here's hoping that Owings Mills residents will also donate to this and help keep a child warm this winter.

Ladies' Auxiliary of VFW Post 521 is reaching out to the hospitalized veterans at Loch Raven and Perry Point. These veterans are in dire need of shampoo, body wash, toothbrushes and paste, razors, and also pads of paper and pens. Any and all donations can be delivered to the post at 124 Tollgate Road. The Gordon Center at the JCC is once again hosting International Guitar Night on Saturday, Jan. 14, at 8 p.m. This event is North America's premier guitar festival and showcases talented musicians from abroad. The performers include Adrian Legg of England, Lulo Reinhardt, of Germany, Marco Pereira, of Brazil, and Brian Gore, the founder of International Guitar Night. Tickets are $21 in advance and can be obtained by calling 410-547-SEAT. Gordon Center is located at 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave.

A very happy birthday is wished to my grandson, Oliver Jacob Davidson, who turned 2 on Jan. 3. Oliver was born two months early and weighed only 2 pounds, 14 ounces. He has grown into an inquisitive, loving little boy and is a joy to his Gramma and Pop. And in June, he will become a big brother with the arrival of grandchild No. 2. Life is good!

Parents don't forget that schools are closed on Monday, Jan. 16, to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Day.

I look forward to hearing from you in 2012. Call or email with your special news or community concerns. See you in February.

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