The vice president of a Baltimore-based real estate management firm said the company is negotiating to bring a full-service grocery store to the Merritt Park Shopping Center when new owners assume control of the property Sept. 1.
A big box retailer is not part of the shopping center’s redevelopment plan, Regional Management Inc. vice president Peter Grose told Patch last week.
“Actually, I’ve heard those rumors, too, and more than a couple times,” Grose said, referring to community talk—and hopes—of a new Target coming to the 50-year-old plus Merritt Park Shopping Center. “We’re trying to get a full-service supermarket in the center, with a deli department, pharmacy and 60,000 square-feet.”
Grose said the new owners, MP63, LLC, a privately-held Baltimore company with a long association with Regional Management, Inc., are not looking at a Target or other big-box retailers, such as Walmart, Home Depot, B.J.’s and Lowe’s. Big-box stores like Target, Grose said, are generally 120,000 square-feet.
“There’s a Giant down the street and we’re looking at that type of full-service grocery store,” said Grose, declining to specify the grocery chain with which the company is negotiating.
All the businesses on the Holabird Avenue side of the shopping center, from Century 21 through Maxway, except Rite Aid, will be vacating by Sept. 1, Grose said, to prepare the space for the expected full-service grocery store.
The Citgo gas station and carwash, which sits in the shopping center lot facing Holabird Avenue, will also close. officials told Patch previously that the store is closing Aug. 13.
At the front of the shopping center lot, a Firestone location has already closed and Grose said development plans call for adding new banks, restaurants or pharmacy-type stores on the “pad” sites around the edges of the shopping center lot.
At the other end of the shopping center, the building where Radio Shack is located “will probably stay as it is,” Grose said.
The redevelopment project will be phased-in over time but local residents should begin to see work early this fall. Landscaping and other improvements are expected to begin soon after Sept. 1.
About a dozen locations in the shopping center are empty at the moment and the center itself has fallen into disrepair.
“I think we are really laying the foundation for a great location,” Grose said. “A lot of retailers are waiting to see if we get it—the grocery store. I’m optimistic. Neighbors will see the work getting started, the landscaping, the upgrades, the clearing of the site, early in the fall.”