The historic Dundalk Shopping Center, the bulk of which was purchased amid high hopes by JMJ Properties in 2005 for $3.7 million, was sold this week.
The new owners are Blue Ocean Realty, located on Park Heights Avenue in Baltimore.
Business owners and residents renting from JMJ received letters notifying them that the 90-year-old shopping center had changed hands effective Tuesday and Blue Ocean Realty was now the property owners. The new owners are managing the shopping center under the name, Dundalk Village Properties.
Dundalk Patch first that JMJ was actively seeking to sell the property.
Efforts to reach Michael Kohen, a principal at JMJ Properties, regarding the terms of the sale this week were not successful.
The shopping center has about 20 business, 60 apartments and approximately two dozen office spaces among six buildings.
Baltimore County officials offered $2 million in loans and grants to help JMJ Properties overhaul the old, underused retail, office and apartment strip, according to a Baltimore Sun story at the time.
Fronda J. Cohen, a spokeswoman with Baltimore County, said this week that loans made to JMJ to renovate the buildings they have been leasing to businesses and tenants have been repaid.
Storefront turnover, the lack of a supermarket, vagrancy and trash issues have beset the shopping center. Some also question the wisdom of having an adult daycare facility taking up a large chunk of potential retail space in the middle of the shopping center.
Del. John Olszewski, Jr., who lives near the shopping center in the St. Helena’s neighborhood, told Patch earlier this summer that he thinks the shopping center has stalled after it’s initial renovation.
“We certainly need progress there,” Olszewski said. “I think the progress that happened at the outset hasn’t continued. Something needs to be done about upkeep, trash and people hanging around, in my opinion.”
Amy Menzer, executive director of the Dundalk Renaissance Corporation, located in the shopping center, told Patch earlier this summer that change in ownership was probably needed to bring new life into area.
“My hope is that a new owner is well-funded and will make it [the historic shopping center] more of a priority,” Menzer said. In the short-term, she said, a sale could have a negative impact on businesses. In the long-term, a change may be necessary, she said.