Hundreds turned out to participate in the Nov. 12 Rally on the Row activities celebrating the long-awaited opening of Foundry Row, an Owings Mills venue featuring restaurants and shops.
What began with as a vacant 52-acre former Solo Cup manufacturing site was transformed over the past five years into a hub of brick-facade eateries, national retailers and local shops at Reisterstown Road and Painters Mill.
While there was fierce opposition along the five-year journey that delayed construction of the open-air shopping center, in the end most seemed pleased to welcome the area’s newest shopping destination, which is anchored by Wegmans supermarket.
“We just came here for the activities,” said Vanessa Jones. The Owings Mill resident came with her husband James and friends Julie Felder and Nakia Henry, and were chatting near a large fire pit. She considered the shopping center a boon for the area, especially now that Owings Mills Mall is in demolition mode.
The event included wine tastings and food samples, a performance by the Franklin High Guitar Club, and opportunities to meet and take photos with the Ravens’ Dennis Pitta and Marshal Yanda. Some of the restaurants and businesses were open and other tenants were making preparations to open their doors before next spring. LifeBridge Health is leasing office space.
Before a group of elected officials and Foundry Row representatives cut the ceremonial ribbon, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz noted that the $1 billion investment taking place in the Owings Mills demonstrates how much businesses value the area and its residents. “Everyone is excited because with this development and the [nearby transit-oriented development] Metro Centre, we now have something unique and special in our part of town, and it makes us feel good,” he said. “It helps stabilize and build up our community here, which makes it a great place to live, work and now shop.
Brian Gibbons, chairman and CEO of Greenberg Gibbons, talked about the developer’s recent acquisitions, which include Reisterstown Shopping Center and St. Thomas Shopping Center, to improve the Owings Mills community. He praised Councilwoman Vicki Almond, whose District 2 includes Owings Mills, for enduring a lot of pressure from other developers and some community members who opposed the project. “Without her, this project would not have happened,” Gibbons said.
Referring to the project as “near and dear to my heart,” Almond said, “It was through the efforts of so many people, community, business, council and vision of Greenberg Gibbons that this has come to fruition for Owings Mills and Reisterstown, and other parts of Baltimore County.”
To a countdown and cheers, the group cut the ribbon in front of the Foundry Row sign and double arc of balloons. County Council members Julian Jones and Tom Quirk were also on hand. The evening culminated an illuminating light show to music.