fter years of setbacks, delays and uncertainty, some momentum was made today for the planned Westphalia Town Center (early rendering above) in Upper Marlboro, Prince George’s County. Developers met this morning with members of the area’s business community to provide an update on progress, a loose timetable for construction, and information on contracting opportunities.
The 479-acre project, northwest of the Capital Beltway, is backed by three developers: Walton International Group, Smith Home Farms and Evangel Cathedral. The proposed development would include 15,000 dwelling units, 1 million SF of retail, 4 million SF of office space and centralized recreation amenities.
The development would the biggest in Prince George’s County since the National Harbor, which began construction in 2008. The waterfront project, still under construction, boasts a convention center, six hotels, restaurants, shops, condominiums, a beachfront walking path, and features a number of outdoor activities. Unfortunately, the National Harbor’s construction has caused considerable controversy for negative environmental impacts, mainly affecting the Potomac River.
Read more at The Maryland Gazette here.
ome late Fall/early Winter, Towson University’s WTMD 89.7 plans to be fully moved into its new location at the Towson City Center near the Towson Roundabout. In addition to conference, classroom and office space, the space will offer four studios: an on-air studio, two production studios, and a large-scale performance studio that can transform into a 1,300 SF performance space with the help of a retractable wall. The new facility comprises 8,000 SF, more than quadrupling their current square footage at the university’s campus.
On WTMD’s website, General Manager Steve Yasko (pictured above) said the space will be a combination of a community meeting space, an education center, and an all-around music lover’s clubhouse. “Our listeners and the public will be invited to WTMD every day to experience the best in national and Baltimore bands.”
WTMD also plans to move their antenna and transmitter to the top of the building (formerly known as the Investment Building) for a further-reaching and better sound quality. The facility will also host movie screenings from Baltimore students and filmmakers enrolled in Towson’s Electronic Media and Film department.
hough craft breweries are seeing an increase in popularity in much of the U.S., Alan Newman, co-founder of Magic Hat Brewing, hasn’t found it easy to bring one to the nation’s capital. Newman heads Alchemy & Science, of Burlington, VT, and is looking to open breweries across the country in partnership with local brewers. The company is a subsidiary of Boston Beer Co., which is led by the flagship Samuel Adams label.
Despite interest growing in the DC area for locally brewed beer, Newman has so far had no luck in finding a suitable location. Looking for anywhere between 7,000 and 15,000 square feet, he has visions of a brewery that not only distributes beer but offers tours and samples, and sells ceramic jugs to visitors. The problem: DC presently has relatively little industrially zoned land, which is the zoning required for breweries that produce predominantly for off-site consumption.
Though discouraged, Newman hasn’t given up on a DC brewery. But in the meantime, his focus has shifted to other U.S. cities.
Read more at The Washington Post here.
espite the fact that the majority of Americans look for goods and services online, 53 percent of small businesses in Maryland do not have their own website. But that could all change next year with the help of Google. The Internet giant has partnered with the state to provide free websites for small businesses for a period of one year. The program, called “Maryland Get Your Business Online”, is part of a larger effort Google has already begun in other states like Texas, Vermont, Michigan and California, as well as overseas.
With the help of software company Intuit, businesses will be offered a website, web hosting, and domain names. After one year, registered businesses will have to pay $2 per month for their domain name and $4.99 per month for the website and hosting.
Interested small business owners can join on July 17 at the Legg Mason Tower in Baltimore to register for websites and attend seminars on building successful websites.
For more information, visit the website for “Maryland Get Your Business Online” here.
trial this week between Bengies Drive-In, the Baltimore area’s last drive-in movie theater, and a neighboring Royal Farms, may determine the fate of the drive-in’s business, according to owner D. Edward Vogel. The reason? Vogel says that lights from the convenience store, located across the street from the theater on Eastern Blvd, interfere with the view from at least two-thirds of the drive-in’s 750 parking spaces.
Not only does the light distract viewers from their drive-in experience, Vogel argues, but they also delay the theater’s annual opening by several weeks, until nearby trees are in full bloom and act as a barrier. Additionally, it’s prevented him from adding a second screen, a goal he’s had for years.
Vogel is seeking money to erect an 800 foot wall that would run along Eastern Blvd. Royal Farms maintains that it goes above and beyond the laws of Baltimore County. The case is being heard before a Baltimore County Circuit Court jury this week.
Read more at The Baltimore Sun here.
ince 1999, Towson’s Loch Raven Plaza has been without a grocery store, following Superfresh’s move to the Towson MarketPlace. This Fall, however, discount grocery store Aldi has decided to lease 25,000 SF of space to help fill that gap. Superfresh currently sublets its former space to a number of retailers, including Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. Additionally, rent-to-own retailer Aaron’s Inc. will occupy 7,566 SF in the Fall as well.
Loch Raven Plaza is located at the intersection of Taylor Avenue and Loch Raven Blvd in Towson. The new leases bring the center to 91 percent occupancy, with other stores including Dollar Tree, Mattress Discounters, Radio Shack and Subway.
he Wonder Bread Factory Building has sat vacant since 1997, when it was bought by Douglas Development LLC. The building remained dormant until last year, when they began to redevelop the industrial space into loft-like commercial office space. Come the project’s expected completion in January, WorkSpaces LLC will take the role as first tenant and inhabit the entire third floor (20,817 SF). This will be the second location DC location for the company, who also has offices in Baltimore and New York.
The Wonder Bread Factory is located at 641 S Street NW. Originally opened as Dorsh’s White Cross Bakery in the early 1900s, it became a factory for Wonder Bread and Hostess products beginning in 1936 when it was bought by Continental Baking Co. Its doors have been shut since 1988, when production moved to Philadelphia.
The building has a total of 98,000 SF, with 24,000 SF dedicated to future retail.