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Owings Mills Town Center in heaps, smaller outdoor shopping center to replace it

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Posted at 8:30 AM, Feb 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-08 18:00:40-05

There is hardly anything left that reminds neighbors Owings Mills Town Center was once the heart of the area, the place people went to shop and hang out.

"That mall meant a lot to us, it was a gathering place on Friday night. We would go to the eatery, do a lot of shopping, because it had a lot of upscale stores and had a lot of friends come down from York and Harrisburg Pennsylvania. It was just nice to see it!" Neighbor Glenn Watlington said.

He lived a couple miles from the mall for the past three decades.

The mall opened in July of 1986, but started declining about 10 years ago when Saks Fifth Avenue closed. 

"Sometimes I used to walk there and exercise. Walk in the mall, get something to eat and walk on back home. I really miss it," Watlington said it became a shell with a handful of stores still open.

The mall closed in the Fall of 2015, and demolition began.

Kimco Realty owns the property and sent out surveys to neighbors asking what they would like from the location.

The community responded. More than a thousand people attended two council meetings to discuss what will happen with the area.

Councilman Julian Jones said there will be an outdoor shopping center, possibly multi-use including offices. He hopes to see new buildings on the property by the end of 2018.

"It will be a combination of shopping, some restaurants, they're going to invest like 8 million dollars in redoing the AMC movie theater there," Jones said.

Jones said Kimco is working on leases for the future buildings and that can take months to negotiate. Jones said this location needs to compliment the stores at both the Metro Center and Foundry Row, so they can all thrive.

When it comes to watching the demolition in the meantime, "It makes me feel really really sad. I hate to even go up that way. Sometimes I go up that way because I go to the movie theater and I got to ride by it, and it just, it's just heartbreaking, and to see the mall gone. I just hope they bring in something good for the neighborhood," Watlingon said.