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Landowner Proposes Razing, Redeveloping 'Boomtown' Stretch

A landowner has proposed clearing more than 5 acres to build a new retail and office complex.

A major stretch of the much-maligned area of north Odenton could be slated for redevelopment under a new plan presented by the landowner Tuesday night. 

The owner of a 5.25 acre plot just to the north of the Royal Farm store in Odenton said he is prepared to completely demolish existing buildings and construct 21,800 square feet of new retail space, plus some second-floor offices. At least three additional new buildings could house small restaurants and a car wash.

"I went back to my guys and I said 'look, we're going to have to spend some money and we're going to have to put something on paper that is aesthetically pleasing,'" said Frank Smith, a representative of the Gardner family, which spent seven years acquiring nine different properties. 

The Odenton Town Center Plan Oversight Committee recommended approval of a sketch plan for the property, which is currently home to a strip shopping center that includes the Troy's Soul Food restaurant, a barbershop, other stores. The Praise Hair Salon and a Caribbean specialty store were also tenants until recently and there are other vacant spaces.

The property also includes a now-vacant plot of land and the Arundel Arcade building.

Smith said he is in active negotiations with potential tenants for the new project, but no leases have been signed. 

"We have several retailers that are already at the door," he said. 

The Anne Arundel County Office of Planning and Zoning will review the sketch plan next and has the final say on whether the project can move forward.

Members of the town center committee said the proposal was a major step toward the revitalization of the north Odenton section often referred to as "Boomtown." 

"It's very exciting to see movement in north Odenton, and to see a project of that kind of quality taking out buildings that are absolutely eyesores," said Claire Louder, president of the West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce. "Though they have functional businesses, this is an opportunity. And there's no reason that those business could not choose to move into the [new space.]"

Smith and committee members said this new project could spur further redevelopment of the north Odenton area. 

"Our feeling is that by doing this, the property next door, which has about four acres, will do something," Smith said. "I can't imagine someone isn't going to jump."

Marty Sippel November 28, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Yes! As long as I've known about this stretch of road, it has been sketchy, at best, but that doesn't mean it has to stay that way.
Simon August November 28, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Hopefully someone will build a Sonic, Checkers or an IHOP.
Simon August November 28, 2012 at 12:38 PM
And NO MORE gas stations, banks or pharmacies.
Mary November 28, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Sonic!! :)
Mary November 28, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Yes - this is absolutely what we have been hoping for since we moved to Seven Oaks 3 years ago. I hope it will spread to the other side of Royal Farms - the empty lot across from Dunkin Donuts, the video store, the crime-ridden Royal Inn, and our personal pet peeve - My Place Bar & Lounge. Let's clean up Odenton!
Kacy Schloop November 28, 2012 at 01:12 PM
I have lived here 12 years and my realtor told us than things were changing... Really ... We need a Chickfila across from the dunkin ... I like the idea of a IHOP :) Starbucks would be great! firehouse subs would rock! I have lots of ideas:)
Charlotte Yannacci November 28, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Yeah! My favorites! There is nothing burger-wise on the strip or in North Odenton at all, you have to go to Waugh Chapel or toward Jessup!
Calique November 28, 2012 at 02:17 PM
This is a great idea. I hope this happens and is nice. And, like someone else said, no more banks, pharmacies, or gas stations. And no more dollar stores, cleaners, nail salons, or carry-outs.
John November 28, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Ditto - hope it happens too. I guess except for Dunkin Donuts and Royal Farm, you could take a bulldozer and flatten everything. And how much longer do we have to drive past the adult video store - like it's 1970.
Andrea D November 28, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Would love any of these. @Charlotte - it's not the strip, but there is a Five Guys in the Odenton Shopping Center so a bit closer than Waugh Chapel.
Calique November 28, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Hey, Betty Boop is still relevant! ;-)
EA November 28, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Would love a Starbucks! Also, are there any plans to create a nice park somewhere in Odenton that has ice skating in the winter and free events in the summer? Developing retail is great but what about the culture and arts of Odenton?
vicki willard November 28, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Sounds like a great addition to the neighborhood. After 18 years in the area, I know it won't happen quickly. AA County is pretty slow at approving these things.
Mark November 28, 2012 at 08:40 PM
With the invention of the internet who buys porn in 2012? Thanks Al Gore! Never again do people have to venture into a seedy establishment to get their "educational" videos!
Ron Jeremy November 28, 2012 at 09:02 PM
I hope they don't tear down the adult store. The products that they sell in there have been an invaluable aid to my wife and I. It's perfect for those "Gotta have it now" kinds of moments when you just can't wait for Amazon.com to deliver the goods. Kind of like just going to Odenton Ace for some nails instead of driving all the way to Lowes.
Ron Jeremy November 28, 2012 at 09:03 PM
I hope they don't tear down the adult store. The products that they sell in there have been an invaluable aid to my wife and I. It's perfect for those "Gotta have it now" kinds of moments when you just can't wait for Amazon.com to deliver the goods. Kind of like just going to Odenton Ace for some nails instead of driving all the way to Lowes.
Chris W November 28, 2012 at 10:58 PM
You need to get out of the house more.
mark johnson November 29, 2012 at 01:46 AM
What ever happened to the proposal to build a Highs convenient store/gas station across the street from Dunkin Donuts?
Mary November 29, 2012 at 01:58 AM
I was wondering the same thing.
Tim Lemke (Editor) November 29, 2012 at 02:04 AM
That plan is working its way through the development approval process. I am not sure what the timeline is. But it's coming.
charisse November 29, 2012 at 04:46 AM
Oh this just angers me to see this picture of my shop here ..finally economic and development release some money to this area and Frank Smith is redevelopment is a plan.I just wasted thousands of dollars in1582 Annapolis rd. Which I fought 6montha for a building permit and your interest was to tear down my shop. So a small business had to close. You gave me 2 weeks to vacate the premises ....this is MT Boomtown issuch nobody Really gives a hoot. Yes stores are needed in this area ..I live here too. And just. As others I would. Drive to surrounding area if needed. Answer. To no more cleaners. Nail salon .....etc the rental in the new town center. Is $35 a sq ft. What small business can pay that at 2 thousand sq ft......
charisse November 29, 2012 at 04:56 AM
A carwash and small restaurant neither one of these owners live in this area.....just two cooks waiting to open another Jukebox joint.....in this area that also washes cars after. 10pm at night with. A look out man in the restaurant ....: I afraid of jail and. I refused to join them so Caribbean shop was dump ed.
charisse November 29, 2012 at 04:59 AM
A carwash and small restaurant neither one of these owners live in this area.....just two crooks waiting to open another Jukebox joint.....in this area that also washes cars after. 10pm at night with. A look out man in the restaurant ....: I afraid of jail and. I refused to join them so Caribbean shop was dump ed.
Odenton Guy November 29, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Maybe they should put a McDonald's in in this area...oh wait they already did and that didn't work out. It would take a lot of work on the road and the place would have to be pretty great for anyone to go there. The additional stoplights along 175 will be much appreciated too.
Odenton Guy November 29, 2012 at 12:33 PM
I sympathize with you. Odenton was a great place to grow up and some of the growth has been okay but it's terrible when small businesses get pushed out in the interest of "growth".
Laurie November 29, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Sounds like you own the store.
radarradar November 30, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Why post the same thing twice? It wasn't really funny the first time.
BBrown December 01, 2012 at 05:45 AM
I like how you think!! We need something to not only attract people to live here but also enjoy living here.
Dawn from Odenton December 06, 2012 at 02:50 PM
I agree with you EA. Having a park where there could be events such as summer concerts would be great for the growing Odenton community.
black cherry December 15, 2012 at 07:26 AM
I would like to have to stop driving past my house for certain conveniences. I understand small business making up the community and hopefully some of the better ones can get a break to stay. But this stretch of 175 is sketchy, I am fairly new to AA county and have owned a house here for 7 years and there is nothing that has drawn my attention there. Maybe it cleaned up and providing more services could allow the residences that actually live here to stop there. Other that Royal Farms and the WINE BOX (which is awesome!!!) the rest of the stuff is a blur. I know there is a barbershop and hair salon but nothing has really grabbed my attention. I try to look and search for something to provide additional services but there is nothing stellar draws me.

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