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Goodbye, Derelict Shopping Center; Hello, Perry Hall Revitalization

'...we are redeveloping this eyesore..." —Baltimore County Councilman David Marks

(Courtesy of Councilman David Marks)
(Courtesy of Councilman David Marks)
Bulldozers have arrived at the rundown shopping center where Seasons Pizza used to be, Baltimore County Councilman David Marks reported this week.

The building at 8833 Belair Road had been vacant for more than a year, Marks said. Last month, he issued a call for progress after the project stalled in the county's permitting and review process, and nothing was happening with the development.

After working with property owner John Mazarakis and County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Marks said he was able to get bulldozers on the site Thursday.

Redevelopment plans include brick architecture, landscaping and a "Welcome to Perry Hall" sign, Marks said.

"I have made improvements to Downtown Perry Hall one of my priorities since taking office in 2010," Marks said. "We created the revitalization district to provide grants and benefits to businesses in this area, and now we are redeveloping this eyesore at the southern end of the district."

Perry Hall's revitalization district includes Belair Road from Blakeley Avenue in the south to Minte Drive in the north. It also includes Joppa Road, between Seven Courts Drive and Belair Road, as well as Ebenezer Road, from Belair Road to Yvonne Avenue.

Businesses in the zone are eligible for special financing, free design services and other forms of county assistance.

President of the Perry Hall Improvement Association Dennis Robinson thanked Marks for his support of the efforts to revitalize the area.

"I am glad to see that this shopping center is finally coming down," Robinson said. "This will allow the owner to proceed with his plans to redevelop the property and help the ongoing efforts to enhance Downtown Perry Hall."

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Kim Ruark April 22, 2014 at 09:45 AM
Thank you for battling to get this done!
Gregg Roberts April 22, 2014 at 12:08 PM
Councilman Marks, Although we have disagreed on some things, I am glad to see you remain devoted to Perry Hall revitalization and that is to be applauded. It seems to me that you spoke of a pedestrian area in Perry Hall. Since most of our side streets are pedestrian friendly, I assume you mean in a public ''downtown'' area. I was surprised during the winter snow storms to see just how unfriendly local business are to pedestrians. Nearly every business in the Perry Hall area need serious education on creating a friendly pedestrian area. It has also been my understanding (perhaps I am wrong) that one is required to shovel there sidewalk area and certainly not to pile snow to block sidewalks. Certainly common sense dictates this. Upon walking on numerous occasions from Perry Hall Methodist to Safeway I noticed that with the exception of Perry Hall Driving School and one other location, every business chose to not shovel sidewalks even days after snow stopped and weathered warmed BUT did choose in almost every case to pile snow from their parking lot across the entry area to sidewalks making the area impassable even without boots without literally climbing over mounds of snow. Snow could have easily been piled in other locations. My point is we don't have a culture of being pedestrian friendly in Perry Hall. I am glad to see that the average driver no longer honks and yells when crossing at the crosswalk in front of the old Perry Hall Library. They did this for many years during the libraries existence and despite my many complaints (before your time) to both government and the police (whom I requested instead of hiding behind the Perry Hall Methodist Church to position themselves near the crosswalk to also warn drivers who who ignore that law, nothing was ever done. At some point in time the mentality of the average driver changed. The same things needs to happen with store owners in commercial areas. This is another albeit less dangerous form of pedestrian contempt in Perry Hall. I would like to briefly share with you what I have seen in other communities both in America and abroad:
Gregg Roberts April 22, 2014 at 12:19 PM
- Designate an area (half a mile) with many crosswalks like the one in front of Perry Hall library. Only paint needed, no stop light investments. I would suggest in the Joppa/Ebenezer area and then again in the Safeway area. - Benches - Frequent festivities -- can be in shopping center parking lots. Perry Hall Shopping Center is 2/3 empty on a good day..I've seen communities where a cheerleading team or marching band performs, vendors sell, etc. every week. A real size Christmas tree lighting, 4th of July fireworks...real community events. -
gabe April 25, 2014 at 08:49 PM
Took me 2 years just to get permits for a house to be built on my own lot. I nor anyone else should have to call the county executive to get things done. This is where our government is messed up as it takes pressure to make them do there job in the zoning and permits, etc. My thinking is the slower they go the more work they have the longer they get to hold there job.
runymede April 28, 2014 at 08:52 AM
Perry Hall is being revitalized ?.....I thought Perry Hall was a middle class community unlike Dundalk, Middle River, and Essex.

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