Harford County Councilman Dion Guthrie and shopping center and would-be slots magnate David Cordish met in the parking lot of the Edgewater Shopping Center Monday and discussed plans for the crumbling site owned by The Cordish Companies. According to an account by Guthrie, the result was a mutual understanding on both sides.
Guthrie said the two hour meeting, which included representatives from the Edgewood Community Council and Cordish executives, moved from the parking lot to a nearby Chinese restaurant and covered a range of issues.
Improvements to the Edgewood property were discussed and Guthrie said Cordish agreed to tear down two of the three freestanding buildings in the strip mall if rebuilding to suit a future tenant would not require re-permitting by the County. Guthrie agreed to do what he could to assist.
Guthrie also said Cordish hoped to get an anchor to replace Giant; likely not a food store since the Mars store is nearby, but possibly another big box retailer. Whether or not a tenant was found in the next few months, Guthrie said Cordish told the group that the shopping center would get a facelift starting in the spring or early summer.
In the meantime, perhaps as a goodwill gesture, Cordish agreed to allow the Edgewood Community Council to hold their annual carnival in the parking lot this summer, according to the following letter:
Discussions also included another Cordish-owned property in Guthrie’s district, the former C-Mart building in Joppa. According to Guthrie, Cordish is considering dividing the empty facility into 4 or 5 sections to improve the chances of renting the smaller spaces in the current economy and also possibly redesigning some of the space to front onto on Rt. 40.
Regarding the meeting with Cordish, Guthrie concluded “I’m happy that we’ve come to a resolution of our differences and we hope to go forward from here.”
In a radio interview on WNPR on Thursday, David Cordish said the former Giant store was “not in disrepair” and as a company, “we don’t cut and run’, noting the company’s many awards for excellence in project quality. Cordish said he understood why the community would ask “…why don’t they fix it up?”
But Cordish said improvements had not been made earlier to the former Giant store because although Giant vacated the building, they held onto their low cost lease for 4 ½ years and would not let Cordish come in and do repairs.
The lease has since expired and Cordish said that company representatives began working with the Harford County Office of Economic Development on plans to improve the property in the fall, prior to the public outcry, which sources later confirmed.