By Megan Sayles,
AFRO Business Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,
Baltimore-based construction company Whiting-Turner, on Dec. 15 will begin groundbreaking on Mondawmin Mall’s Target, which has been vacant since 2018. CEO and President Tim Regan, who is privately funding the project, will also announce the name of the soon-to-be active community town center.
The new community hub will include a retail row with six to eight shops and a green space. It will also house the Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a program under Medicare and Medicaid.
“What’s really exciting about Thursday is it becomes very visible, and we’re starting to literally rip the front off of this thing,” said Regan. “We’re starting to rebuild the front and make it look like something totally different. It’s modest size, but it’s going to look like a really cool activated town center.”
Regan’s project was announced in March and expands on his overall interest in revitalizing the Mondawmin community.
In 2016, he, along with former CEO of Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) Calvin Butler, created Touchpoint Baltimore, which spurs collaborations between local nonprofits and residents to empower communities in Mondawmin Mall after the 2015 civil unrest triggered by the killing of Freddie Gray.
When the Target closed in 2018, Regan said he believed property shouldn’t remain vacant. In 2021, he negotiated a deal with the big-box store chain to acquire the building.
After closing on the property in March, Whiting-Turner held several lengthy planning sessions with numerous community leaders in the Mondawmin neighborhood, including Adeline Wheless-Hutchinson, president of the Greater Mondawmin Coordinating Council.
According to Regan, the priorities that arose out of the conversations included accessible medical care, workforce readiness and childcare.
By securing a space for PACE, he has already begun to meet the first priority. PACE provides older communities with access to medical services including, primary care, emergency services, hospital care, physical therapy and prescription drugs.
Although Regan hasn’t secured tenants for the other priorities yet, he said the community hub will feature comprehensive workforce development and training programs and a childcare facility.
With the Target project, Regan hopes to prove the economic viability of unlocking the potential in underserved neighborhoods. He thinks the new construction will create hundreds of full-time jobs for residents and influence developers and businesses to invest in the community.
“Mondawmin is one of the busiest, if not the busiest transit hubs in the state of Maryland. There’s not a reason in the world why that whole area of West Baltimore shouldn’t just be an absolute beehive of activity, development, job creation, affordable housing and just downright economic viability,” said Regan. “That is what I want to see happen.”
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