The Boulevard at Box Hill, a 700,000 square foot retail, office and entertainment center, broke ground Oct. 12 at the intersection of Woodsdale Road and Box Hill Center Corporate Drive, in Abingdon, Md. Plans for the 40-acre project include more than 450,000 square feet of premium retail space, 50,000 square feet of restaurant space, and 88,000 square feet of class A office space.
Less than a mile from I-95, the contemporary shopping center and office complex will feature a “Main Street” design, with open air plazas, tree-lined boulevards, expansive sidewalks, and extensive landscaping. The center, a short drive from Downtown Bel Air, Abingdon, and Aberdeen Proving Ground, will serve Harford and Cecil Counties, and draw visitors from southern Pennsylvania and northeastern Baltimore County.
Developed in multiple phases, phase one will include a bank site, two restaurant pad sites, and a Wegmans Food Store.
“We are excited about our new location in Harford County and have been thrilled with the response we have received from the community,” said Paul Gilbert, Director of Real Estate for Wegmans Food Stores. “Boulevard at Box Hill’s strategic location and high-quality design, coupled with the region’s growing population make the site an excellent location for national retailers, and for Wegmans to expand its presence in Maryland.”
”Wegmans will not only provide a new and unique shopping experience for Harford County residents, but the firm is also a strong community advocate in the regions in which it operates,” said Tom Fidler, Senior Vice President of MacKenzie Retail, LLC who has been selected to market the project. Wegmans has been featured on Fortune Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, and contributes annually to food banks, scholarships, and other charities.
Plans for phases two and three include national department stores, a 2,500 seat multi-plex cinema, and a multi-level office building.
“The Boulevard at Box Hill is the first of its kind in the County and signals a transformation in Harford’s retail landscape,” said Fidler. “Historically, a mix of community based-strip centers and small-shop retail, Harford County has lacked a contemporary entertainment center capable of attracting premier national retailers and restaurant establishments, until now,” he added.
Robert “Bob” Ward Chairman of Ward Properties, developer of the project, thinks the timing is right for an upscale retail center in Harford County.
“Ward Properties has found great success in the early identification of community needs and desires,” said Ward. “Our past projects have successfully captured the growing Harford County market as the requirements of its citizens evolved. We plan to meet the needs of Harford County’s future families and businesses with the Boulevard at Box Hill.”
When complete, the project could generate more than 1,500 full and part-time positions, making it a precedent-setting retail project for economic development in Harford County.
“We are proud to welcome Wegmans to Harford County and our outstanding business community,” said County Executive David Craig. “The Boulevard at Box Hill is vital to future business development and expansion opportunities for this area of Harford County,” he added.
Senator Nancy Jacobs, Harford County Executive David Craig, County Council members Joe Woods, Chad Shrodes, Dion Guthrie, Dick Slutsky, and Mary Ann Lisaniti, Harford County Chief of Staff, Aaron Tomarchio, Harford County Director of Economic Development Jim Richardson, Harford County Director of Administration Lorraine Costello, and Harford County Director of Government and Community Relations attended the afternoon event.