Friday, August 16, 2013

Wilde Lake Village Center: Demolition is Underway

It's been close to seven years since Wilde Lake has lost its 22,000 square foot Giant Anchor but it appears finally that the long awaited redevelopment of Wilde Lake Village Center is underway. Since Giant closed, there have been multiple businesses that have closed their doors since. They include Produce Galore, Riedel's Florist, Tokyo Cafe, Star Nails, Feet First, Great Clips, The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy, The Columbia Bank, and KFC. Luckily a big new lease has been signed; CVS Pharmacy will build a store on the grounds of what is now a Crown Gas Station. With that and David's acting as Co-Anchors it is believed new tenants will flock to the Center. I hope they're right.

In addition to the businesses who have departed, there are still tenants who have held tough through it all and are eagerly awaiting redevelopment; Anthony Richard Barber Shop, Wilde Lake Cleaners, Absolutely Wine & Spirits, Bagel Bin, Pizza Bolis, The Melting Pot, Wilde Lake Karate, Hunan Family, Achievers Hair Salon, The UPS Store, and finally the two known stores that will be housed in new buildings; David's and Today's Catch Seafood Market. 
With most of the aforementioned businesses agreeing to stay on, this begs the question; Who should be joining them i.e. what businesses should to the Village Center? Whatever businesses they are they should be "draws", businesses that will draw people into the Center and patronize other businesses. 
I had originally proposed (years ago) a Quiznos Sub Shop but given how many of them have closed in the past few years. Jimmy Johns, is opening lots of new restaurants in the area and I think a Wilde Lake location would be a great addition. Although not necessarily a draw, a Nail Salon would also be good given that it's a staple in most Village Center and Wilde Lake currently doesn't have one. 
In the redevelopment plans there's a very small Retail space proposed in the middle of the Courtyard. This would be perfect for an Ice Cream Stand similar to Rita's or The Meadows Frozen Custard. Obviously neither of these would work at Wilde Lake given that they're at Harper's Choice and Hickory Ride respectively. Ice Cream stands are also draws. Along Lynx Lane there's a new space proposed for a Bank. Given that the Columbia Bank has left a new Bank for that space will have to be sought out. 
Not included in the renovation plans are what is to be done with the old KFC space. I don't believe Kimco originally owned it but they're talking about leasing it out which makes me believe that they have either bought it or are taking over leasing duties on behalf of the owners. I personally think that building is outdated and will stick out like a sore thumb in the newly redeveloped Center. I believe it should demolished and replaced with a Sonic. There's one coming to Ellicott City and I think Wilde Lake should usher Sonic into Columbia. I had originally proposed it for Long Reach but I have other plans for it so Wilde Lake it is.
The redevelopment of Wilde Lake has been seven years in the making and has been filled with pitfalls. I don't doubt that such problems won't continue until completion but at least for now we can say; The demolition has begun.


Anonymous said...

Please put a sonic in for kfc ! And cold stone creamy would be a good ice cream choice

Spence Lean said...

I agree that both of these would be great additions to the Village Center