Greenleigh at Crossroads starts to grow in Middle River

East County Times | Virginia Terhune

MIDDLE RIVER, MD (October 11, 2017) — Michael’s Cafe in Timonium plans to become the first white-tablecloth restaurant to open its doors in Greenleigh at Crossroads in Middle River, where construction in now under way on the first of 1,500 homes, townhouses and apartments.

“Having the rooftops brings the employers and retailers,” said David Murphy, a vice president with Elm Street Development based in McLean, Va.

Elm Street is developing the 200-acre site off MD Route 43 along with Somerset Construction of Bethesda and St. John Properties of Windsor Mill.

Known for its crab cakes and steaks, the family-owned Michael’s plans to open in June or July inside the building next to the Dunkin’ Donuts in Greenleigh’s existing retail center.

Co-owner Stephen Dellis said he learned more about the growth at Greenleigh through a brother who regularly commutes between his business on Belair Road and his house in Middle River.

“When we saw it, it was a no-brainer… it’s a booming area,” said Dellis, who said the restaurant will likely hire 40 to 60 employees for its second location, which will open with a menu similar to the site in Timonium.

“It’s a good opportunity,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll contribute to the area and to the other businesses.”

Also under construction or planned for the mixed-use community are apartments, more office space, a hotel and more retail stores.

“There’s a lot of buzz about Greenleigh. It’s unique,” said Murphy. He added there are no developments in Baltimore County equal in size or range of amenities.

Homebuilders Williamsburg, NV and Ryan have started work on the residential section, which Murphy said will take about 10 years to fully build out.

As of Friday, Oct. 6, a total of 45 units had been sold with 27 units under construction, and residents are expected to begin moving in by the end of November, he said.

Also under construction at Greenleigh are the luxury Berkleigh apartments being built by Somerset.

The horse shoe-shaped complex of 317 units is being built around a multi-level garage, according to Neil Greenberg, Somerset’s chief operating officer.

Studio rents will start at $1,375 per month, one-bedrooms at $1,584, two-bedrooms at $1,975 and three-bedrooms at $2,382, he explained.

Furnished short-term leases starting at three months will also be available.

“We won’t start leasing and won’t be accepting applications until we are 45 days from opening, which is currently scheduled for April 15, 2018,” he noted.

Nearby is a Marriott SpringHill Suites hotel due to open in March, as well as a recently completed three-story office building built by St. John.

Planned for the future are two more office buildings, a grocery store and 183 more apartments proposed by Somerset.

“It’s all benefiting each other,” said Murphy about the current phase of residential, commercial and retail development. “Right now everything seems to be working in concert.”

More than a decade ago, the state extended Route 43, also known as White Marsh Boulevard, an additional four miles from Pulaski Highway to Eastern Boulevard to open up the former A.V. Williams tract in hopes of luring major manufacturers to help grow the tax base in Baltimore County.

That vision never fully materialized, but commercial development has nevertheless taken place along the four-lane highway during the last 10 years.

St. John has developed flex and office buildings south of Greenleigh at Crossroads Circle with a dozen-plus office and flex buildings occupied by tenants such as the Danfoss engineering company, the county’s Crossroads Center alternative school and the Amped Up family recreational center.

Expected to move to Crossroads Circle next spring from east Baltimore is the Eisai company, a Japanese pharmaceutical lab with 55 employees that makes a brain cancer drug.

On the west side of Route 43, St. John recently began grading a 20-acre site across from the existing Arbors luxury apartments built by Somerset to make way for the first three of a dozen one-story office buildings and two retail buildings.

The construction is on land owned by Florida Rock Properties of Sparks, which had originally envisioned the Windlass Run Business Park for the site.

The buildings are due to open next year and no tenants have been announced yet, said Richard Williamson, senior vice president with St. John.

Several local employees and residents said there have been accidents at the Route 43 and Crossroads Circle intersection that is presently controlled by a blinking red and yellow traffic light.

The Maryland State Highway Administration is monitoring the area for existing traffic flows and other factors through late fall before deciding when to upgrade the signal to full operational status.

“We’ve been asking for that,” Williamson said.

Farther south near Eastern Boulevard are two areas developed by First Industrial Realty Trust on Bengies Road and Chesapeake Real Estate Group on Tangier Drive.

The nearly one dozen industrial and distribution buildings are almost fully leased with tenants such as Mary Sue Easter eggs, Breakthru Beverage liquor distributors, Mid Atlantic Port Service and two tire distribution centers.

First Federal expects 63,000 square feet of space to become available in March at 1225 Bengies Drive when a tenant moves to another location.

The building is an asset, “featuring excellent access to labor, services, amenities, major highways and the Port of Baltimore,” said Mac McCulloch, marketing/leasing manager for First Federal.