Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, The Cordish Companies and Heritage Properties announced on Tuesday the first three restaurants that will be housed in Towson Square, located in downtown Towson.
Nando's Peri-Peri, a flame grilled chicken chain from South Africa; La Tagliatella, a European chain featuring Northern Italian cuisine and On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, a Southwestern style family chain, will join Cinemark Theatres—the first confirmed tenant—at the $85 million entertainment center.
"We're going to make Towson a regional destination," Kamenetz said.
Blake Cordish, a vice president of The Cordish Company, said announcements about five more restaurants expected to join Towson Square—including one owned by a well-known celebrity chef—will be made in the coming months. Few—if any—retail stores are expected.
"We've put together an eclectic mix of terrific operators," Cordish said.
Cinemark is also debuting a VIP experience at Towson Square, which will feature a 200-seat balcony level with full bar service and premium food choices for customers over the age of 21. The 90,000 square foot complex will include 15 screens and 3,400 stadium-style seats.
"Really, it's going to be bigger and better than we planned," Kamenetz said.
Cordish said construction crews are formally mobilizing on the site, a 4.2 acre parcel bounded by East Joppa Road, Pennsylvania and Virginia avenues, Tuesday, and the entertainment center is scheduled for a summer 2014 opening.
The project faced delays because of economic troubles, said Cordish and Mike Batza, chairman and CEO of Heritage Properties.
"It's a complex project with many moving parts but developers are always optimistic," Batza said.
Towson Square is projected to create 1,530 jobs, including 660 in construction and 870 once Cinemark and the restaurants open, according to a county news release. Once the jobs are open, they will generate an estimated $16.4 millionin annual payroll. Additionally, the county will collect $1.75 million in taxes.
Councilman David Marks, who represents Towson, said he was pleased with the announcement.
"I think we have a number of very good options," he said. "Those are nice, relatively upscale, restaurants."
Greater Towson Council of Community Associations President Paul Hartman said he was similarly impressed, and thought Towson Square would be a great option for locals.
"It was definitely a different mix than what was expected," he said. "There were rumors about another Olive Garden or California Kitchen—not that those are bad—but now Towson has its own identity to build on."
Marks and Hartman both said conversations about the crowds the entertainment center would likely attract such as security and traffic concerns would need to be ongoing.
Stay with Patch for updates.