At Mondawmin, the CEO of Whiting-Turner invests in a community and is listening to it

Leaders in West Baltimore are envisioning how a new community center at the Mondawmin Mall could serve surrounding neighborhoods, and they’re reimagining how the historic mall interacts with area residents. Whiting Turner CEO Tim Regan recently purchased the years-empty anchor building at 3201 Tioga Parkway, which formerly housed a much-valued Target store, and plans to open a new community “hub.”

Rather than home goods, clothing and electronics, the empty Target shell could soon house a job training and career development center, a business incubator for Black entrepreneurs and a food hall with healthy menu options. “Give me a town gathering place, where people can develop skills for livable wages, where I can be entertained, where I can take someone to,” said Pastor Frank Lance of Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church. “The same thing any community deserves and desires.”

Lance was one of several neighborhood leaders who participated in recent meetings with Regan to discuss potential uses for the space.

“This space presents a unique opportunity for Mondawmin residents to shape the future of their amazing neighborhood,” Regan said in a statement following the purchase earlier this month. “I firmly believe the Mondawmin area is on the cusp of a renaissance, and I’m hopeful this investment in the mall area will spur additional investment throughout the larger community.”

The purchase is reinvigorating talks about the importance of the mall and comes after the retailer’s departure, which has been mourned by many. “When (Target) came, we welcomed it, because it was something that we truly wanted to see in the neighborhood,” said Adeline Wheless-Hutchinson, president of the Greater Mondawmin Coordinating Council. “But then after it left, it took employment opportunities with it. There’s just been that empty hole there for a while.”

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