September 2017 Around Town

Towson’s Ukazoo Books 
Reopens on Joppa Road

After closing its Dulaney Valley Road location last year, Ukazoo Books has opened its doors once again on Loch Raven Boulevard, just south of the Joppa Road intersection. Ukazoo, which deals in new, used and rare books, was a staple of the Dulaney Valley shopping center until December 2016 when the store lost its lease on a 10,000-square-foot space to a new long-term tenant.

Edward Whitfill, Ukazoo’s general manager, and co-owner says the new location is a better fit for the bookstore.

“This gets us down to an affordable rent and gives us the road visibility, which is something we never had before,” he says.

According to Whitfill, the community has provided the store with a warm reception.

“It’s been a great neighborhood, people have been very nice about having us back,” he says.

While there are no special sales commemorating the store’s return, Ukazoo’s buy three used books, get the fourth book free promotion continues at the new Loch Raven store.

Local Contractor Tapped to 
Build New Guinness Brewery 
in Baltimore County

Baltimore-based construction company Plano-Coudon has been selected by the Diageo Beer Company to head the construction of a $50 million Guinness brewery and taproom in southwest Baltimore County. The Brewery and Taproom, Guinness’ first new development in the United States in more than 60 years, will renovate and occupy the Calvert Distillery, a former property of Seagram. According to Ryan Coudon, the co-founder of Plano-Coudon, the award of the contract solidifies a long-standing desire to lead the brewery’s construction.

“Landing this contract is a culmination of several years of hard work to establish Plano-Coudon as a best-in-class contractor in this area,” Coudon says. “It feels like a coming of age.”

The brewery and taphouse will focus on the production of Guinness Blonde, a light pale ale inspired by American brewing traditions.

Baltimore Soup Company 
Opens in Towson

Towson’s West Chesapeake Avenue is home to a new storefront. The Baltimore Soup Company has opened a branch in Towson bring their famous soups, sandwiches and salads to the county. For the Baltimore Soup Company, the opening signals a return to its roots, with its first location having opened on Joppa Road in Towson more than 20 years ago, before moving to the central business district of Baltimore City. According to their website, their focus on local, organic ingredients and specialty recipes are meant to cater to the tastes of “discriminating Baltimoreans.” The new Towson branch will be open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m on weekdays.

Towson University listed by Forbes as a “Best Value” College

In its 2017 rankings, Forbes Magazine listed Towson University as one of its “Best Value” Colleges. Towson earned the 181st spot in this year’s rankings and made the list with three other Maryland Institutions: University of Maryland, Salisbury University and UMBC. The ranking, based on the evaluation of 300 private and public institutions of higher education, assesses schools based on the cost of tuition, the quality of education, post-graduate earnings, student debt loads and general graduation rates. This is the second year Forbes has released a “best value” list of colleges. According to Forbes, “Not only do these colleges have a good reputation, they’re also a great deal.”

Gilman Alum to Become 
Head of School’s Board

Over the summer, Mark Fetting, a graduate of the Gilman School’s Class of 1972, was named the head of the Gilman School’s board of trustees. A former chairman and CEO of Baltimore’s Legg Mason, Fetting is rejoining the Gilman board as president after serving as a trustee from 1997 to 2009. Fetting’s connections to Gilman are well-rooted with both of his sons graduating from Gilman—one in 2002 and the other in 2005. Before accepting the role, Fetting was the CEO of Legg Mason from 2008 until 2012. In addition to his new role with the Gilman school, Fetting sits on the board of the Baltimore Community Foundation and runs an outdoor camp for inner-city youth with his wife.

Stalled Towson Development 
Project Scaled Down, Moves Forward

A stalled development at the corner of York Road and Towsontown Boulevard has once again begun to move forward after a review committee approved plans to scale down the initial size of the development. The development, which was originally slated to cover more than 1.2 million square feet of residential and office space, was brought to a halt after solid bedrock discovered at the building’s foundations prevented a large underground parking garage from being built. The new design limits the development to just residential units, moving the proposed office space to the corner of Susquehanna and Washington Avenues.

Eric Walter, the vice president of Greenberg Gibbons, one of the project’s developers, said the change makes the project more streamlined and manageable.

“All the changes reflect economics that make the project more economically feasible and marketable,” Walter says. “Part of it has to do with the underground parking garage, but it’s also that any underground parking garage is very expensive.”