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In a December 12, 2013 article, The Baltimore Sun quoted Venable partner Robert Hoffman on a proposed $45 million mixed-use development called Loch Raven Commons in Towson, MD. An advisory committee and the project’s developer, the Buccini/Pollin Group, met this week at Councilman David Marks’ office to survey plans for the project.

Hoffman, who represents BPG, said that the new design for the property calls for a town square concept with green space tying together the project’s varied features. The apartments would be no higher than four or five stories tall and will feature first-floor garage space and surface parking around the buildings. Three retail buildings are also planned for the 9.35-acre site and will be utilized by retail, restaurants and a convenience store, he said.

Hoffman explained that BPG purchased the property at 1300 E. Joppa Rd. five years ago and tried to re-lease the existing building, but “it's just obsolete with regard to office use.” When BPG’s priority shifted toward redevelopment, they met with Marks, who was “pretty firm” in discouraging them from developing a big-box retailer. At that point, BPG hired Matt D'Amico, principal of the architecture firm Design Collective, to engineer “a good program for a mixed-use development for the site.”

To allow for a higher density zoning designation, Loch Raven Commons will need to be constructed as a planned unit development, wherein an application must be submitted to Marks. But Hoffman said that won’t transpire until after reviewing the feedback from this week’s meeting. “It's pretty early at this point,” said Hoffman. “We would now go back, take some of the comments that we heard last night and try and come up with a final concept that we would like to present again to Councilman Marks. That's where we are.”