MallBy Katherine Heerbrandt, TheFrederickExtra.com
Monday, December 4, 2017

Get ready for some big news about the former Frederick Towne Mall. Representing a group of investors, local realtor and broker Tony Checchia promises a topnotch recreation/entertainment venue as soon as the ink dries. As for the reveal, Checchia is bound by a nondisclosure agreement until the paperwork’s in order, but called the coming attraction “a gamechanger.”

“I can tell you personally, from the perspective of a city resident, that I am extremely excited about what we are bringing to the mall,” he said. “It would be a game changer, and is a very compatible use with the facility.”

Checchia, owner and broker at VCRE-x.com (Verita Real Estate) hopes to share the details about the project in the coming weeks. The group has a letter of intent, and Checchia said the move is a direct landlord to tenant negotiation. He did share that the proposal is one that developers are heavily invested in, and one that the community will embrace.

The Frederick Towne Mall was sold to Dr. Mohammad Mohuiddin, a Frederick-based urologist, and other investors for “$6 million plus,” according to the seller’s attorney, David Severn. 

The 38-acre property on West Patrick Street went out for bid on an online auction site in December 2016, with a minimum bid of $2.5 million. The owner, Rockwell Capital of White Plains, N.Y. purchased the property in 2007. The City of Frederick approved permits, with zoning conditions attached, for a Wal-Mart store, but Wal-Mart backed out last fall. Wal-Mart opened a super store on Rt. 26 in Frederick last month.

Checchia’s also got an offer for the newly-elected mayor and board regarding a site for a new Frederick Police headquarters. The strip of former stores abutting the Frederick Towne Mall, including Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and a church, has the requisite space to accommodate a 40,000 – 50,000 sq.ft city police headquarters.  “I personally feel that it is an economically feasible option that would be tremendous stabilizing for the entire west end of the community,” he said.

The selection of a site for a new police headquarters has been in the works for over a decade. A task force is reviewing past studies and should have recommendations for a request for information by January or February, according to Mayor-elect Michael O’Connor (D.) Although the city’s comprehensive plan calls for a downtown location, O’Connor said he “appreciates and would love to see a more sustained presence on west side.”