BEL AIR, MD — The vacant Sears store at the Harford Mall is headed for demolition.
The department store closed in February 2020 at the Harford Mall as the chain shuttered locations nationwide.
Once it is torn down, a single-level shopping center that spans about 59,600 square feet will replace the department store.
Called the Shops at Harford Mall, the standalone shopping center will be built near the mall. However, it will not be connected to it physically.
It is on 4.4 acres of property being sold by the Harford Mall to a developer for the Shops at Harford Mall, which filed an application for a demolition permit, Senior Planner Rowan Glidden told the Bel Air Planning Commission this week.
A grocery store is slated to anchor the Shops at Harford Mall.
The grocery store will be “high end,” developer Jay Douglas told the Bel Air Planning Commission in the spring.
SJC Ventures — the company developing the shopping center — had signed a tenant the week before the commission’s May 6 meeting, Douglas said, but he did not disclose the name.
“Nobody has told me the name of the store yet,” Glidden told the Bel Air Planning Commission on Nov. 4, after he announced the demolition permit paperwork was in process for the former Sears.
Now, piles of rubble are visible inside the vacant Sears store.
Interior Specialists is slated to handle the tear-down of the “Sears portion” of the structure, according to Bel Air spokesperson Patti Parker.
While the demolition permit is pending, the White Marsh-based company is aiming for Nov. 22.
During construction, the Harford Transit LINK transfer station would temporarily need to be relocated while the new shopping center is under construction, town officials stipulated.
The bus stop in front of Sears — on the Greene Turtle side of the mall — is slated to be replaced with a structure similar to the bus shelter that just opened in Edgewood, according to Harford County spokesperson Cindy Mumby.
The precise spot for the transfer station and timeline for installation have not yet been determined, Mumby told Patch Tuesday. Bus service will continue uninterrupted, she added, noting the Bel Air stop is a busy location for those traveling to Aberdeen and Edgewood.
When the new shopping center is complete, it is slated to contain the grocery store as well as 19,000 to 20,000 square feet of service-based and food-oriented establishments that developers said would complement the offerings at the Harford Mall.
The Shops at Harford Mall will have frontage on Tollgate Road and an address of 111 North Tollgate Road, according to planning documents filed with the town of Bel Air.
The developer’s projected opening date for the shopping center is 2023.