The only constant in life is change, as Greek philosopher Heraclitus said.
Each year, the greater Severna Park area experiences changes in the form of new businesses. The demand for retail space in both Severna Park and Arnold continues to outpace the supply.
“Over the last five to 10 years, we have seen a clear push from regional and national brands, specifically quick-serve restaurants, to open along the Route 2 corridor,” said John Rosso, principal of Rosso Commercial Real Estate Services. “This demand has absorbed a meaningful commercial space, reducing available supply of the same. Without additional supply, rents have increased.”
Rosso noted that Severna Park has become one of the most difficult Baltimore-Washington, D.C. submarkets for securing quality commercial and retail space, more than Waugh Chapel in Gambrills and even Annapolis.
Despite the challenge of securing space, several businesses are setting up shop.
Days before the new year started, Advance Auto Parts started assisting customers. Located in the Clement Hardware building at 500 Ritchie Highway, Advance Auto Parts offers automotive replacement parts, accessories, batteries and maintenance items.
Chip Simons, district manager for the area that includes Anne Arundel County, explained why Severna Park is an ideal spot for the store.
“Our goal is to provide convenience for motorists,” Simons said. “Ritchie Highway is a major thoroughfare for folks who travel every day. We have stores in Annapolis and Pasadena, so this was an opportunity to fill a gap.”
Advance Auto Parts caters to everyone from the DIYer to the professional customer.
The business also offers a variety of free installations, curbside services and battery checks.
“Batteries die in the summer heat but fail in the winter,” Simons said. “During a Maryland winter, the temperature can be anywhere between 75 degrees and below freezing.”
Store hours are 7:30am-9:00pm Monday through Saturday and 9:00am-6:00pm Sunday.
With both hot and cold food on its menu, Tropical Smoothie Café is expected to open sometime in the first quarter of 2023. The new store will fill the space at 366 Ritchie Highway, by the Whites Road intersection.
In addition to smoothies, the café will be stocked with sandwiches, flatbreads, wraps and more.
Roughly one mile away, Fulton Bank is opening an office in the shopping center with Brian Boru Irish Restaurant and Pub.
Another new business, BD Provisions, will sell bulk foods by the pound in sustainable containers. The selection ranges from basic pantry staples to popular superfoods. The store also roasts coffee in the front of the store so customers can watch their beans being roasted.
A new senior living community called The Sheridan at Severna Park is currently under construction at 134 Ritchie Highway in Pasadena. The community will include 84 assisted living and 18 memory care apartment homes and upscale amenities, such as a fitness studio, art studio, memory garden, salon and spa and chef-prepared meals. The estimated opening is spring 2023.
These businesses are fortunate to find space in an area that has “extremely high barriers for entry,” according to Rosso. He worries about mom-and-pop shops being able to find affordable space, but overall, change is not a bad thing.
“The good news is that we live in one of the most desirable markets in our region, with no shortage of businesses that want to be part of the action,” Rosso said.
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