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Shops At Canton Crossing Officially Open For Business

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Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—It will bring more than 1,000 new jobs and 30 retailers and restaurants to one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods. Canton Crossing is officially open!

Christie Ileto has more on how the new retail hub is keeping local shoppers close to home.

Scanners are sounding, and registers are ringing at Five Below. The store is one of the many Shops at Canton Crossing officially open for business Tuesday.

“The closest we have is Golden Ring, so this is a lot closer,” said Debbie Varner, shopper.

“It’s great to be so close to stores,” said Canton resident Emily Knapp, who says she used to drive to stores for necessities.

“I would drive to White Marsh or Towson to get a lot of the things that I need, so it’s nice to have it here in Canton,” she said.

The $105 million shopping center on Boston Street includes many retail stores, such as Michael’s, Target and soon a 54,000 sq. ft. Harris Teeter food market.

“In January of this year, we actually started going vertical with the buildings themselves, and nine months later here we are,” said Abraham Rosenthal, Walker Development.

The retail lot doesn’t just mean keeping local dollars local. During the 14-month construction period, it also put Baltimoreans back to work—700 jobs, in fact.

“The economic impact is significant,” Rosenthal said. “We are adding more than 1,000 jobs at this shopping center with this first phase.”

But for Canton residents, it’s all about one thing.

“It’s very convenient, very,” one woman said.

The convenient shopping hub on Boston Street means a big return for Baltimore’s bottom line.

Ron Matz has more on the much talked about new shopping center and its distinctive Baltimore flavor.

Boston Street is about to get busier. Target and 30 other stores are opening at Canton Crossing.

“It’s a dynamic neighborhood. I think people are going to be interested and they’re going to be good customers,” one woman said.

And that’s what Mission BBQ expects. Its fourth location is its first in the city with the same delicious food.

“It’s barbecue in the city. We’re real excited to be here. Canton Crossing is a great community. It’s an incredible project,” said Steve Newton, Mission BBQ co-founder. “Everything is homemade and handcrafted. No microwave or freezer. We smoke right here all day and every day. Our pulled pork is our best seller. We have baby back ribs. We have Texas inspired beef brisket and smoked turkey.”

“It’s our real coming out party here in the city. We’re bringing barbeque to the city,” said Bill Kraus, Mission BBQ founder. “To be a part of this project, it’s a game changer. For urbanites to know they’ve got just about every retailer they may need, the targets of the world but at the same time our little brand to be co-mingled with these big national brands is very humbling but very exciting.”

Atwater’s Cafe and Farmstead Grill will open next year, and a Baltimore favorite opens a new location next week.

Samos will add Canton to its famous Greektown landmark.

“We will still have our location in Greektown. We’ve been there 37 years. That one is a little more formal setting with table service. This one is going to be a more fast, casual style. People can order, eat their food and be on their way,” said Mike Georgalas, Samos restaurant owner. “We know we have a very loyal following in Greektown, but we wanted to expand a little bit. There are a lot of people in Canton who have never been to our restaurant. We open on Monday, Oct. 14.”

At Mission BBQ last week, a large crowd attended a Wounded Warriors benefit. Tuesday they presented a check to the city firefighters’ foundation.

“It was a charity night for the Wounded Warrior Project. One hundred percent of the proceeds that night go back to the project,” Kraus said. “The mission of Mission BBQ is to serve. We feel like we’re serving America’s food for America’s heroes. Those folks that raise their right hand and swear to protect, serve and save our communities and our country–be it fireman, policemen or its soldiers.”

Located just a half mile from I-95, it’s an expected retail game changer.

“We’re very excited about this shopping center. It’s going to be great for the community, and I think it’s going to be very busy. It will bring people back to the city, and I think it’s a great spot for us,” Georgalas said.

“In terms of jobs, we’ll have about 40 teammates here at Mission BBQ, working in and around the city, and a lot of them are from the city. If it’s our small way of putting people to work and keeping the economy going. We’re proud to do it,” Kraus said.

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