TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — It’s considered the geographic center of downtown Towson, but for two years, Towson Commons has been sitting vacant.

Now, as Tim Williams reports, the retail space is getting a primary tenant and is expected to boost area businesses, as well.

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It sits smack in the middle of Towson, the Baltimore County seat. Towson Commons has been vacant for nearly two years, but that’s about to change.

“It’s Towson’s time,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

A new major tenant for the largest portion of retail space has just been announced.

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“Very excited that LA Fitness has signed a lease for Towson Commons and they’re going to take the space of the now-shuttered movie theater that was there and it’s going to be a 53,000 square foot facility,” Kamenetz said.

The new LA Fitness will transform the former AMC theater. The new multiple-level rotunda entrance will get added windows. Inside, glass staircases and an indoor lap pool are among the many state-of-the-art upgrades. It’s the latest step in a momentum area planners hope to continue.

“I used to think downtown Towson could be the next Bethesda but now with the movie theater project that we’re having coming online and an LA Fitness here, I think we’re going to have a little Hollywood coming to Towson,” Kamenetz said.

Towson Commons is about a quarter mile of retail space but represents nearly 90 percent of the area’s vacancies. Current property owners say leasing this retail area will be the start of a new beginning.

“I’m hopeful that this property will be renovated, that there will be new tenants and it will fit into a larger master plan for Towson,” said Councilman David Marks.

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The company has not yet announced an opening date for the new facility.

Tim Williams