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Seeing the light – and utilizing Light Rail – in the future of Timonium


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Local developer Mark Renbaum joins Nestor at Pappas in Parkville on the Maryland Crab Cake Tour to discuss the MLR Timonium Light Rail community project and plans for future use of commercial and residential space at York and Ridgely.

Developer Mark Renbaum joins N…oject and plans for future use

Tue, Jun 25, 2024 7:20PM • 44:13


people, light rail, living, years, property, build, baltimore, place, mall, talking, towson, wife, project, shopping center, great, valley, public transportation, real estate, pimping, developer



Mark Renbaum, Nestor J. Aparicio

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:00

Welcome home we are W n s t Towson Baltimore Baltimore positive. We’re positively in beautiful Parkville Han we’re here Pappas. I see the sign Pappas restaurant Sports Bar. Catch all the O’s games here in the sports bar. I’m reading out here from the logo and sign on Taylor Avenue. So brought to you by the Maryland lottery. I got Pac Man scratch offs. I’ve got the gold rush seven still don’t get a handful the PAC man’s left. I’m gonna get my guest, Mark Rambo. I’m one of those owners brought to you by our friends at Liberty pure solutions as well. And they keep our water clean. Well water clean. That’s what they do. Doug’s gonna be coming on next week talking about that, as well as our friends at Jiffy Lube multi care driving us from Parkville to Bel Air to Cockeysville to Glen Burnie down in National Harbor with our friends at Pappas crabcake. I tell you what, you can order these online, Jeanne ordered this one over here. I’ve kept it intact. It’s been very difficult to do but I ate the chicken friend Chase earlier. So otherwise I’d be eating this thing. But we’ll eat this a little later on. final segment here at Pappus. in Parkville. I’ve done sports did community, Steve Elliot on I did a networking event Bill Cole and I talked about this a couple weeks ago, cool roofing out in Las Vegas. It’s a Maryland, truly a power networking event mainly for real estate people. But there’s a lot of lawyers, accountants, regular people, people in the building business and then just people that associate with other people. And I heard so many stories of that pool and the second day I wore my Aparicio jersey and Bill Cole said just go hang out at the pool all you’re gonna do see people you know and people who know you. And that’s exactly what happened. It was 110 degrees. Mark Rand bomb is here. He is the principal at MLR. Partners and CEO at Schwaber. holdings. I’m Johns Hopkins University Caribous of righteousness. I’m reading from his LinkedIn. There were a lot of real estate people there and you came up to me at the pool in sobriety I might add because i You can’t afford to get inebriated. It’s just too hot. So you came up to me and you’re like, hey, you’re nesting ready? What are you doing? And then we started talking about what you don’t what I do, and you’re like, doing this thing, antimony and do you know like we’re Robbie’s first base and rigidly run around the corner from curio, yeah, we’re gonna put housing over there. I’m like, where like, where the like the moms is or like, what what do you thought? Because that is my light rail. Stop when I go to the airport. My wife can’t drive me. That’s where I get. I don’t get off the light rail there. But I get on it often. And it’s the Lutherville stop. Yep, yep. What are you doing there and I heard your own chain Milly other people. I’m trying to understand the controversy and land them and I and I learned from people like you so I don’t get to talk about this issue of we’re trying to build something to put housing and commercial and mixed use the orals are going to be doing that at some point downtown as well. But tell me how all this works. Mark? Yeah,

Mark Renbaum  02:51

sure. So even before we get into that, it was great meeting you in Vegas.

Nestor J. Aparicio  02:57

I’ve never met you before before Vegas. All right.


Mark Renbaum  03:00

But true to what Bill Cole said. Everybody knows you. Okay, I’ve been listening to you. No one listens. Everybody. You know, I’ve been listening to a long time. I remember when you had like, I want to rock and roll on rock. And guess I’m

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:14

like, can I want to rock and roll all night? Yes. You are remembering very esoteric things. So that’s good. Yeah. So listen, man came up with that table. But an hour ago, Craig crazy enough? I gotta get him on the show. Well,

Mark Renbaum  03:24

that was good chemistry. And you are

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:26


we won best traffic award report in City Paper, as I remember.

Mark Renbaum  03:30

Well, look, your your radio legend, your gift to Baltimore. So first of all, to get your point across? No, absolutely not. No, I’m just calling it as I see it. And I appreciate that. So. So why is our project controversial? Because normally, you don’t need to go on radio shows, and have this kind of outreach. For a real estate project. You always hope none of that ever happens. I’ve been doing real estate a very, very long time long. over 20 years.

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:00

What is doing real estate mean give me give me like from because there is a huge difference between commercial development and you mentioned Bill, Bill Cole. He does commercial roofs commercial real estate Sure. Sure. So we’re talking strip malls anything that pops up as a Starbucks or this or that or royal farms, whatever. commercial development right? Yeah, in

Mark Renbaum  04:18

fact, we’re just delivering a Starbucks right now at the corner of York and originally wrote that will deliver just recently and they’ll open in October. So you know, speaking of stores already


Nestor J. Aparicio  04:28

one important originally kind of like near there, right? For the one next to cheap. Yes. But you’re not far from there. You mean your last mile not even right. That’ll be a relocation. That’s public knowledge. So that’s fine. I mean, but so that corner that I know of my bank is there i bank at Rosedale federal? Right in the parking lot there. Robbie’s first baseman that’s my area. There’s a Mexican joint in the in the plaza there Mezcal. But is that your Plaza? Yes. Okay. So your Plaza used to have like a low omens and I believe was a cow door back there a million years ago.

Mark Renbaum  05:02

Yeah. And before that it was a store it so that that property is very, very interesting because it’s technically two different shopping centers. There’s York Red shopping center, which is Uber healthy. It’s got moms, okay, Michaels, Kohl’s, we just brought into crumble cookie will open honey grow in two weeks. And that new building, Starbucks will open later this year, Towson hot bagels, it’s a dynamite shopping, it’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:27

active place,

Mark Renbaum  05:28


it’s a really active place, we put a lot of heart and soul into that over the years. And the Lutherville station property, which is kind of like starts at like we’re Old Navy is where borders used to be, where the bigger

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:39

places are, like literally correct more more like department stores.

Mark Renbaum  05:44

Exactly. So once you cross the coals parking lot, it becomes a whole, it’s a whole new property in terms of ownership and structure. And we didn’t own it. And we as a partnership that MLR formed with some other investors. We did not own that until December of 2020. But because we’re also involved through a separate partnership, at York Ridge, we’ve been looking at that property for at least 10 years. And we wanted to make sure that the future of that property was going to be in good hands. And the best way to control that is really to take ownership of the press you own that what’s next to it, we own it next door. So when you first you know, you hear a lot of the you know, a lot of the neighbors, you know, talk about, you know, their investment in their home, you know, we have a pretty substantial investment, also called your first shopping center. So we feel for you know, everyone who’s concerned what’s going to happen to this property, how will it impact our investment, I

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:38

think the biggest thing with commercial real estate and this isn’t me pimping it out for you. And I don’t have a lot of guys like you on the program to talk about it. But the whole idea is to create clients that that are active there that bring lots of people and are very successful along every walk, whether it’s the supermarket, whether it’s restaurant, whether it’s a chiropractor, whatever it’s there that you have successful that people are using it right absolutely. And that that you don’t have Help Wanted and signs, places moving out in places disappearing. You want stability, right that’s that’s the name of the game and your business.


Mark Renbaum  07:13

It’s more than just that. When you’re taking a property that’s in such a terrible condition right now is Lutherville station. You want to start from scratch, you want to create something that’s going to last another two generations at least it requires a super, super heavy lift. And it requires scissors

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:29

for for structures for department stores that were there were three I’m trying to think of what’s back there. I could probably Google Map and figure it out from a structure staple used

Mark Renbaum  07:37

to be a big Stuart’s that came out during I like to say came out during the Lyndon Johnson administration

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:41


with the late 60s is one that was built exactly it was a shopping center before malls exist. Well,

Mark Renbaum  07:47

it was actually called the Timonium Mall. So you had a it was a sports department store anchored by a tiny little Mall. And it was next to New York with shopping. So there

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:55

was an indoor atrium kind of area that like Kenilworth or like that. Yeah. And that’s why I never knew that. I’m from Dundalk. So I didn’t you know, I shopped at lumens. Sure. My wife went into the Kohl’s last week and bought something sometimes she goes in the moms if she needs something organic good. Um, but I don’t know what else is bad. You know, there’s other stores back there. Your since it’s been a Kaldor, I guess I remember it being a steward, but I didn’t live in Towson 30 years ago. So it’s just been going right here for

Mark Renbaum  08:21

a long, long time. But right now, you know, Lutherville station is exists is largely vacant. And that’s done intentionally. So you know, we’ve wound down a lot of leases. Some tenants have actually left on their own Restoration Hardware just left BestBuy just left, we would have loved to have kept them short term, but our plan is obviously to create something transformational. And I’ve done transformational projects before we are the CO developers of the Northwood Commons project right next to Morgan State University, which was a you know, $45,000,000.08 year


Nestor J. Aparicio  08:53

that’s the shopping center there. They had the good chicken wings at one point. Yes, everybody went there for wings. Chicken box. Do not from Baltimore. Me Yeah, yeah, I know what’s going on. It’s

Mark Renbaum  09:02

still there. It’s still there.

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:03

I got Coco’s right down the street where it’s sunny. All right. Sunny sobs. All right.

Mark Renbaum  09:07


Awesome. All right, there you go. And with a bunch of other partners, we’re also redeveloping for blocks on West North Avenue. The site of what was used to be called the murder Mall. But it’s seven to 900 block of West North Avenue, it’s going to be called reservoir Square. Where we’re taking for some of

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:27

the CVS was maybe No, that’s a little I’m just trying to think what you’re thinking north and Penn, right? Well,

Mark Renbaum  09:33

you get off at 83 U turn right on West North Avenue. And within about a minute or two, you’re gonna see four blocks, lots of construction activity. That’s our whole team that’s doing it led by MCB real estate, and attap go properties and we’re partners with city

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:50

projects. There’s a lot of people don’t want to work in a city. I talked to people you know, like, I mean, he’s had six or seven schools in a city and that becomes something that’s an ex market, like I love the city. And the more we talk about the city and the more people are doing, not just talking about the city, you’re talking bad about the city or giving reasons not to go. You’re giving people a reason to be in a city. That’s important.


Mark Renbaum  10:10

Well, look, we love Baltimore. It’s

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:11

spiritually important. It

Mark Renbaum  10:12

is. And it’s funny, not until I got in the real estate business, did I not realize that you have to kind of characterize what part of Baltimore you’re from. So what high school you went to? Well, even more than that, so you know, as you know, what David Katz we were pixel high, but

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:27


I forgot your cat sky. Okay. That’s right. Mighty Panthers. The purple pants. That’s right, what year were you 9090. So your way after like, case off and Gottlieb and those guys, I’m trying to think they were more 8586

Mark Renbaum  10:39

Well, Dave and I came in as freshmen, those guys had just graduated. We’re on the basketball team

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:43

cats brags about his basketball proud. Well, he should. Was he decent, he was great. He’s just see, he doesn’t talk about this. You know, he lets others talk about it. He does a good job. But he didn’t talk to me. He never taught. He’s never even offered to play horse with me to be honest with you. Okay. He’s all married and happy now. You know, Mr. Miami, you know, he was he was on my page today because the Panthers won the Stanley Cup last night. Right? He was there. Why the Panthers jersey on 30 years ago. So I posted that today. It’s best I can do. So your points will go. I’m done. DACA. Yeah. So what’s, what’s the issue with you? And I shouldn’t even ask this. Because I mean, I know how this works. You own all this land, you want to do something with it? And then there’s zoning regulations. Can we should we does Johnny Oh, like it to people like it. There’s a neighborhood lecture. Where are we what developed is the developing controversy developing

Mark Renbaum  11:36

is so hard. So we bought the property in December of 2020. We came out melody Simmons did a story almost immediately. My former coworker. Yeah, she’s great. And we said, look, this is going to be a town center. It’s located at the light rail. And whether folks like the light rail or not, it’s there. And so are


Nestor J. Aparicio  11:57

all the controversies. It’s gonna bring people from the city to the county. Okay, that’s what I, I grew up in East Point Mall. So I’m familiar with that. It’s an age old conversation, and I know the root of it. So what gets in the way? What do you need to get done? And what are you trying to do? You’re trying to build a place for people to live literally. Right, right. So we’re not trying to build more department stores? They’re kind of done there. If you haven’t heard, but yes. So

Mark Renbaum  12:21

we’re looking at 2050. relent, we’re not looking at 1950. How old? Am I going to be? 80?

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:27

Do the math. All right. Got it. Okay, I’ll still be here.

Mark Renbaum  12:30


And if you look at the trends nationally, you want to develop housing, near transit. It just makes so much sense. And so and this is not a Baltimore thing. This is a national.

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:44

Internet, no, the International I mean, he’s right. Anywhere you go in the world, where there is a subway, living near said subway raises property value, interest, reason to be there, because transportation is the key to everything, really. And that’s what we’ve talked about with Hogan killing the red line. When he sat with me, I’ll talk to him about it again, if he sits with me, if he wants to come on, he’s invited. They’re all invited. But getting a light rail built, the whole purpose to build it is that people use it and live near it and work near it and play near it. That’s pretty fundamental. It’s pretty fun. It’s a it’s a connection point. Otherwise, a lot of people that already live in Timonium, just in a general sense, oh, we know so the issue is the light the light rail already goes there. People can get their what they want, they can shop if they want. You’re not even trying to build shopping, you’re trying to build living

Mark Renbaum  13:33

well, we want to do everything we think this is a fabulous mixed use opportunity. So

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:37

what is it going to look like? If you compare it to something I’ve been to nothing like well,


Mark Renbaum  13:40

there’s really nothing like it certainly off the York Road. Okay, but what we’re planning to do is have hundreds of apartments we have just so you know, we have the zoning through the state of Maryland, we have the zoning to do up to 1328 apartments. That doesn’t mean we’re going to build 1320 city people that’s correct, but that’s what we can do. And but we think that this project is going to be awesome for housing, we think it’s a dynamite office location. And we also think we can create great what we call experiential retail retail that gets people excited just think like the new develop the new developments that have just occurred at crosskeys for example, okay, friends, you know, friends of ours in the business didn’t I think they did an incredible job if you haven’t been there recently

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:32

I have a My wife will be going to after my hurt her eye doctors in that mall and she’s been talking about I gotta get our show on and get these guys on to talk about what they’re doing over there. I’m aware of Yeah,

Mark Renbaum  14:41

well, Arash really led the, you know, he was really the leader of that and to say they did a great job as an understatement. It’s an extraordinary job. Everyone who’s probably listening right now knows crosskeys. But go to crosskeys today and see what happens when really smart, imaginative developers get in and really reimagine What

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:00


crosskeys has been imagined since 1970? Well, I mean, but but but you’re taking. And Enosh would say this too, you’re taking a core part of the city, you’re taking a light rail stop that’s underutilized, that everybody could get on and off of. And I was in Hunt Valley over the weekend. And I don’t want to say I thought of you because I knew we were going to be talking about something like this. And I haven’t done a whole lot of research on this. I know you’re on Jane Miller, which sort of woke me up on my twitter to reach to you again this week to have you on by the way mark rent bomb is our guest. I’m gonna make sure I reset here because I get a get ahead of myself. I want you to give me tell them what you are because I just lost your your damn

Mark Renbaum  15:38

thing. No worries. So I’m a principal with MLR partners and we’re the lead developer on the Lutherville istation project and involved in a lot of other transformative projects in the Baltimore area

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:48

when I write things down I don’t lose LinkedIn, their principal MLR hole I have it on my phone it’s not something I need to go in and paper I gotta go back old school. Yeah, um, I was up on Valley on Saturday. And I pulled in from went up York Road, made the left but I pulled them from Chawan like over where the Chick fil A and the iron route. Sure. And my wife always goes through that parking lot where like the TJ Maxx or the Marshalls, wherever it is, yeah. And then you go through the middle where like sort of the center fountain area is, and I went through and my wife and I we when we moved two and a half years ago, we could have moved anywhere. I mean, and I didn’t pick Towson it just was the best circumstance for me and my wife to be near the radio station to have outdoor space my wife is broken tomato she’s elated like pet Sandra third, yeah, very much so like the third summer in. But we went up there and I saw all the housing behind the town center in Hunt Val, the old Sears parcel, my wife and I thought about living up there because my wife’s bet she’s a Verizon and in their base was she went to work and on Valley every show on road before they sold off to Black and Decker are not Black and Decker, McCormick. I went in, I saw all that housing behind it. And my wife and I looked at living there thinking this would be a good situation for us. We can light rail in the city or the airport without having to drive we got the mall right below us places to eat everything you need live in there. But I thought frigging long way from that if I lived on the fourth floor up there way behind what used to be the movie theaters and way behind berets, way up until just a walk through the light rail felt like a lot. Like, if it was cold out, it would be a little bit of a pain in the ass, navigate the whole mall and do that every day if I worked downtown if I was a commuter, right? And I thought to myself, why didn’t they build the houses closer to the light rail? I thought about this Saturday, you told me because like that parcel you have their part of the jam of living there and paying an apartment living there instead of saying living over by Kenilworth or living in East house and living in Hunt Valley would be I can come down the elevator and get where I want to go transportation was that is not a Baltimore thought. Because in Baltimore, it’s like give me give me my car will drive the beltway, but most places where there’s public transportation, people that are attracted to that want to not be on the other side of the mall to why I just thought about like, that would be a much more attractive place to live if I were commuting on a light rail or

Mark Renbaum  18:13

if I were closer to it. I did an awesome job at home valley.


Nestor J. Aparicio  18:17

It was 40 years ago, 30 years ago, right? Well, but I

Mark Renbaum  18:20

you know, in a previous life I worked for what was then Irwindale Greenberg commercial Corporation now called Greenberg commercial, or Greenberg Gibbons, and we opened the redevelopment of hon Valley in 2004 2005. People forget it was a mall. A lot of Yeah.

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:35

I never walked into when I was a mall. I don’t think I mean, I went to what the Towson

Mark Renbaum  18:40


was when I played video games at the paddock and it was great. Well, but it

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:43

failed as a mall. We failed early. Like in the same way Owings Mills. When malls were going out. He was one of the ones that was never heavily utilized to begin with. So it was rethought during a different era reimagined.

Mark Renbaum  18:54

Absolutely. It was 25 years ago. Yeah, 2000 I believe was

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:01

the year start to end it’s better today.


Mark Renbaum  19:03

It’s actually better today than it was when I was part of the team that helped. Oh, I think it’s believable.

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:10

But I don’t know anything about the living area above even above like the sushi place on the right word, where the iron roosters living space there that’s much more attractive. If you’re taking the live show. I would think what you’re building in Timonium, when I’m trying to envision what it’s going to look like I’m envisioning that right side of Hunt Valley, where there’s some things but there’s a lot of people that live there.

Mark Renbaum  19:33

Correct. So our our property at Lutherville station is a lot smaller than Hunt Valley. Hunt Valley is probably north of 70 acres. Right? Ours is 13 acres. Okay? So it’s gonna be very, very condensed. You don’t it’s not even a pitching wedge from where the apartment building will be to the light rail. It’s like a potter. I mean, it’s, it’s right there. Okay, so just imagine all of these apartments we’re going to have multiple acres of green space, which you don’t see at all, generally on York Road, we’re going to be taking some very honest

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:03


with you, because I’ve been at this place and I go there all the time, the amount of trash and crud in that park next to the light rail. It’s not good, you can be nicer sure people were there. It wouldn’t be a place where people for a coffee. Well, that’s

Mark Renbaum  20:18

all about investment. Okay, so one of the worst things you want to see in commercial is you don’t want to see underutilized and vacant properties. They suffer from disinvestment, and also and then and then everything else and the dominant it compounds on itself. Okay. So on like, projects like Northwood commons, like Madison Park reservoir square in West Baltimore, even the the Shell station that you’re from originally, that’s now a brand new building, we pump in so much investment into that that’s, that’s, that’s a lot of mind and human capital. That’s a lot of money that goes in, and we remake properties so that they can be very relevant to their communities. For the next multiple generations. I

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:58

mean, you just gave me a hard time at 25 years 2003 You’re talking about 2052? Same thing. That’s right, talking about what was built at the turn of the century told me 2000 2050 Sounds like oh, my god so far off. That was a long way away when they were putting the Wegmans up and down Valley, right. Sure.

Mark Renbaum  21:15

But that’s how we have to think and you know, I don’t have to tell you the Wayne Gretzky adage, you skate where the puck is headed, you don’t skate where it is, right? Okay. And so as developers, first of all, it’s going to take several years to pull this project off, okay? It’s got to be financed, it’s got to be the existing property’s got to be demolished. It’s got to be financed, it’s got to be leased. It’s got to be reimagined, there’s so many exciting things that we can do. And what we really need is we need to get the all the stakeholders on the same page. And there’s more stakeholders and just us as a developer in the proximate community, that’s, you know, obviously making some of the noise. It’s the county, it’s the state, it’s the business community, there’s so many involved here that we all need to work together. Not everyone’s not going to get what they want, okay, we’re not going to get 1300 units. Okay, the community is not going to have a no apartment, group. And if you if you drive through the community, you’ll see signs, no apartment, no compromise. That’s what we’ve been working against for three years. They don’t want apartments, and they won’t compromise with us that makes it difficult to develop, when you want to get something done. But from Annapolis to Towson, the state is really behind this project, Johnny Oh is really behind this project. And everyone gets it. Everyone really understands that we need to be thinking forward, we need to manage important piece


Nestor J. Aparicio  22:41

of real estate, your your you’re not, you know, something has to be there that’s functional that’s useful for people. And I would also say like the notion of living there are living in that area. I talked about living up in Hunt Valley, the whole purpose of living there is that it’s near public transportation. Because I’ve been around the world, I know the value of that. I know, in a pinch, you just walk down and you get downtown to get to the airport, you get. And we have transportation problems in the city in general. I mentioned red line already. Anybody in West Baltimore tell you about food deserts and not being able to get places and what we’ve seen down in Canton, right, like Ed Hale, told me, Kenton was going to be Canton 30 years ago, back in the late 90s. So we’re gonna put a port here, we’re gonna have cruise ships that go places, there’s going to be a target at Chick fil A, but everything he told me was going to happen happen not on his watch, not on his dime, but he was part of it. But he got to get it all done. He he took all the bullets, as you call it took all the arrows as the pioneer, right. And now when we go down there, you see how active and vibrant and multicultural that part of Canton has been. For people to do their shopping man to get their groceries to take care of their children, you know, to entertain themselves to get to get needs to get things they get that pause has been that for people in the community man for 50 years, that area, right? That’s right. That’s right. And now you’re trying to make it some better. Correct? And what it’s not gonna be like Whitemarsh, where there wasn’t housing. And there’s not public transportation there either. Right. But I think like the White Marsh Avenue Project, things people be familiar with in our audience, that’s cool, saying, what’s it going to be like? Because everybody’s familiar with this area you’re talking about? It is a small little place up in the sky. Is that what you’re trying to do with it? No,

Mark Renbaum  24:22

we’re we’re specifically not going to go nearly as vertical as what you see in Hunt Valley. And we’ve been very, very clear in our communications with the community leaders, some of which are very in favor of this project, and some of which are not. But we’ve been very, very clear, this is not a high rise. We want to we want to, you know, dispel a lot of the fears that some folks may have. But we do need a very substantial amount of residential on the site for various reasons. And again, let’s go back to the stakeholders. The county, the state, okay, we have 96,000 units shortage in the state of Maryland. This is a project piece of real estate located next to effectively a state anchor, which is the light rail. How do you not develop there? You know, we’re not talking about clearing a cornfield, in the middle of shoreline, we’re talking about taking a shopping center that has needed to be demolished for multiple decades, right next to a state agency, the light rail, and create a connection between housing and transit.

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:26

So what I listen, you’d want to do anything there’s going to be pushback, right? I mean, the story of my life has been controversy, although I did sign up for it. What turns that? What makes it happen? What, because there’s going to be pushback, and people are going to vote against it or pull against it or lobby against it, what makes it happen? What is there, just go to a ballot of some kind what is so

Mark Renbaum  25:47


unlike carboplatin, it’s not like a public referendum at all. So in order to get these projects off the ground, you need zoning, you need an approved development plan from the county. Okay, you gotta get your approvals, and then it’s got to be financed, and it’s got to be real. So on the zoning piece, we have the zoning from the state. We’re also navigating the zoning in the county. Now the state zoning where we have over 1300 unit capacity over generally overrides the State of the County Zoning, but we’re still in a very important comprehensive zoning plan with the county. And Councilman Koch to his credit, who is the presiding councilman in this area. He’s trying to get all the parties together. And he’s really been trying to do it for about three years. And so he deserves a lot of credit, this has been really stalled. This has taken a long time. Well, Susan, fresh give you an idea. So we acquired the property December of 2020. My first meeting with the Lutherville community association was in April of 2018. Okay, so two and a half years before we even acquired the property, I met with the community leaders, showed them a plan and started working with them in advance of us acquiring the property. That’s how long this has been going on real estate. You know, a

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:04

guy does a pipeline here is a long pipeline to doing this.

Mark Renbaum  27:07

This is important, okay, like as a pure real estate project, if we wanted to just put a bunch of retailers in maybe an industrial use somewhere

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:15

else. Right? There’s a place you can do business, you could literally


Mark Renbaum  27:19

do it there. Okay, we could literally do it there. We would be fine. As real estate investors, we could go on our merry way. Not deal with any of this stuff. Okay. But then you got to go back to where’s your vision? Where’s your legacy? Where are you thinking? Where are we headed? We have an obligation to do this, right? We know that a lot of eyes are on us. A lot of eyes at the state a lot of eyes. And

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:46

once it’s done, it’s done for 50 years, whatever it is, you put more lumens and more things that fail or more big things that people don’t want. It’s a band aid. Yeah, I would say I mean, I’ve seen it band, I know the property you talk about when we were talking to Paul in Las Vegas, I’m like, so I always want to I want to get the facts out to people about how difficult this is more than anything else. I guess that’s the part for me, there’s no right or wrong. And if I were anti apartment or anti people or anti light rail or a member of the activist or whatever, I would still say you know, you own the thing. At some point, you’re gonna get something done there, something’s going to be built there. That’s not a, an arid out lumens. And you know, a failed Stewart’s from 40 years ago, something functional needs to be there for whomever sure that’s good for everybody.

Mark Renbaum  28:32

And what we say to everyone is like, look at our track record. First of all, look at our track record of everything we’ve ever touched as a lead or code developer. We take things that are ugly and non core and we turn them into stuff that’s awesome, and that people love people keep coming back to Northwood is one of our best examples. That was a center that was rife with drug dealing, that was probably the number one commerce taking place there. Okay, there was massive mistrust between the community. The owners of the former not former CIO current, but like in our partners, the owners of the shopping center, and Morgan State University is a big part of that no one trusted each other. Okay. We came in as a development team working with the incredible family that is now our partners and had owned it since the 1970s. We broke down all the barriers. We got everyone working together. Morgan now has a Barnes and Noble college and Starbucks on the site. We built a $15 million police station from Oregon on the site, the project itself organs

Nestor J. Aparicio  29:31


a stakeholder in this literal Oh yeah, they are the neighbor. That’s a stakeholder in this correct.

Mark Renbaum  29:35

So a lot of development. It’s all about trust. People have to trust each other. And so we like to say look at our track record, look at what we’ve done, but also look how we do it. We are patient because we know that the long term plan for this property is exactly what our vision is. We’ve been here a long time and and that’s where our focus is.

Nestor J. Aparicio  29:58

Mark rent bombs, our guests. We’re out here papists learning about property and learn about some he is I keep losing your damn thing because I want to read this off the right way. I’m gonna shortlist for the Oriole. No, you’re not. He is the principal. It gets MLR and you told me Mary Lou Retton, if you’d told me that, I would have remembered it. I didn’t tell you. So, because you’re a fan listener, you know, all these years and you know, cats and all these old schoolers. You probably know David Rose to I’m sorry. He’s my man. That’s my man.

Mark Renbaum  30:26

We’re just together last week. Good.


Nestor J. Aparicio  30:28

He put me up in New York a couple times. So rose knows I love him. Give him a hard time.

Mark Renbaum  30:31

The doc doc rose, Dr. Dawn, I’m

Nestor J. Aparicio  30:34

thirsty. I’m thirsty. You know, I guess for all the years of doing this and thinking about like, getting things done. It’s an understanding more than anything else. Like, I don’t understand that part of the business. I know, it’s tough, I know involves politics, money, politicians, you know, all of the, the, the ugly underbelly of things, we don’t want to know how the sausage is made, or whatever. And,

Mark Renbaum  30:59


you know, you know, every developer, you know, is is slimy. And, you know, all the recent politician. I know all the developer jokes. I’ve heard them all.

Nestor J. Aparicio  31:09

How much of it’s true how much of it’s just like, it’s almost like, I think about a friend of mine has a property down with Chesapeake Bay. And he sees the illegal crabbers out, you know, take taking more than and he said to me at one point, he’s like, they would suck every organism out of here, and the whole thing would be dead, and there’d be nothing growing if there weren’t regulations, because they break the rules. I don’t know where that is in your industry to say, we just do we put 10,000 units there. You gotta go rent 10,000 Yeah, like, I mean, there has to be a point where if you’re doing it, yeah, you’re doing it in your own best interest, but your own best interest to make it successful. If it’s successful, it’s in everybody’s best interest. Right. Right. You know, everyone likes what you have is an awful idea that’s going to destroy the community, they 1000 units, and then I can’t make that case that that’s going to destroy Timonium. You know, I don’t know how you would make that case. Sure. Other than say, Well, yeah, it’s helping you. But I’m gonna go there and get coffee, I’m gonna go there and shop, somebody I know is gonna live there and have their life, better convenience and not burning up gas, and using a car and all that stuff. That’s where I think about public transportation. We’ve gotten it. We’ve just done it really poorly in this state, for the hell of my lifetime for all of my lifetime. Yeah. And there’s one thing that’s actually built, and you’re trying to do something with it. That’s crazy. Yeah. But I knew there would be opposition, you

Mark Renbaum  32:31

know, every real estate, you know, it’s change.

Nestor J. Aparicio  32:34

I would ask the people in the neighborhood if I were being flippant ness and saying, What do you want to be there? What do you think should be there, Mr. Citizen, but you know, it’s not your property to put the millions of dollars out, but what do you if you could vote on it? What would it be? Well, it’d be it’d be a field that’s like people saying harborplace should be a park and I’m like, Well, you just don’t understand money in real estate. Yeah, it just can’t be a park. Part of it can be a park part of it has to generate living working social recreational, it has to value that’s that be a place people want to be? Yeah, right. Period. If it’s a place where people want to be I don’t care what the town Association if everybody wants to be there, then you got it. Right. You gotta right right.


Mark Renbaum  33:14

I gotta give one quick plug to my my my friend David Bramble. Okay, he’s, he’s the, you know,

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:20

he’s been he’s been ducking me. But Dave, you’ve been invited? Come on by?

Mark Renbaum  33:23

Well, let me let me tell you something. We are so lucky in Baltimore, to have to have David. David and I have been really good friends and partners for over 10 years. There’s no one better suited. And his team.

Nestor J. Aparicio  33:35


I want to hear his story. I haven’t heard it. It’s the best that I’ve know. I’ve heard him fighting with residents and in the papers in the media. I just want to sit and do this and hear right what they want to do down pictures.

Mark Renbaum  33:47

And I know that I know the real David. The real David is better than you can even possibly imagine. He’s smart. He is compassionate. Can’t wait to meet him. Amazing. With him. That’s all I know. And super humility. But these are the

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:00

stories I mean, everybody can you tell I Lutherville care and maybe I go use this property up at the light rail, maybe get off one at some point in my life when you get it built. But like the harbor, I lived at the harbor for 19 years, you know, I lost a quarter million dollars in my own real estate down there, right? I mean, I bought stayed there. Love Baltimore, up in the sky, like couldn’t give it away. You couldn’t beg anybody to take my 23rd floor. Beautiful view of everywhere for like all of that right in the heart of this. And that’s partially because of the harborplace. I put part of it on Angeles as well emptying out downtown on summer nights, which didn’t help things, being a guy who lived down there amongst crime and the the plague. But the harbor we gotta get that right for people in Bel Air for people in Westminster, every people who aren’t gonna yell about it. I mean, I’m out in the county. Now. I don’t I’m not voting for it or against it. But I’m really, really interested in well, it is the aorta of our city that that project is one of our regions. That at will that everybody is a stakeholder in that. Yeah. And should it needs to be heard from in a way? Well,

Mark Renbaum  35:08

listen, a lot of this dovetails exactly to what you talked about, which is Baltimore positive. Okay. And thank you for that because because we need that and like Lutherville station is a subset of that, okay, is we’re trying to connect housing and transit, trying to reinvest a quarter of a billion dollars into a former sports department store. Look,


Nestor J. Aparicio  35:31

these dudes that want to build a fence around the city and keep everybody in and keep every it’s that’s not real life. That’s not It’s not real life not sustainable. And it’s it’s not a you know, this whole that the train goes into the city so we can’t have an account, train goes through the city to the airport. So way to get to where you go to the airport. I’m glad they built that thing. 50 years ago, I wish they would have built X’s and wings. And you know, I can get from Towson to white Marshall on public. I wish I could Yeah, we didn’t build a city that way. And yet, you know, your friends would catch. So you’re international, I’m sure but man, you travel the world. This is the way great places are built. Great place. When you go to New York. This is the way it’s built. So what’s what makes New York Great. Yeah, it really is. Look, we

Mark Renbaum  36:16

just came back from Rosewood. We just, we just came back from Toronto. And we were there really? We were there to see the Orioles. Okay, all right. We’re doing like at least one road trip a year. Loved it saw Kate COVID just first start Nice. Okay, but you’ll see Geddy Lee though Did you know you did sadly. Yeah. I know. And look for him every time Yeah, we were in a rush to see him but we didn’t see him. But, but Toronto has been trying to build up the vision this guy. He isn’t on Toronto has an unbelievable transit system. Yes, it isn’t. It’s a world class city. It’s unbelievable. And most healthy cities and most most healthy regions, they have a great transportation system. Part of Baltimore’s problem is and I liken this to like an amusement

Nestor J. Aparicio  37:00

racism is the problem. But go ahead. Now I’ll let you go after but but no,

Mark Renbaum  37:04


but let’s let’s take this, you go to Disneyland, right? You’re going there to see all these different rides at the park. Okay. You just don’t go for one you go for many. That’s what makes that sustainable like an amusement park. Same thing with our transit system, we need to develop around each transit stop because the more we develop an each transit stop, it creates more of a demand for the overall system. So just in the northern part of the county, you have hon Valley, then you have us You then have

Nestor J. Aparicio  37:35

people to use public transportation build, build, make it easy for them, the

Mark Renbaum  37:39

more we can do you know everyone says no one uses the light rail. Well, yeah, no one lives there. Because we we need to have more attractions. We need to have more reasons for people to use it. And they will and it’s a proven model all over the

Nestor J. Aparicio  37:53

world. The only way thinking about this, I guess always was Yeah, build the light rail will drive to it will park and ride right like driving to public transportation was a way life in Maryland all of our lifetimes, right? I mean, my wife took the park and ride and White Marsh Mall. We first got married, we lived in White Marsh. She took the park and ride from the mall. To the city. She worked at light and press. So we moved to light and Pratt. We moved downtown right to be two blocks away from where she lived. They moved their work to Hunt Valley. Yes. So she had to take the light rail to work every day. Yes. So you know I living and then look, we both work in our pajamas from home. Now when I’m out here at Pappus of course and Parkville best crabcakes and Baltimore, this is your spot. Why go to the one in your Cockeysville? Yeah, all right. Why don’t we get your crabcake for ego, Jen, it’s


Mark Renbaum  38:40

a treat. Oh my God, these crab cakes are unbelievable. They’re huge.

Nestor J. Aparicio  38:43

And they’re delicious. And they’re available. Everybody knows but I haven’t gotten it. It’s been hard to look at this and not eat it. But I did have the chicken franchise earlier. So I am taking this over to my wife who’s all hobbled up. And I’ll be honest, my wife will love this segment because my wife is used that lumens. My wife was in that Plaza three days ago. I’m at Robbie’s we’re Rosedale, but this is not an area Mark rent bombs here. They’re trying to develop the Lutherville light rail stop. We would be familiar with it originally. And we’ve been talking about it for a while. So if you just joined us out on the radio, you can go catch it. You can go catch it out on Baltimore positive on our podcast and all that so play small guy joining a Dundalk guy in the middle of Parkville. Talking about Timonium, did I get that right? You did a great to begin everything out just in a general sense. Is there any closing arguments you have Mr. embalm?

Mark Renbaum  39:30

You know what I would say again, real estate development is about trust, you got to build it. You also have to look at the track record of the people are doing it. And you also have to remember all the stakeholders involved. Okay. It’s not just us on an island. It’s not just the community on an island. It’s not just the state on an island. It’s everyone working together. Everyone has an interest in this. And that’s why we all have to work together. We can’t have one group, whether it’s us as a developer or the community hold up progress. Wayne Gretzky skate to where the puck is going. 2050 That’s I have

Nestor J. Aparicio  40:04


no idea what’s going to be there but it’s not going to be Stewart’s or moments. I can guarantee you that all right, cool rush seven doublers we’re at a park. I gotta go eat my crab cake go gene has been nice enough to host us here today. Great, great crew at St. Pappas stopped by earlier my thanks to to all of our sponsors for allowing us to do this and allowing folks like Mark and Barry stitch from currently to have a little forum Hi John Patti by turns out we’d like each other at least to think he likes me for WP al Steve Lea came by familia chiropractic life. You could find him over on Joppa road as well. Our friends at Liberty pure solutions keep our water clean. You won’t have well water out there, timoni. But if you add well water, Liberty solutions can can really help you out with any kind of plumbing need as well. They fix my place up two years ago and I’m very happy to be pimping them. And we’ll get Doug on here as well. Also last but never least Jiffy Lube, multi care, keeping the oil in our car, keeping us running straight and getting him in back and forth to the ballpark and get me back and forth off the Towson. So well good luck with your project, man. Thank you. I mean, I’ll be thanks for having me on. Joining us here from us mentioned MLR. So I gotta give you my Mary Lou Retton, sir, before I go, let me know Mary Lou was in the news recently, she had some health problems. Oh, yeah, Google that her daughter she was she didn’t have insurance at one point. Okay, prepare her her kids put a GoFundMe out to take care of her. And I’ve been doing this 32 and a half years, according to Kenny Albert today, and I’ve had a million guests on and people will ask me all the time. What’s your favorite? What’s your favorite concert, which was your favorite interview your favorite person you’ve had on the

Mark Renbaum  41:38

show after this one? As well as this had before it. But

Nestor J. Aparicio  41:40

you know, I’ve interviewed all sorts of people like I you know, I mean, you’ve been listening for all these years, whatever. And there’s just something about the Mary Lou Retton interview I did I did it Super Bowl radio row. She was pimping Cold Stone Creamery ice cream. They’re paying her to be there that day love and this is typical of the Superbowl. They get local celebrities to come and pimp their brands and she lives in Houston. So the Houston Super Bowl My wife wasn’t with me. My wife was battling at that point, or just finished her battle like 15 or 1617, whatever. 17 and there was some there and then they came merrily written. I’m like, I love that Mary. Yes, yes, I’ll have married love, love Mary Lou Retton. She sat down and we did you can watch it on YouTube. We did maybe 1215 minutes and it didn’t give me her long. But we had ice cream together. And I thought was one of the most fun things I’ve like of all the crazy things I’ve done in radio. There’s something about that piece that I would say not the greatest piece of ever done, but it’s in the top 100 There’s Something About Mary. Yeah. And just something about how cool she was and what a great guest she was. And me sitting there with this grown woman that I remember in 1984 watching her do her thing. So anytime I think of Mary Lou Retton, I always had a great feeling about her with the Wheaties box and her winning. She got me a lot of McDonald’s free Big Macs, but she won a lot of gold medals in 84. If you remember, she didn’t give me any French fries or soda because she never got the silver to brown. So I had her on so when you said MLR Mary Lou Retton, I just want to give some love to Mary. Absolutely. She was one of my all time favorite guests and I’m glad she’s doing well. I saw her back in the news. And if I can get her back on the air, I would tell her that and she probably say oh, you say that to all the boys. I’m like no, no, no. You know, she’s a Steeler fan. She grew up. She got West Virginia on hold it against. Yeah, so I had that going on as well. That created a little bit of that, that that kind of angst you want in that kind of relationship. Alright, marks here. He’s trying to get things built around here at MLR Mary Lou Retton MLR holdings and trying to get something going and Luther bro, I’m trying to get something going here and Towson. We’re gonna be on a little bit of a respite next week for the Maryland crabcake tour. We’re gonna be back on the 12th at fade leaves Dan Alexson and Mark talking about new projects and things that when I see things like the new Lexington mark, and I’m like, awesome, awesome, awesome. Get down there. See, this is what we’re talking about with fresh and new and good ideas. It’s what moves us all more positive right there. Hey, man, I had ideas that I thought I was doing sports radio. Now I’m doing better conversations. I’m Nestor we’re signing off from Pappas and Parkville courtesy of our friends at the Maryland lottery pick. Thanks everybody hear back from our O wn st am 1570 Towson Baltimore, where we never stopped talking real estate and politics and community. Stay with us.

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