Walgreens proposal to build a new pharmacy on the site of the former BB&T bank branch site at the corner of Thunder Hill Road and Rouse Parkway has become another battleground for the forces opposing change in Howard County. Not surprisingly, those same forces are spreading misinformation about the site.
For example, in a posting on the Howard County Citizens Association listserv, Bridget Mugane wrote that “Jim Rouse's plan left the site quietly suburban.”
Not quite true Bridget. The original plan for the Twin Knolls Business Park, which includes the Walgreens site, called for a total of 350,000 square feet of commercial space. When The Rouse Company sold this 2.6 acre parcel to Elkridge National Bank in the early eighties, they were disappointed when the bank announced that they only planned to put a 2,000 square foot branch on the site. The site has a capacity for at least 18,000 square feet of commercial space and the company felt that this was a missed opportunity to make a “statement” at this highly visible intersection.
Over the years, as the bank changed from Elkridge National to FCNB and finally BB&T various scenarios were floated to redevelop the site, with and without the banks participation. In many ways, the Walgreens store is the final realization of The Rouse Company’s true plan for this site.