Thursday, January 06, 2011

Exiled on Main Street

Caplan’s , a fixture in the Ellicott City antiques business community is closing up shop on Main Street after 23 years. According to this story by Kim Lemmonds in Ellicott City Patch, “the store will be closing in late January.”

On the surface this closing could be seen as another setback to the retail health of the historic district. Just before Christmas, The Good Life Market announced that it too would be closing by the end of this month after six years. In both cases the owners of these stores were heavily involved in promoting Ellicott City.

That’s where the similarity ends though. The Good Life Market is closing up shop for good. Caplan’s is simply moving out of their Main Street location because they could not work out favorable lease renewal terms with their landlord.

In March of 2004, the 8,700 square foot former department store was sold to a partnership that includes Don Reuwer, Bruce Taylor and Jared Spahn. The new owners plan to renovate the property which includes a vacant parcel of land behind the store. According to this story by Jackie Powder in The Sun, “the businessmen hope to build apartments on a vacant lot behind it that extends to St. Paul Street.”

The departure of Caplan’s will allow that redevelopment program to move forward in earnest and the net result will actually benefit the old mill town.
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