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Oakland Mills Village 

News and Views from the Other Barn

Created to share community news.  The views expressed are mine alone.

December 12, 2013 

A Message From Oakland Mills Board Chair Bill Gray

Second Chance Restaurant may be forced to close.
We need your immediate assistance.

We recently learned that Cedar Properties has decided not to renew the lease of the Second Chance Restaurant and has asked that they vacate the property as of 12/28/13.  Due to their struggles to get their business off of the ground, the Second Chance has not been able to pay their entire rent, $7500 a month.  Cedar Properties had reached an agreement with the Second Chance for them to pay the Common Area maintenance fees and real estate taxes around $3500 a month over the last few years.  In addition, the Second Chance made many renovations to the property at their own expense.  They are now in much better financial position and had hoped to negotiate a new agreement with Cedar Properties to further increase the rent when their lease expires at the end of the year.  The Second Chance has been a valuable partner in Oakland Mills, providing:


       Affordable dining choice for families, seniors, and young single adults.

       Support for local school and non-profit charities through fundraiser events, direct contributions, and public awareness campaigns.

       Offering a variety of free activities from children lunchtime music classes, free trivia, high school band events, and free neighborhood/Howard County meeting space.

       Working closely with the police department housed at the Center to monitor loitering and generally policing the area.

       Working with the Oakland Mills Board to hold community events to attract Howard County residents beyond Columbia.

       Raising over $3,000 for breast cancer yearly.

       Partnering with marines at Fort Mead in hosting Toys for Tots.

       Serving on the Board of the Restaurant Association of Md. to raise the visibility of the Center and be a voice for small business in Columbia


They were a runner up for best Bar of 2012 in the whole state which brought positive press to the center, helped spotlight the center as a dining and retail destination, and drew the attention of the Howard County Executive.  Losing the Second Chance would be a real blow to the community. 


The Village Board, Calvin Ball and Ken Ulman have all written to Cedar Properties asking them to reach a lease agreement with the Second Chance.  Our letter is copied below for your information.  We were notified today that the Cedar Properties Board met yesterday and decided not to change their position. 

I urge residents to write to Brenda J. Walker, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Cedar Realty Trust, Inc. at
petitioning them to work out a renewal lease agreement with the Second Chance.   



They need our help immediately.



Copy of letter sent to Brenda Walker, Cedar Shopping Centers
from the Oakland Mills Board:

December 9, 2013


Ms. Brenda Walker, Vice President

Cedar Shopping Centers, Inc.

44 South Bayles Avenue

Port Washington, NY 11050


Dear Ms. Walker,


I am writing on behalf of the Oakland Mills Board and the entire community of Oakland Mills regarding the Second Chance Restaurant located in the Oakland Mills Village Center. The co-owner of the Second Chance, Wendy Binder, contacted me on December 9th regarding a conversation about their upcoming lease renewal. Ms. Binder informed me that Cedar was not planning to renew their lease when the current lease expires at the end of December, 2013.


The Second Chance has built up a large clientele over the past five years and plays an integral role in the community. Patrons of the Second Chance bring vitality to the village center. The owners have worked feverishly over the past five years to find their "niche" in Columbia.  


As you are well aware, building a successful business is tough and even harder given the state of the economy. However, we can say in no uncertain terms, that the Second Chance's popularity and clientele base far exceeds that of any other merchant in the center. The restaurant brings vibrancy to the center and has put the Oakland Mills Village Center on the map. The owners have been successful through hard work and determination. They have reached out to every segment of the population hosting events, fundraisers and nightly specials that are a draw to those from Oakland Mills and the entire County. Events such as Trivia night, Ladies Night, holiday shopping events, children's afternoon sing-alongs, local band nights, sports viewing and fundraisers for local charities are examples of how the Second Chance has built its loyal clientele.


The Second Chance owners and patrons care about the Village Center. Ms. Walker, we hope that you will share this letter with your board at your meeting tomorrow night. While we don't know what would prompt Cedar to not renew the Second Chance lease we do know that the future of the village center depends on a viable restaurant as one of the anchor stores. Our community has devoted resources, time, energy and support for 40 years to help all of the merchants. Oakland Mills merchants are members of our community and we care about each as though they are members of our Oakland Mills family. Their success is our success. Their troubles are our troubles. If the Second Chance's lease is not renewed we know that the entire center will suffer. Surely that is not the intent of Cedar. We sincerely hope that Cedar Shopping Center reconsiders and in fact renews the lease of the Second Chance. Please feel free to contact me at 443-285-1679 or by email at bgray2604@verizon.net.





Bill Gray, Oakland Mills Board Chair

The Other Barn Restroom Renovation Schedule:

Dec. 16 - Dec. 20:  Oakland Mills Office will be closed until 3:30 p.m. each day.
Dec. 16 - 19:  Office Hours - 3:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Dec. 20:  3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Dec. 21:  9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Dec. 23 - Jan. 1:  Office will be Closed

Please enter the building through the side handicap door.  Restroom facilities will not be available. 

If you can email staff rather than coming to the Other Barn please do so. 
Village Manager: Sandy Cederbaum         manager@oaklandmills.org
Covenant Advisor:  Deb Bach                    covenants@oaklandmills.org
Event/Admin. Coordinator: Brigitta Warren   events@oaklandmills.org
Rental Coordinator, Susan Azoulay   rentals@oaklandmills.org
Community Organize: Fred Eiland    communityorganizer@oaklandmills.org

To reach the Village Board follow this link:


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