The Baron of the Beltway: Exploring Larry Rachuba’s Impact in Towson

Larry Rachuba will always be remembered as one of the names that helped put Towson on the map. Known by many as the Baron of the Beltway for his dedication to building numerous developments across the Greater Baltimore region, Rachuba’s journey in the world of developing began in 1964 when he accepted an offer from his father-in-law, Ralph DeChiaro, to join DeChiaro Properties.

Rachuba is most well-known for leading the great expansion of Towson Plaza in 1986—transforming the multi-level, open-air mall, that DeChiaro Properties constructed in 1959, into a completely enclosed and expanded shopping destination. The transition of the beloved Towson Plaza into the Towsontowne Centre brought in big names like the Hutzler Brothers, Hecht’s, and even Nordstrom—which at the time was the first in the area and is still one of the many departments stores at the center today!

In addition to the massive shopping development in the heart of Towson, Rachuba also built-up Towson’s business and hospitality communities with the introduction of offices in the Dulaney Center off of Fairmont Avenue and Dulaney Valley Road and Towson’s Sheraton Hotel. The office buildings were known as Dulaney I and Dulaney II and were constructed in 1984 and 1987, and the Sheraton welcomed guests from near and far to Towson when it was completed in 1987.

After several great successes, Rachuba’s projects didn’t stop with the shopping center, office buildings, or hotel. In 1988, he also oversaw the construction of the Towsongate Condominium Complex—which was mere minutes from Towson’s city center and its best attractions—drawing families and businessmen and women to move into the conveniently located units.

“My father saw great potential in Towson,” shares Theresa Rachuba Leatherbury, Rachuba President and CEO and daughter to Larry Rachuba. “He did more than envision a bright future for the community—he built it up to all that he knew it could be.”

With the completion of these projects, Larry Rachuba not only further developed Towson, but he was able to completely change the perception of the city, ignite better opportunities within the community, and bring more people to the place they called home for many years to come.