City Approves Property for New BARCS Facility in Cherry Hill

| April 12, 2018 | 0 Comments

The Baltimore City Board of Estimates approved a site at 2490 Giles Rd. in Cherry Hill as the new home for the City-owned Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, Inc. (BARCS) and The Office of Animal Control facility.

BARCS has outgrown its current 23,000 sq. ft. building on a 2.564 acre lot at 301 Stockholm St. in the Stadium Area. The new Cherry Hill property is 3.8 acres and has an existing building that is currently the home of the MedMark Treatment Centers Cherry Hill, as well as another building that is vacant and in disrepair.

The likely move should clear the way for a proposed Topgolf in partnership with CBAC Gaming (the casino partnership of Caesars, Rock Gaming, and Caves Valley Partners (CVP)) at 301 Stockholm St. The current BARCS facility is also adjacent to Parking Lot J, which CBAC has the option to purchase for redevelopment.

In March 2017, the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the BARCS site which required finding a new home for BARCS. Topgolf/CBAC was the lone bidder.

CBAC will demolish the existing buildings at 2490 Giles Rd. and build a “top-of-the-line” animal facility on the site, according to Arthur Adler of CVP. He noted when talking to SouthBMore.com that it will be much more modern and efficient than the current facility.

CBAC originally had a building under contract at 2800 Wegworth Ln. in Lakeland for a new BARCS facility, but the deal fell through because “the seller of that property was unable to find a suitable site to relocate its business,” according the Board of Estimates agenda.

The BDC then identified the site on Giles Road in Cherry Hill for a BARCS replacement facility and it was approved by the Board of Public Works yesterday.

Adler said that CBAC has months of design work ahead and that MedMark will remain on the property through the summer. Adler did not have any comment on the Topgolf proposal.

Topgolf facilities are a combination of a golf driving range and a sports bar and entertainment venue. Players on the 240-yard driving range can play 10 different games using golf balls with a microchip technology and a digital scoring system. Topgolf says its games are for all skill levels.

Topgolf has more than 30 locations throughout the world including facilities in Alexandria and Loudon County in Northern Virginia, and a new site coming soon to Germantown, Maryland. It began in London and is now headquartered in Dallas, TX.

CBAC has been acquiring properties along Warner St. in recent years, the four-block street that connects Horseshoe and M&T Bank Stadium. CBAC purchased  the 91,744 sq. ft. building at 1300 Warner St. in Stadium Area in January for $4.8 million. CBAC also purchased the 31,377 sq. ft., 1.26 acre property at 1301 Warner St. in 2016 for $3,222,500.

In February, Adler told SouthBMore.com the following in regards to the purchase of 1300 Warner St.: “The purchase of this property provides the Horseshoe Casino partnership with increased flexibility as we consider mid- and long-term options for continuing the Southern Gateway’s transformation along Warner Street into the city’s next great entertainment district.”

Stadium Area has become a hotbed for investment and redevelopment with its close proximity to Horseshoe Casino and the $275-million, mixed-use Stadium Square development by CVP. The BARCS site is across the street from The Parker Building at 333 W. Ostend St. which is currently under construction for a conversion to 50,000 sq. ft. of offices. A block east at 175 W. Ostend St. will be the new 10,000 sq. ft. Checkerspot Brewing Company brewery and tap room. Adjacent to 1300 Warner St. is 1300 Russell St. which is the future home of Hammerjacks, a 48,000 sq. ft. music venue and club. Hammerjacks is expected to begin construction this month.

This proposed move for BARCS was first reported by Baltimore Fishbowl.

Overhead shot courtesy of Google Maps

Street view shot courtesy of Google Maps

Guests playing Topgolf in Naperville, IL (PRNewsFoto/Topgolf)

BARCS current site

Lot J

1300 Warner St. on the right and 1301 Warner St. on the left

Properties under the control of CBAC, plus BARCS which CBAC has a proposal for, are outlined in blue. Additional investments in the area marked with text and logos. Screenshot courtesy of Google Maps (click to enlarge)

About the Author:

Creator of SouthBmore.com and resident of SoBo. Graduate of Towson University and owner of Incept Multimedia, a full service video production company. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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