Union Bros. Historic Redevelopment Begins Construction in Sharp-Leadenhall

| June 11, 2018 | 0 Comments

Developers Len Bush and John Roe are transforming the former 40,000 sq. ft. Union Bros. Furniture and Plymouth Wallpaper property at 37 W. Cross St. in Sharp-Leadenhall. This $8-million office and retail redevelopment project, called Union Bros., will include three connected buildings surrounding the BP station at the corner of S. Hanover St. and W. Cross St. Union Bros. is a block east of the Stadium Square redevelopment project and a block west from Cross Street Market in Federal Hill.

Bush and Roe purchased the property in 2016 from a trust after about nine months of negotiations. Bush and Roe are working with Marks, Thomas Architects and Verve Partnership on the design, and Chris Deluca of McHenry Project Consultants, who is managing the development.

The development team spent recent months securing Maryland and federal tax credits. They are working with the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) on guidelines for the project. Interior demolition has begun and is expected to take a month. The construction timeline is nine to ten months, and completion is expected around January.

Union Bros. will feature a 4,500 sq. ft. restaurant space facing S. Hanover St. with an attached 1,500 sq. ft. outdoor seating area with an awning and likely a fire pit. There will be a 12 ft. green wall that will separate the courtyard from the BP. This courtyard will also be the entrance to the main lobby of the building.

Along W. Cross St. will be a 6,058 sq. ft. retail space. Bush and Roe are open to a restaurant for this space and noted that it could fit a brew pub, as brewing tanks could go into the basement creating about 22 ft. of ceiling space. This space could also have an attached rooftop deck.

The second and third floors of Union Bros. will have 23,000 sq. ft. of office space. The team is looking for one to four office tenants for the space. Roe and Bush have secured a parking agreement with Leadenhall Baptist church on 75 parking spaces from 6am to 6pm for the office tenants. Union Bros. will also have 13 parking spaces on site. They noted that they may be able to work out a valet arrangement for future restaurants.

Roe told SouthBMore.com that the team just began marketing the project now that construction is moving forward. He doesn’t anticipate any issues acquiring a liquor license since the project is in Sharp-Leadenhall, rather than Federal Hill where there is a moratorium on new licenses.

The exterior of the buildings will be restored through brick work and the currently boarded-up windows will be reopened. Some existing windows will be restored, and many new windows that fit MHT guidelines will be installed. A facade on S. Hanover St. will also be restored.

The exterior will also include new neon or LED signage on S. Hanover St. and W. Cross St. and a lot of new lighting. “We want the signage to be seen from the former Porter’s (now The Outpost) and Stadium Square,” Bush told SouthBMore.com last year.

The team will also add lighting to the alley behind the building, which Bush said has been a problem area for trash, loitering, and drug activity.

The interior will include many historical elements including columns, exposed brick, beams, and 11- to 12-ft. ceilings.

Bush and Roe, who are both South Baltimore residents, previously built The Townes at Marshall Green, a five new-townhome development at Randall St. and Marshall St. “John and I like to stick to projects in Federal Hill where we live, work, and play,” said Bush.

Bush and his wife Donna are also the owners of LEN The Plumber, which purchased and renovated a 42,000 sq. ft. warehouse at 1552 Ridgely St. in Carroll-Camden Industrial Area.

Renderings Courtesy of Marks, Thomas Architects

 

Renderings Courtesy of Verve Partnership 

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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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