South Baltimore Business Roundup

| July 2, 2018 | 0 Comments

Preliminary Design Revealed for New Camden Yards Train Station

Camden Yards will soon be getting a new train station to replace the facility that has been in place for more than 25 years. From Baltimore Magazine:

Construction is scheduled to begin this fall on a $7.2 million terminal next to Oriole Park at Camden Yards, with completion expected by mid-2019. The station will replace a low-budget structure that was built quickly to serve rail passengers in time for the 1992 opening of Oriole Park—two prefab trailers covered by a space frame roof.

Designers offered a first look at their “preliminary concept” for the replacement station during a recent meeting of the Maryland Stadium Authority board of directors. Their renderings indicate that the building will not be a retro version of an old-fashioned depot, but it won’t look futuristic either.

Predominant materials will be brick and steel, as they are at Oriole Park. But painted surfaces likely will be gray, rather than the Camden green used on the ballpark. A 35-foot-tall pylon will help make it visible from blocks away.

“Contextual” is the best way to describe the design approach, said architect Paul Diez, of AECOM Technical Services, the firm working on the project. “One of the things we were told is that [the clients] want it to look like it’s been there. Not a ‘look at me’ building, a contextual building.”

See the rendering here.

Electric Scooter Sharing Comes to Baltimore

There is now a new ride share in Baltimore: electric scooters. From Baltimore Fishbowl:

Bird, the electric scooter-share company, launched in Baltimore today, bringing more than 70 rides to the Inner Harbor area and Fells Point. Like other dockless bike-share companies launched elsewhere in the country, riders can pick up and drop off Birds pretty much wherever.

People looking for a side hustle can sign up to charge the Bird scooters at their home. Chargers receive $5 to $20 per scooter depending on where they locate the Bird, and as journalist Taylor Lorenz wrote in The Atlantic, the culture of rounding of the scooters to power them up has become lucrative but also competitive and kind of crazy.

If you’re interested in riding a scooter, download the app in Apple’s App Store or Google Play. A ride costs $1 to unlock the scooter and then 15 cents per minute after that. A scooter can go 15 miles in a single charge. The scooters can only be used during the day and are dropped off after being recharged at 7 a.m.

The Maryland Insurance Administration Moving to Montgomery Park 

The Maryland Insurance Administration will relocate from Downtown to Montgomery Park at 1800 Washington Blvd., which is adjacent to Pigtown and Carroll-Camden Industrial Area. Montgomery Park is a former Montgomery Ward Catalog House that currently houses a 2.2 million sq. ft. business center on its 52-acre property. It is home to businesses including United Way of Central Maryland, Maryland State Lottery, and M&T Bank.

The 250-person Maryland Insurance Administration currently occupies 68,771 sq. ft. at 200 St. Paul St.  From The Baltimore Sun:

“Montgomery Park was chosen through a competitive procurement process,” said Nick Cavey, a spokesman for General Services, in an email.

The lease must be approved by the state Board of Public Works, which General Services expects to request in August.

Goodwill to Lease 100,000 sq. ft. at Montgomery Park 

The leases keep coming for Montgomery Park as Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake is taking 100,000 sq. ft. at the complex for its e-commerce operations and a workforce development center. There will be 30 employees at the location.

From Baltimore Business Journal:

The head of retail operations for the nonprofit said an online sales venture that launched in late 2016 has taken root and needs room for growth.

The lease at 2000 Washington Blvd. in Southwest Baltimore will consolidate e-commerce workers and employees from two other current offices. Goodwill plans to occupy the space this summer.

“It gives us an opportunity for growth,” said Bob Prosser, vice president of retail operations for Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake.

Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake’s headquarters remains on Redwood Street downtown. The group employs 850 in the state.

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Prince George’s County Company Relocates to Pigtown 

A military and police body armor company called Semforex is relocating from Beltsville to a 2,600 sq. ft. space at 1100 Wicomico St. in Pigtown. Semforex will be expanding its operations at this location. From Baltimore Business Journal:

Semforex manufactures and sells protective equipment for law enforcement, military and private security guards that is layered over standard body armor. The company also designs and makes helmets and active shooter plates.

At present, Semforex has 10 workers, but Lamb said he plans to expand by six in July — with plans to build the workforce to more than 300 within several years once the new headquarters is established. He said he plans to hire city residents and has a partnership with Blind Industries of Maryland for help with manufacturing of the products, Lamb said.

“Our goal is to invest our efforts and grow in the city,” Lamb (Owner Michael Lamb) said, in a statement. “As we meet our sales, production and hiring goals, we are confident that it will have a dramatic impact and make an important contribution.”

Harbor Designs Planning an Expansion in Pigtown

Medical device manufacturing company Harbor Designs and Manufacturing LLC also calls 1100 Wicomico St. its home and is now planning a big expansion in Pigtown. From the Baltimore Business Journal:

As more companies continue spinning out of medical institutions like Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland, Baltimore, the company is planning to expand, to make sure it has the capacity to build all the devices startups need made. Harbor Designs hopes to grow about eight times its current size, to employ about 200 local workers at its Pigtown facility in the next two years.

Harbor Designs is using about 30,000 of its 45,000-square-foot sixth floor space at 1100 Wicomico St. Barnes said the company plans to expand quickly to utilize the entire floor, and may be able to expand into additional floors in the building in the coming years.

South Baltimore Restaurants Honored by Yelp

Yelp ranked the top 20 lunch spots in Greater Baltimore that offer delivery and carryout options. Baltimore Business Journal recapped the results and here are the South Baltimore restaurants that made the cut:

  • No. 4 – SoBo Cafe
  • No. 9 – Baba’s Mediterranean Kitchn
  • No. 14 – Southside Diner

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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