Downtown Retail and Development Updates

| June 20, 2012 | 0 Comments

Official Release:                                                               Downtown Partnership of Baltimore

Retail News

Now Open
The Best of Luck Candy & Gifts has relocated from Harbor East to a new location in the Power Plant at 601 E. Pratt Street. The store hosts birthday parties and sells a range of sweet treats and customized candy gift baskets.

Cakewalk Gallery has opened at 1224 N. Charles Street. The gallery features the work of local and regional artists at affordable prices and is open to the public seven days a week.

David and Dad’s Café has opened a third location at 100 E. Pratt Street. The casual café serves soups, sandwiches, salads, and smoothies.

Eagle House has opened at 829 E. Pratt Street. The new restaurant features an all-you-can-eat Chinese food and sushi buffet.

Fusion Wok is now open in the EATS Charles Plaza Food Court at 222 N. Charles Street. The eatery fuses Chinese and Korean fare for a unique menu of entrees, rice dishes, and noodles that are made-to-order for each customer.

Goldilocs Hair Boutique is now open at 1017 Cathedral Street. The new salon specializes in hair extension services.

Johnny Rockets has reopened in the Light Street Pavilion of Harborplace & The Gallery at 301 Light Street. The retro-themed restaurant serves classic American fare such as hamburgers, French fries and malted milkshakes.

Nature’s Table is open for business at 1 E. Pratt Street. The fast-casual eatery offers healthy dining options such as soups, salads, rice bowls, and wraps as well as breakfast items and coffee drinks.

Paciugo Gelato & Caffe is now open in the Pratt Street Pavilion of Harborplace & The Gallery at 201 E. Pratt Street. The gelateria serves an assortment of 32 to 40 flavors and also offers coffee and specialty drinks.

Phaze 10 is now open at 885 N. Howard Street. The eatery contains two venues: Phaze 10 Grill which offers Southern-style barbeque dishes and grilled meats, and Phaze 10 Restaurant, Lounge & Entertainment which features a more upscale atmosphere, a selection of drinks and cocktails, and live music and entertainment.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not is now open in the Light Street Pavilion of Harborplace & The Gallery at 301 Light Street. The entertainment complex features a museum of oddities with nine themed galleries and many interactive activities as well as a mirror maze and 4-D movie theater.

SECU, the State Employees Credit Union, has relocated its Westside branch to 418 W. Baltimore Street. The new location offers a range of financial services.

Townhouse Kitchen + Bar has opened at 1350 Lancaster Street. The new restaurant serves dishes with Asian and Mediterranean influences and also offers 40 local beers on tap and an extensive wine list.

Tutti Frutti is now open at 1209 N. Charles Street. The frozen yogurt venue offers a variety of soy-based soft serve flavors and additional toppings such as fruits, cookies, and candy pieces.

Coming Soon

Cuban Revolution Restaurant and Bar will open in September in the John G. Rangos Sr. Building at The Science & Technology Park at Johns Hopkins, located at 855 N. Wolfe Street. Items on the menu include tapas, pressed sandwiches, and empanadas. The restaurant will also offer live music.

Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant is coming soon to 1000 Lancaster Street. The brewery chain, which will open in October, will feature outdoor seating, beer brewed on the premises, and food items such as burgers, salads, and garlic fries.

Main Streets Update

Banditos is coming soon to 1118 S. Charles Street in the Federal Hill Main Street district. The eatery and bar will specialize in gourmet tacos and hand-mixed cocktails made with tequila.

Blue Agave has reopened under new ownership at 1032 Light Street in the Federal Hill Main Street district. The Mexican restaurant, which was also recently renovated, serves traditional fare including fajitas, enchiladas, and entrees such as chiles rellenos and grilled sea bass.

M&T Bank is now open at 1111 Light Street in the Federal Hill Main Street district. The new bank branch offers features such as Saturday hours, a customer service center, night depository, and walk-up ATM.

Member News

Ayers/Saint/Gross, an architectural, planning, design and landscape architecture firm, begins a year-long celebration of its 100th anniversary this month. The celebration kicked off with a reception at the company’s headquarters in Locust Point and will continue with educational lectures and other events. The company, which was founded in 1912, is one of the city’s longest continually running businesses and has been recognized for its innovative and creative projects.

The Baltimore City Department of Transportation was recently selected to receive an award of excellence from the American Society of Civil Engineers for the outstanding design and construction work performed for the Downtown Infrastructure Improvements Project, which consisted of roadway improvements in the business district to prepare for the inaugural Grand Prix race last year. The project was named the “Outstanding Small Project of the Year” in

Maryland, a prize awarded annually to the best project with a construction budget of less than $20M.

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, an insurance provider, is one of four Maryland recipients set to receive federal grant funding for projects aimed at improving Medicare and Medicaid services. The company will use its $24M grant to expand its patient-centered medical home program to about 25,000 Medicare benificiaries.

Constellation Energy and its parent company Exelon Corp. recently donated a combined $1.8M to the Maryland Science Center. The gift will fund the creation and operation of a new exhibit highlighting the production of energy, which is slated to open in late 2013.

Veolia Transportation launched Baltimore’s first propane autogas taxi fleet at a kick-off ceremony last month. The company is converting 300 of its taxis nationwide from gasoline to propane autogas, and has installed an autogas fueling station in the City to serve 50 vehicles. The new fleets are more environmentally-friendly and affordable and will help to educate local communities about the benefits of domestic fuel.

Development News

City Center
Earlier this month, Baltimore City Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP) commissioners unanimously voted to add another Downtown property to the landmark list. Baltimore’s first skyscraper, The Equitable Building at 10-12 N. Calvert Street, is an important part of the physical and cultural history of City Center.

The Law Offices of Jason D. Levy, a law firm, has taken 1,180 SF of space in the Knickerbocker Building at 218-220 E. Lexington Street.

Cresa, a real estate firm specializing in tenant representation, has opened an office at 300 E. Lombard Street. The local office is the firm’s 56th location in North America.

The new Family Childbirth and Children’s Center at Mercy Medical Center, located at 345 St. Paul Place, has been completed and is now open to the public. The 72,000 SF center, a $41.5M project in the inpatient medical building, includes 13 labor and delivery rooms, a 32-bed mother- baby unit and a 26-bed neonatal intensive care unit. The center also includes environmentally- friendly measures such as roof gardens and materials recycled from a parking garage demolition at the site.

R2integrated, a digital marketing firm, has subleased 15,467 SF of office space at 400 E. Pratt Street. The company will relocate its offices and 75 local employees from the Emerging Technology Center in Canton to the new space. Cassidy Turley helped to broker this deal.

Recently, the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore partnered with P. Flanigan & Sons to refurbish the median on St. Paul Street at Centre Street, an important gateway to Downtown. The City of Baltimore donated Belgian block pavers for the beautification project, which were handpicked and cleaned to decorate the perimeter of the island. Crews also added topsoil and improved the landscaping and greenery. Flanigan’s efforts have offset more than half of the cost of construction, and the Baltimore City Department of Transportation is assisting with curb repairs and sign replacement.

Center Plaza, located between Charles Street, Liberty Street, and Fayette Street, celebrates five years since its reconstruction this month. The $7.4M renovation project was completed in June 2007, and today the plaza is a premier green space with trees, well-maintained lawns, water features, and better lighting.

Inner Harbor
The former InterContinental Harbor Court hotel at 550 Light Street has been renamed the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore following a change in management. The 195-room hotel features a swimming pool with views of the City, a fitness center, racquetball and tennis courts, and 10,000 SF of meeting space.

Bolster Labs, Inc., a technology firm, has signed a lease for 1,932 SF of office space at 729 E. Pratt Street.

A new Baltimore-themed entertainment cruise liner will dock between the Light Street Pavilion and the Maryland Science Center. The 99-foot long boat, run by Watermark Cruises, is named Raven as an homage to both the NFL team and Baltimore native Edgar Allen Poe and will offer space for private events as well as public cruises for tour groups. Production of the ship began in January 2011.

Mount Vernon
The $6M renovation project at the Park Plaza building at 800 N. Charles Street is now complete. The building, which was badly damaged by a fire in December 2010, is listed as part of the federal government’s Mount Vernon National Historic Landmark District and has been updated with new office and retail spaces. Nearly all of the original commercial tenants have returned to the building. Park Plaza is owned by The Time Group and managed by WPM Real Estate Group.

The Waxter Center for Senior Citizens at 861 Park Avenue will undergo minor renovations soon. The City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland are sharing the cost of the $700,000 project, which will refurbish the center’s pool, replace flooring and carpet in public areas, renovate six public bathrooms, and install energy-saving lighting upgrades.

Agora Publishing, an international trade publishing house, has acquired 1001 Cathedral Street for $1.65M. The 21,564 SF building, which is home to the City Café restaurant, will serve as office space for the company.

Westside
Earlier this month, Baltimore City Planning Commission members unanimously voted to add another Downtown property to the landmark list. This building, the former St. Alphonsus Hall at 125 W. Saratoga Street, was recently redeveloped as market-rate rental units called The Saratoga Loft Apartments and is a testimony to the investment being made in this neighborhood.

Demolition of the former Greyhound terminal building at 206 W. Fayette Street is now underway. The contractors, Potts & Callahan, Inc., were awarded the $1.23M contract in March. This property is a sizable piece of the Lexington Square project, which is a key component of the Superblock redevelopment plan.

Stabilization work will begin soon on the exterior walls and roof of the former Read’s Drug Store building at the southeast corner of Howard and Lexington Streets. J.A. Argetakis Contracting Co., Inc. was recently awarded the $349,000 contract by the City’s Board of Estimates.

Brinton Building Services, Inc. has been hired by the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, with funding in the amount of $96, 867 from Baltimore Development Corporation, to complete facade improvements at 15 City-owned properties in the 200 blocks of W. Lexington and W. Fayette Streets and the 400 and 500 blocks of N. Howard Street.

For more development updates regarding Downtown’s Westside, including recent designation for the Bromo Tower Arts and Entertainment District and news about the Get Fresh Public Markets initiative at Lexington Market, please click here for the June 2012 e-Update from the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.

Adjacent Neighborhoods
Race On LLC, the new organizers of the Baltimore Grand Prix, have agreed to a monthly lease of 2,500 SF of office space in the Warehouse at Camden Yards at 333 W. Camden Street.

A 5-story replica of a can of Old Bay has been installed at the parking garage at 815 E. Pratt Street, which will be known for the next year as the Old Bay Garage. As part of a new marketing campaign tied to the spice’s 70th anniversary, parent company McCormick and Co. Inc. has acquired naming rights to the garage.

The Baltimore Community Tool Bank is now open at 1224 Wicomico Street. The tool bank offers high-quality tools and equipment for rent at a nominal cost, allowing community groups and charitable organizations to complete service projects that include landscaping, carpentry, and construction. The local program is the third affiliate to open under the ToolBank USA umbrella. Similar resources are operating in Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC.

McHenry Row, the $130M mixed use development at 1500 Woodall Street in Locust Point, recently reported that nearly all available retail and office space is filled. The developer, 28 Walker Development LLC, is now focused on leasing the remaining rental apartments which are expected to reach full occupancy by October 2012. The development includes 250 apartments and two parking garages.

Everything Warehouse, a supplier of industrial material handling equipment, racking and retail store fixtures, has signed a lease to relocate into 54,600 SF of office and warehouse space at 1615 Wicomico Street. Cushman & Wakefield of Maryland, Inc. represented the tenant in this transaction.

East Baltimore Development, Inc. broke ground this month on the 7-acre campus for the Elmer A. Henderson: A Johns Hopkins Partnership School in the 2100-block of Ashland Avenue. The school will be 90,000 SF and will house 540 students. The 28,000 SF Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Early Childhood Center will be located on the same campus and will house 180 students. The complex is expected to be completed in the fall of 2013 and is located in the Phase II area of the $1.8B restoration project.

Exeter Gardens, a new urban agriculture project, is being created at the corner of Exeter and Lombard Streets in Jonestown. The project is a community-led initiative to transform a vacant

concrete lot into a flourishing farm, promoting healthy lives, nutritious food, and the diversity of Baltimore’s food culture. The project’s founders have partnered with landscape architects Mahan Rykiel Associates, Inc. and WPM Real Estate Group to design and build the space and will begin construction this fall.

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About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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