South Baltimore Business Roundup

| March 4, 2015 | 0 Comments

New Market Coming to Federal Hill, Retail Spaces Filling

A very positive trend is happening in Federal Hill: long-vacant retail spaces are becoming new businesses. Last year, City Nails opened in a space vacant for more than 12 years, Forever Yogurt opened in a space vacant for several years, Unleashed by Petco opened in two former retail spaces (one of which was vacant for three years), and The Local Fry opened in a space vacant for almost three years. Blue Moon Café also announced a move to a space that was vacant for almost three years and Himalayan Bistro will be opening in a space next door, which has also been vacant almost three years. Both are currently under construction. Construction is additionally underway at Crossbar at the former home of Turner’s and Lanasa Produce, properties that have been vacant for several years.

1545669_10206058554123788_4830229534803916916_nWork has recently begun at 1205 Light St., a space that has been vacant for more than seven years. The space was formerly the home of Computer Harbor, which later moved to the 1100 block of Light St. and  then later closed. 1205 Light St. now has a sign in the window that reads, “Coming Soon, Federal Hill Natural Market.” On Facebook and on surveys, many area residents have expressed the need for more fresh foods, breads and groceries in Federal Hill, so this has the potential to meet that need. will keep you posted as more is discovered about this new business.

Work recently also took place at the long-vacant retail space at the northwest corner of Light and Fort Ave., part of a group of properties that was recently renovated. It has been more than 13 years since this location was occupied. One spot was formerly a diner and another was once Gold Depot.

South Baltimore Featured on House Hunters (Again)

South Baltimore is starting to become a regular on HGTV’s popular show House Hunters. Last year House Hunters aired an episode that featured visits to Second Chance and the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM), as well as a House Hunters Renovation episode where a family purchased and rehabbed a home in Federal Hill/Riverside. Zella’s Pizzeria in Hollins Market also announced that a scene was filmed at its restaurant for a couple who bought a house in the area.

photoOn Monday night, another new episode aired and it featured a house tour in Union Square, as well as a picturesque walk at Federal Hill Park. The couple eventually picked a home in Northeast Baltimore’s Lauraville neighborhood.

Baltimore Museum of Industry Once Eyed for Under Armour Expansion

This week Kevin Plank and Under Armour finally announced plans for Port Covington, which includes a huge mixed-use development with nearly 3 million sq. ft. of office space, but this development plan almost didn’t happen. The Baltimore Business Journal (BBJ) is reporting that Plank originally eyed a partnership with the Baltimore Museum of Industry (BMI) that would include adjacent properties. From the article:

The plan included expanding the museum to make it a “museum of industry, innovation and entrepreneurship;” building a 100,000-square-foot Under Armour store; developing a hotel; and building towers that would give Under Armour room to expand.

The BMI board voted down the plan at which time Plank began eyeing Port Covington.

A More Business Friendly Maryland?

The business climate in Maryland played a large role in Governor Larry Hogan’s upset victory as it was a major focus of his campaign. The Frederick News Post is reporting that Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot recently told the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce that big changes are ahead. From the article:

Within six months, people will see a drastic change in Maryland’s “business-unfriendly” reputation, according to Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot.

Speaking to the trustees and board members of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Franchot said goals for the state will be moratoriums on new taxes, fees and regulations over a multi-year plan.

Franchot also spoke about better customer service from all state agencies, reforming the state’s procurement system for state contracts, teaching financial literacy in schools, starting school after Labor Day, and his partnership with Governor Hogan on the Board of Public Works, which oversees state contracts.

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Founder and Publisher of, 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 and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.