South Baltimore Business Roundup

| May 27, 2015 | 0 Comments

Tuscan Fresh Closes, New Concept Coming

photoTuscan Fresh, the build-your-own pasta restaurant at 545 E. Fort Ave. in Riverside/Federal Hill, has closed. Tuscan Fresh debuted in December at the former home of Ullswater, Sly Fox and Soigné. Tuscan Fresh was owned by Greg Nalley of Nalley Fresh, who also formerly owned Harvest Table at Tide Point. Nalley Fresh has two downtown locations, as well as locations in Canton, Hunt Valley, Towson and Timomium.

A representative from the ownership group of 545 E. Fort Ave. told that a new concept will open in the space in the next few weeks. Renovations are currently underway.

Vacant Spaces

Two former retail office spaces are no longer occupied. 1059 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill, which is adjacent to MaGerks and formerly the home of First Security Mortgage and Premier Title, is now empty. 1439 E. Fort Ave., which was recently the home of Kraus International Shipping, is now vacant as well. The space’s recent ‘for rent’ sign has been taken down.

Veteran and Active Duty Military Home Buying Incentive

Governor Larry Hogan’s $20 million initiative will make it easier for veterans and military families to buy homes in select communities in Maryland. From an article in The Washington Post:

Under “You’ve Earned It!”, active-duty military, including Reserves and National Guard, as well as honorably discharged and disabled veterans could qualify for a 2.75 percent fixed-rate 30-year mortgage and up to $10,000 in down-payment assistance.

The program will be available until the $20 million is exhausted, state officials said.

The funds are available only for home purchases in neighborhoods that are part of Maryland’s Sustainable Communities, a program that aims to strengthen investment and revitalization in older communities across the state.

South Baltimore areas that qualify as Maryland Sustainable Communities are parts of Federal Hill, Pigtown, Westport, Hollins Market, and Union Square as well as most of the Downtown core. The Hogan administration also recently released a home buying incentive for individuals with more than $25,000 in student loan debt.

Under Armour Products Return to the Port of Baltimore

Under Armour has reached a deal with Evergreen shipping line to deliver products to the Port of Baltimore for the first time in eight years. From an article in The Baltimore Sun:

“Kevin Plank is very pro-Maryland, likes to support Maryland jobs,” she said, without providing financials or employment figures from the deal. “This will just support our footprint in the state.”

Under the deal, Under Armour will begin importing cargo containers via Evergreen ships from Shanghai directly to Baltimore instead of Long Beach, Sichette said. The cargo will then be transported by truck from the port to the Baltimore distribution center on Fort Smallwood Road.

The South Baltimore distribution center provides the “auto-replacement” of stock items for big-box retailers in the region and fills individual orders made directly with the company online, Sichette said.

photoNew Mural for L.P. Steamers

L.P. Steamers has a new “Welcome to Locust Point” mural and signage on the side of its building. Check it out!

Two Upcoming StartUp Soirées

StartUp Soirée, a networking event in South Baltimore for founders, entrepreneurs and business owners, is meeting for the fifth time this Thursday at Pixilated Photobooth’s headquarters in Morrell Park. This month’s guest speaker is Ted Offit of Offit Kurman Attorneys at Law.

On June 2nd, they will host another StartUp Soirée during which Demian Costa, a partner at Plank Industries, will be presenting development plans for Port Covington.

About the Author:

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.