Cross Street Market Merchants’ Leases Extended Until Labor Day

| March 23, 2017 | 0 Comments

As it works through the details and pre-development planning of its Cross Street Market redevelopment, Caves Valley Partners (CVP) has extended the leases of all the existing merchants, besides Nick’s Inner Harbor Seafood, until Labor Day. Nick’s has six and a half years remaining on its lease, and the rest of the merchants were previously on month-to-month leases.

In February, CVP announced it was pulling out of an agreement with the Baltimore Public Markets Corporation (BPMC) to complete a $6.5 million redevelopment of the 31,800 sq. ft. Federal Hill market. However, Arsh Mirmiran of CVP told SouthBMore.com on March 7th that he and his team would be moving forward with a new modified plan which Mirmiran believes will address many of the concerns of the existing merchants and the community.

CVP’s new plan, according to Mirmiran, includes starting fresh with Nick’s Inner Harbor Seafood, which was involved in a “legal matter” with CVP regarding its lease, and working with the existing merchants by keeping portions of the market open during construction and developing strategies to keep new rents and costs down for these businesses.

CVP was going to shut down the entire market during the renovation so it could completely dig up the floor, update the plumbing, and change the layout. Now, CVP is aiming to keep the layout mostly the same with the aisle remaining down the middle of the market, as opposed to on the south side of the market as it was proposed in the previous plan. This will allow tenants to remain open during the renovation, but Mirmiran noted most tenants would have to relocate within the market before completion.

The new plan will cost less than the original plan, but CVP is still working with its engineers and architect Brown Craig Tuner to determine the new cost.

As pre-development and planning takes place, CVP extended the leases of the existing tenants to “give them some breathing room” according to Mirmiran. He noted that construction won’t necessarily start right at Labor Day, but that it definitely won’t start before that date.

SouthBMore.com recently visited Cross Street Market to speak with some of the merchants to get their feelings on the recent changes and their thoughts moving forward.

As construction was initially expected to begin in May with the first redevelopment plan, Cheese Galore & More Owner Sharon Johnson told SouthBMore.com that she is happy to know she doesn’t have to vacate in 38 days. She also said she is feeling better about the new plan, “I’m more optimistic. I think I will be able to afford it, which wasn’t the case with the last plan.”

Merchants and CVP have not yet negotiated new long-term leases, but did meet last week.

Johnson also noted that she will have to negotiate which products she can sell at the new Cross Street Market.

Big Jim’s Deli owner Anna Epsilantis told SouthBMore.com that she has doesn’t have any opinions on the new plan because she hasn’t seen any details yet. However, she does feel the changes in the plan are a result of the efforts of the merchants. “Obviously our concerns were heard and we appreciate everyone who showed up to our rally last month,” she said.

Big Jim’s Deli has a 7-day Beer/Wine license and CVP is currently seeking a market-wide liquor license. Epsilantis told SouthBMore.com that she is not sure at this point how her license will be impacted.

Steve’s Lunch owner John Nichols told SouthBMore.com he is happy about the six-month lease extension.

Kimberly Travers of Nick’s told SouthBMore.com they are just in a “wait and see” mode with the new plan.

Read SouthBMore.com’s articles detailing the different aspects of the Cross Street Market redevelopment.

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 [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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