New Design for Cross Street Market Gives Nod to the 1950s

| December 20, 2017 | 1 Comments

Cross Street Market developer Caves Valley Partners (CVP) has revealed new renderings for its redevelopment of the 31,800 sq. ft. Federal Hill market that sits between Light St. and Charles St. The new exterior design is a nod to the post-1952 look of the Cross Street Market, which was rebuilt after a 1951 fire that brought the previous structure to the ground (photo here).

CVP was originally partnering with Scott Plank’s War Horse Cities on the project. War Horse proposed a gray exterior design with features such as a rooftop deck, a rooftop greenhouse, and breaks in the building at Marshall St. and Patapsco St. War Horse walked away from the project before CVP reached a deal with the Baltimore Public Markets Corporation (BPMC) in 2016.

The new plan has since been scaled back to fit into a budget, which is now $7.3 million, and to accommodate current tenants so they can stay open during the construction.

“I thought the original War Horse design was incredible,” said Arsh Mirmiran, a Partner at CVP. “But, through various changes and iterations and tweaking the design so many times it lost the original flavor of its intent.”

Mirmiran decided it was time to give the market a retro look and go back to a version of the original design after the fire. CVP is working with Brown Craig Turner Architects on the project.

The new proposed design features a brick front on Light St. and a 1952-inspired neon “Cross Street Market” sign that protrudes from the facade. The large window openings will once again have translucent windows bringing in natural light, and a Cross Street Market mural will be painted across the front. This design will be replicated on S. Charles St. as well.

Natural light, which is currently lacking at the Cross Street Market, is a big theme of the new design. CVP will reopen many former window openings that were previously closed in with brick. Many of the walls of the markets on both sides of Cross St. are also lined with walk-in refrigerators and storage, preventing the use of windows along those walls. Mirmiran said that most storage will be held within the vendors stalls and not along the walls, and that some current vendors will need to keep less storage on site and accept more frequent deliveries.

Cross Street Market’s long exterior walls along Cross St. will be painted and be adjacent to several new outdoor seating areas along a new proposed nine-foot sidewalk. Each side of the market will have five entrances, and each will stand out with a different paint color and signage. Mirmiran said each door will have signage for the closest stalls. The Cross St. exterior walls will also have some logos, awnings, and four to five new take-out windows. New landscaping will be added around the perimeter of the building and approximately 12 street parking spaces will remain. The Parking Authority of Baltimore City (PABC) has been studying the demand for building an additional deck on the West Street Garage, located a block from the Cross Street Market, to address parking concerns in Federal Hill.

Similar to previous designs, large tenants will anchor the ends of the market. Ceremony Coffee and Steve’s Lunch will most likely anchor the Light St. side of the market with spaces of approximately 1,000 sq. ft. Nick’s Inner Harbor Seafood, which has a long-term lease, will continue to anchor the S. Charles St. side. Mirmiran said that CVP will be able to work around Nick’s during exterior improvements, but at some point will need to work in Nick’s space to update the building’s systems.

The market will have 30 stalls and and six common seating areas. If a stall is going to have its own seating, it will be at a counter within its stall. Mirmiran is expecting about eight to ten fresh food vendors that will be grouped near each other, likely toward the center of the north side of the market. They will provide the type of foods found at grocery stores like produce, butcher meat, cheese, dairy products, fresh fish, and breads. Fenwick Meats and Kwon’s Produce, two fresh food vendors, have agreed to a two-year extension and several other current vendors will also likely stay as well.

While Nick’s has its own beer/wine license, the rest of the market has been approved through new Maryland General Assembly legislation to apply for a new liquor license. This license would allows the sale of beer wine and liquor to be served in 20% of the leasable area in the market not including Nick’s. Alcoholic beverages can be carried within the market and consumed at common seating areas. Several other restrictions were placed on this license as well due to concerns from local residents and businesses.

CVP will begin construction of the market early next year by gutting the currently-vacant stalls. Then CVP will begin construction on the middle portion of the market (furthest from Light St. and S. Charles St.). Most of this area is currently vacant, but several stalls will need to be temporarily relocated to spaces closer to Light and S. Charles St. When this portion of the market has been completed, the existing stalls will then move into spaces in this portion of the market so CVP can renovate the spaces closest to Light St. and S. Charles St. The market will have a new polished concrete floor when completed.

Construction will be done in two phases and CVP is hoping to be completely finished by the second quarter of 2019. Mirmiran said many exterior improvements will be done in Phase 1.

CVP will be presenting its new plans to the Baltimore City Planning Department for feedback.

CVP has agreed to a lease of 15 years with seven renewal periods of five years each for a potential total term of 50 years. Under the management agreement, CVP is entitled to generate revenue from the operation of the market. Allocated revenue will fund the following: $10,000 per month ($120,000 per year) to BPMC as a Priority Payment; monthly payment to CVP’s lender; an annual amount equal to 8% of CSM’s equity contribution; and 50/50 profit-sharing between BPMC and CSM.

The building needs $2.5 million in utility work to get it up to code, according to CVP. Baltimore City has agreed to commit $2 million for these updates.

Four new stalls recently opened at Cross Street Market in temporary locations: SmokePrescription Chicken and Gertie’s Yummy Yogurt Bowls, Sundays, and Cookie Dough & Co.

Big Jim’s Deli closed last week after 38 years in business after agreeing to part ways with CVP. Along with Fenwick Meat’s and Kwon’s, Steve’s Lunch and The Pretzel Twist signed two-year extensions earlier this year.

New tenants coming to Cross Street Market in the future include Ceremony Coffee Roasters; DC-based Cucina Al Volo, which will sell pastas with locally-sourced ingredients; and Sarah Simington, owner of Federal Hill’s Blue Moon Too, who will open a stall selling quirky home goods.

Cross Street Market vendors that recently closed include The Flower Shop, Mondawmin Chicken, and Tian’s Teriyaki. The Flower Shop relocated to 1206 Ridgely St. in Pigtown/Carroll-Camden Industrial Area.

All other current vendors remain open.

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

Current design


New renderings courtesy of CVP and Brown Craig Turner 

New layout (click to enlarge)

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