War Horse Cities Planning Overhaul of Hollins Market

| March 21, 2018 | 0 Comments

War Horse CDC, the nonprofit arm of Scott Plank’s War Horse Cities development company, won the Baltimore Public Market Corporation (BPMC) RFP for a redevelopment of Hollins Market. War Horse is currently in the design process and held a community input meeting with Hollins Market residents in late January.

War Horse has agreed to redevelop the 10,000 sq. ft. “shed” of Hollins Market, but not the large attached three-story brick “head house” at this time (this could be included in a potential Phase 3 of development). War Horse will also activate the City-owned parking lot across the street from Hollins Market and brand it as Hollins Square. War Horse will lease the properties from BPMC.

While War Horse is still gathering community input and talking to existing vendors, its plan for the shed will include a full renovation. This includes giving the shed a fresh exterior look with larger windows allowing natural light and a large opening that leads to Hollins Square. A common seating area will also be added to the interior along one side of the market. There will likely be space inside for more than 20 vendors utilizing 100-600 sq. ft. each.

Significant changes can be made to the exterior appearance of the shed, but the slope of the building and the cast iron columns are historically significant and must remain.

War Horse is hoping to activate Hollins Square into “a great community space.” Some improvements could include repaving and re-striping it, as well as adding plantings and new lighting.

War Horse has committed $2 million of its own dollars into the Hollins Market redevelopment and is hoping to get additional help from the State of Maryland. A bill for a $2-million bond for Hollins Market is currently being considered by the Maryland General Assembly. War Horse Director of Design and Development Jim Mills told SouthBMore.com that the $2 million would be significant in making this project a reality.

War Horse hopes to complete the design, meet with contractors, and give BPMC construction documents by the Fall. War Horse is expecting eight to ten months of construction. It hasn’t decided if it will keep the market open or close it down during construction. Mills said closing would likely shorten the timeline and decrease the budget of the project.

Mills said relocating vendors to nearby commercial buildings War Horse owns during construction is a possibility.

Mills led the meeting along with architect Ana Castro of JRS Architects. They were looking to find out what local residents wanted in Hollins Market. Suggestions from attendees included seafood, butchers, baked good, grains, ice cream, produce, coffee, flowers, cheese, chocolate, a juice bar, breakfast, prepared dinners, ethnic food, a demonstration kitchen, and outdoor seating.

The crowd was split on whether Hollins Market should have a bar.

War Horse has acquired many properties around the market in recent years. Mills would not say how many, but told SouthBMore.com the company has invested several million in the market, area, and James McHenry Elementary Middle School.

War Horse recently demolished several vacant buildings on the 1200 block of Hollins St.

War Horse plans on releasing many new and renovated homes for sale in Hollins Market in the coming months. “We’re looking to offer that missing middle housing,” said Mills.

War Horse is hoping buyers will to take advantage of The University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) Live Near Your Work (LNYW) Program which Hollins Market qualifies for. University employees will qualify for a $16,000 grant from UMB and a matching grant of $2,500 from Baltimore City.

The Shed

The Head House

Parking lot that will become Hollins Square

Demolition on the 1200 block of Hollins St. 

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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.