38,000 sq. ft. of Office and Retail Coming to Former South Baltimore Slaughterhouse

| June 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

An approximately 30,000 sq. ft. former slaughterhouse at 1900 Light St. in South Baltimore is currently under renovation and will become office and retail space. The historic building is owned by Stephen Wilhide of Wilhide Draperies Inc. (WDI), which recently relocated from the building. Wilhide is partnering with developer Michael Abrams of Glenbrook Properties on the project.

Wilhide bought the property in 1986 to house his growing company. The building, which dates back to 1885, was formerly the home of Heinz Riverside Abattoir and Southern Beef. WDI recently moved to an 8,000 sq. ft. building at 2802 Frederick Rd. in Southwest Baltimore.

The property is comprised of four buildings which are all connected. There are two one-story buildings on the ends of the property; one faces Wells St. and one is adjacent to rowhomes on the 1900 block of Light St. In between the two one-story buildings are two two-story buildings. Abrams and Wilhide are planning a third-story addition and a rooftop deck on top of the two-story buildings. When completed, the property will have about 32,000 sq. ft. of office space and 6,000 sq. ft. of space that will likely be used for retail. They are aiming to have two restaurant tenants.

The one-story, 5,500 sq. ft. building facing Wells St. will likely be dedicated to retail. These retail spaces will be on the same block as restaurants Minnow and Baltimore Soup Company and across from Hersh’s Pizza & Drinks. Wells St. has been transformed in the last 10 years from mostly warehouses and vacant properties to a hub for redevelopment with three new apartment buildings, as well as the renovated ZeroFox office space at the former Pabst Castle. Another project is planned for the 1800 and 1900 blocks of  S. Hanover St. two blocks to the west where Wells St. ends. Abrams and Wilhide are looking to add to the retail energy on Wells St. and said the area could really benefit from a couple more restaurants.

The rooftop of the other one-story, 4,500 sq. ft. building adjacent to the rowhomes will become an “urban rooftop greenhouse.” A glass greenhouse will be constructed and Abrams and Wilhide plan on leasing the space to local farmers. Abrams noted it could be a great resource for local restaurants looking for fresh produce. The first floor of this building could also potentially be used for retail.

Abrams and Wilhide are open to different types of office tenants for the 32,000 sq. ft. of office space. They said it would be ideal for an architect or digital marketing company with its historic and unique spaces. Now that the project plans have been revealed to the South Baltimore Neighborhood Association, they will begin marketing the office space. They said it could be one large company headquarters or have many different tenants.

The historic property will be restored to highlight elements such as exposed brick, pulley systems in the ceiling, a large catwalk, an underground grinder, tall exposed beam ceilings in many sections, columns, and metal barn doors. Abrams and Wilhide will be doing a CHAP Tax Credit historic renovation of the building that will include wood trimmed windows and the restoration of the existing brick exterior and structures.

Abrams and Wilhide will pursue a liquor license if a retail tenant desires one and hope to partner with one of the local parking garages on retail valet parking. While parking during the day around Light St. and Wells St. is fairly abundant, they are also considering parking partnerships for office tenants as well.

Demolition is currently taking place and Abrams and Wilhide will soon head to the Board of Municipal Zoning and Appeals (BMZA) to change the building from an R8 residential zoning to a conditional commercial use.

Restoration is taking place on the inside of the space, utilities will be updated, and new concrete floors will be poured on sections of the first floor. Spaces will be designed for specific tenants. Abrams and Wilhide said a space could be available in about six to nine months after a deal is signed with a tenant. They also said the project could be done in phases, but they are hoping to immediately focus on the Wells St. retail.

The building is currently the home of a fitness studio, Barron Stage Curtain and Equipment C0., and a couple apartments. It was recently the home of WDI and Amazing HVAC. Wilhide is a co-owner of Barron and said the company will eventually relocate. The fitness studio will eventually move to another renovated space within the building.

A LinkedIn Local event will be held at the building on July 18th.

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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.