First Phase of Hollins Market Redevelopment to Begin in March

| February 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

While the overall scope and timeline of the Hollins Market redevelopment project has changed, Phase 1 of the redevelopment will begin in March. Scott Plank’s War Horse Cities CDC, which was selected in 2017 to redevelop and mange the City-owned market by the Baltimore Public Market Corporation (BPMC) after being the only company to respond to a request for proposals (RFP), will now limit its involvement to Phase 1 of the renovation. BPMC will now take over the completion of the project and will continue to manage the market.

War Horse Cities CDC is the non-profit arm of the War Horse Cities development company

In the RFP, War Horse Cities CDC agreed to redevelop the approximately 14,000 sq. ft. “shed” of Hollins Market. The plan did not include the large attached three-story brick “head house.”

From a BPMC and War Horse Cities CDC fact sheet regarding the project moving forward:

Since 2017, War Horse Cities completed its due diligence, including community engagement, fundraising, design, and financial analysis. War Horse Cities was successful in receiving a $250,000 State bond bill and a City / BPMC commitment of $1 million towards the project. Despite the significant progress made over the past 2 years, the project does not have the required funding to implement the full redevelopment plan of the shed, which is estimated to cost $5 million.

After further discussions, War Horse Cities and BPMC have decided to collaboratively begin the project in a phased approach. War Horse Cities will complete Phase 1 using the State’s contribution to the project. It will also contribute its due diligence, studies, concept plans, and merchandising totaling $350,000 toward the completion of the project. The BPMC will concurrently begin planning the full redevelopment of the project to begin once funding can be secured. The BPMC will renovate the venue’s interior and subsequently manage the market.

War Horse Cities CDC will begin exterior renovations next month based on the plans and concepts developed with the community over the past two years. Phase 1 will likely include new exterior siding and windows, new storefronts and doors, new soffit and lighting, and additional exterior improvements.

MacKenzie Contracting has been selected to lead construction. Phase 1 is expected to be completed in May.

“BPMC would like to thank War Horse Cities CDC for their efforts to date, including expending significant financial resources to get us to this point,” said Colin Tarbert, Baltimore City’s Deputy Chief for Strategic Alliances.  “We are most appreciative of your commitment to Hollins Market and the City.”

BPMC will begin pre-development work in March and the will continue through July. By July 31, 2019, BPMC anticipates having a more definitive timeline and scope of work for the redevelopment of the interior of the market and will then share its findings with local stakeholders.

Through its planning of the project and working with the community, War Horse Cities CDC’s goal was to make Hollins Market’s new offerings a mix of groceries like fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, and seafood, as well as prepared meals, carryout items, healthy options, and sit-down dining options. More than 20 vendors were planned with spaces ranging from 100-600 sq. ft.

War Horse Cities CDC was also interested in pursing liquor license for the market. “We’ve heard pretty loudly from the community that they’d like a restaurant and bar,” said War Horse Cities Director of Design and Development Jim Mills.

There is also a City-owned parking lot adjacent to the northwest corner of Hollins Market. BPMC plans to upgrade the parking lot by repaving portions of the lot, restriping, and enhancing the landscaping. BPMC intends to have these improvements completed inline with the completion of Phase 1.

War Horse Cities is planning a three- to five-year, multi-phase housing development in Hollins Market called Hollins Square Homes that will include homes for sale and apartments for rent. War Horse will break ground on Phase One this spring, which will includes 15 new-construction townhomes and five renovated rowhomes. All of the homes in Hollins Square Homes are within a block of the Hollins Market. Five of the new construction townhomes will built on two lots across the street from the southeast corner of the market.

War Horse also owns many commercial properties around the market and in the community. Mills said improving these properties is their next focus and they hope to do more pop-up businesses in the immediate future.

War Horse Cities has committed upwards of $6 million to date in the Hollins Market neighborhood and plans to spend roughly $20 million in the community.

Renderings courtesy of War Horse 

Current Conditions

The Shed

The Head House

Parking lot 

Locations of new-construction townhomes outlined in blue. Screenshot courtesy of Google Maps. 

Former Cockey’s, future site of a renovated home and two new-construction townhomes. 

Grass lot at Hollins St. and Arlington. Future site of Three new-construction townhomes.

The 1200 block of Hollins St. Future site of six new-construction garage townhomes. 

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, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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