South Baltimore Business Roundup

| August 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

JP Morgan Chase Applies for Cherry Hill Branch

Cherry Hill could be getting a new bank branch from JPMorgan Chase & Co. at the Cherry Hill Town Center. From Baltimore Business Journal:

JPMorgan Chase & Co. filed an application last month with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in the U.S. Treasury Department for its latest Baltimore branch location.

The branch will part of a shopping center being revitalized by Catholic Charities of Baltimore. The nonprofit is completing a $4.5 million renovationof Cherry Hill Town Center including a new marketplace providing fresh food options for shoppers and space for entrepreneurs.

Bill McCarthy, executive director of Catholic Charities, said it’s “awesome” that JPMorgan Chase plans to open a branch in a community that has historically been a banking desert.

Federal Hill Income Tax Moves on Light Street 

Federal Hill Income Tax has relocated from 1003 Light St. to a larger 2,400 sq. ft. space at 1118-B Light St. in Federal Hill. 1118-B Light St. is the former home of Lock N’ Key Escape Room which closed in February. The retail/office space at 1003 Light St. is currently for rent.

Banana Republic Leaving Harborplace

The Inner Harbor’s Harborplace pavilions are currently in receivership and will now be losing one of its biggest tenants, according to Baltimore Business Journal. From the article:

Banana Republic will shutter Aug. 10, a sign posted Thursday on the retailer’s front window says. The national chain is the largest tenant in the Pratt Street pavilion with 8,400 square feet of leased space on the first floor. It moved there in 2018, after it closed its original downtown location in the Gallery at Harborplace in 2016.

“Most of us are getting laid off,” one worker, who asked to remain anonymous, said Friday.

Banana Republic is the latest change at Harborplace. Annapolis-based Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls opened an 1,000 sq. ft. location in the Pratt Street Pavilion in March and Jimmy Buffett’s LandShark Bar & Grill announced in June it will be opening a 4,305 sq. ft. restaurant at the Light Street Pavilion.

Additional openings and relocations at Harborplace include: Hooters, which completed a move from the second floor of the Light Street Pavilion to a 6,300 sq. ft., first-floor space last year; and Neighborhoods and Philly Pretzel Factory, which both opened at the Light Street Pavilion in the last couple of years. Build-A-Bear opened last year in the Pratt Street Pavilion, and IT’SUGAR relocated from the Light Street Pavilion to the Pratt Street Pavilion. Last year, M&S Grille and Five Guys closed in the Pratt Street Pavilion, and Noodles & Company and Urban Outfitters closed in the Light Street Pavilion.

Medical Supply Store Closes in Pigtown 

M.D. Home Medical Supply has closed at 769 Washington Blvd. The retail space is currently for rent.

Federal Government Awards Baltimore $125 Million for Howard Street Tunnel Reconstruction 

Maryland is getting a $125-million federal grant to reconstruct the Howard Street Tunnel which will allow for the double stacking of CSX trains going to and from the Port of Baltimore. The Howard Street Tunnel runs under Downtown for 1.4 miles and reopens next to the Camden Yards Sports Complex. From Baltimore Business Journal:

The Maryland Port Administration has been pushing for years to move forward with a $466 million project that would reconfigure the 1.7-mile-long tunnel to allow for double-stacking of shipping containers to and from the Port of Baltimore. Gov. Larry Hogan‘s administration submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation seeking $228 million in funding in March.

A prior application was rejected in 2016. The state applied again the following year but withdrew its application after CSX Corp. pulled out of a previously agreed-upon funding arrangement. The Jacksonville, Florida-based railroad company owns the Howard Street Tunnel.

Maryland officials were able to get CSX back to the negotiating table and the company came back onboard with a $91 million commitment. The state agreed to provide $147 million with the remaining $228 million coming from the federal government.

This leaves a $103-million funding gap for the project.

Also from the article:

The Port Administration estimates reconstructing the Howard Street Tunnel will create about 7,000 jobs during construction and then another 7,400 after the tunnel reopens. Lack of double-stacking is the one inhibitor for the otherwise fast-growing Port of Baltimore, officials say.

Illumina Coming to the UM BioPark 

Genomics company Illumina is opening a 13,000 sq. ft. location at the University of Maryland BioPark in Hollins Market. From Baltimore:

San Diego-based Illumina, which was founded in 1998 and has 7,000 employees worldwide, specializes in DNA sequencing and microarray technology. Wired called the company the “Google of Genetic Testing,” and the company’s own data said it is responsible for generating more than 90% of the world’s sequencing data.

The new office, called the Illumina Solutions Center, is located at 801 W. Baltimore St. The 13,000-square-foot space will play host to trainings on its technology and provide office space for customers and commercial teams. Illumina didn’t disclose how many employees it will have in the space, but said hundreds of employees and customers will come to the space for trainings.

The location will give Illumina proximity to the research activities at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, which is part of UMB. Specifically, the company is looking to build on an existing relationship with the University of Maryland’s Institute for Genome Sciences and its director, Dr. Clare Fraser, as the Institute’s address is near where the center will be based.

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About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of, 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.