Southway Builders Hopes to Expand Its Locust Point Office Into an Adjacent Rowhome

| October 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

Southway Builders is hoping to expand its Locust Point office at 1318 E. Fort Ave. into the adjacent rowhome at 1316 E. Fort Ave. Southway is behind a City Council bill that would convert its entire block from 1312 to 1318 E. Fort Ave. into a C1 Zoning which would allow for commercial and residential use.

Southway has purchased 1314 E. Fort Ave. and 1316 E. Fort Ave. Southway President Willy Moore told SouthBMore.com the owner of 1312 E. Fort Ave. supports the proposed change to C1 Zoning. Southway has an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in place with the Locust Point Civic Association (LPCA) which supports the zoning change. There will be a public hearing virtually through Webex on November 5th.

Southway will use 1314 E. Fort Ave. as office space while the company renovates the second story of its 8,000 sq. ft. office building at 1318 E. Fort Ave. Once the second-story renovation is completed, Southway will return 1314 E. Fort Ave. to a residential rental property.

The expansion into 1316 E. Fort Ave. will keep the traditional rowhome facade, but the interior walls on the first floor will be punched out and connected to Southway’s office building. Southway will use the extra space for additional desks, a large conference room, and spaces for training. Moore said in the 1950s the former owner of 1316 E. Fort Ave. built a one-story addition in the entire back yard that was used a dance hall for kids.

1316 E. Fort Ave. is currently gutted and awaiting approval for the expansion which could take six to ten months to complete.

Moore said the company could expand permanently into 1314 E. Fort Ave. in the future if Southway needs the additional space.

Southway has 90 employees, but much of its workforce spends the majority of their time at the company’s 17 construction sites.

1318 E. Fort Ave. was originally a movie theatre, but it was later destroyed in a fire and lost its architectural character theatre-style facade, according to Moore. A faded painted sign on the side of the building for the “Deluxe Theatre” is still visible. The building was later a manufacturing facility for the Ouija board before the company was sold to Parker Brothers. It was followed by a coffee roasting facility for Pfefferkorn’s Coffee which relocated one block west.

Southway recently added a “Southway Builders” mural on the front and side of its building and added two electric car charging stations out front that are open to the public.

Moore said Locust Point is “a wonderful neighborhood with low crime” and talked about how he loves taking walks down to Fort McHenry. “We love it here and want to stay as long as we can,” he said.

Moore loves the growth in the neighborhood and noted there were only two places to get a sandwiches when Southway first arrived to Locust Point in 1998. “It has gone from two places to eat to a ton,” he said.

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.
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