Shofer’s Furniture Closing in 2021, Properties Listed for Redevelopment

| November 20, 2020 | 0 Comments

After 106 years in business, Shofer’s Furniture will be closing its shop at 930 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill next February or March. Shofer’s will begin a close-out sale right after Christmas.

Henry Shofer, who is the third generation owner of the business, said his kids aren’t interested in taking over the business and he’s ready to step away. “I’m killing myself doing this and it’s not as fun as it used to be,” he said. Shofer said business has been very good during the COVID-19 pandemic and its been a challenge keeping up with demand and getting customers their furniture quickly.

Even before the recent boom in sales, Shofer thought selling the business would be tough and noted that many younger people are buying furniture online. He figured this was a good time to exit. Real estate investment has always been a hobby of his and will be his main focus once Shofer’s closes.

Shofer’s closing will leave a portfolio of properties vacant. Shofer’s occupies a three- and four-story, 70,000 sq. ft. building with a 100-car parking lot in the heart of the Federal Hill Business District. Shofer’s also has a two-story, 80,000 sq. ft. warehouse at 836 Leadenhall St. on an acre which is partially-leased by Protean Books & Records. Shofer additionally has other properties in Federal Hill including many storefronts with apartments above and the former Shofer’s Clearance Center at 1007 S. Charles St. which has been eyed for redevelopment in the past.

Shofer said he has listed the furniture store and warehouse with broker Cushman Wakefield to gauge interest. He said he could develop them, lease them, sell them, and/or partner with a developer.

“This area is very vibrant, there are a lot of people living down here and a lot of people want to be residents,” said Shofer. “Anything located in this area is gold and the future is very bright. It’s a hidden gem in Baltimore City.”

Shofer, who is president of the Federal Hill Business Association and on the board of Federal Hill Main Street, noted how a lot more businesses have opened versus closed in Federal Hill during the pandemic. He said businesses are “hanging out, waiting for this thing to end.”

Shofer thinks apartments could work for the Charles St. furniture store and has heard the ideas for a hotel or grocery store. He said he is open to different ideas and added that “a lot of people want to invest” and “a lot of people would like to walk to a grocery store.”

Federal Hill does not have any grocery stores, but there are two approximately a mile away in Locust Point.

Shofer said it’s “bitter sweet” to close as this has been a part of his life for so long, and that he’s sad for his employees who want to continue working. He said he never took pictures as to protect their privacy, but talked about how the store attracted television and movie stars, politicians, and athletes, in addition to the many community members throughout the area.

This was first reported by the Baltimore Business Journal 

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