Two Downtown Buildings Change Hands with Goal of Making Redwood Street a “Main Street”

| December 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

The team of Kemp Byrnes, Brad Byrnes, and Dave Gupta have acquired 225 and 233 E. Redwood St. in Downtown and are planning a renovation and rebranding of the properties. The planned $5-million renovation will add retail to the first floor of the properties and keep office space on the upper floors.

Brad Byrnes told the Baltimore Business Journal that the goal is to make the 2000 block of Redwood a main street for Downtown. The block also has the Chesapeake Shakespeare Theatre and the former Chez Hugo restaurant space.

225 E. Redwood St. is a four-story building formerly known as the Vickers Building. It will be rebranded as The Vickers Exchange.

233 E. Redwood St. is a 13-story building formerly known as the Garrett Building. It will be rebranded as The Redwood Exchange.

The two adjacent buildings combine for approximately 90,000 sq. ft. of office and retail space.

The development team’s immediate strategy is to transform the upper floors of The Redwood Exchange, which currently serves as the offices for law firm Gordon Feinblatt, LLC, to multi-tenant office space with event and entertaining space and conference rooms located on the second and third floors.

The ground floors of both buildings will be leased to restaurant and retail users. More than $3 million has been invested in the properties over the past five years by the previous owner to upgrade the exterior, interior common areas, and HVAC system.

233 E. Redwood St. was completed in 1913 by the family of John Work Garret, a prominent entrepreneur and philanthropist in Baltimore who served as president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad for nearly 30 years.

225 E. Redwood St. is currently the home of Werner’s Restaurant, which occupies one of the retail spaces. It was opened in 1950 by Werner Kloetzli. Werner’s has been a popular filming location and has been featured in The Wire, Liberty Heights, Ladder 49, Tin Men, Avalon, and House of Cards. The restaurant closed briefly in 2011 before reopening soon after under new ownership.

“This acquisition and subsequent investment strategy reflect our belief in the future of downtown Baltimore and the commercial real estate market downtown,” said Brad Byrnes, president of Byrnes & Associates, Inc., in a press release. “High quality and well-positioned real estate assets perform well over the long term and these two buildings have the necessary fundamentals to satisfy the real estate needs of a diverse array of companies and businesses.”

“We believe urban areas across the country will regain its energy and attractiveness as the workplace, and life in general, begin to return to normalcy,” he added. “Employees and the general public crave vibrant and pedestrian-friendly environments and these two assets are uniquely positioned in the center of the downtown with direct access to the central business district, transportation hubs and amenities.”

Gupta is a local entrepreneur who currently owns apartment buildings including The Telephone building in Charles Village next to Johns Hopkins University, and the Calvert School Apartments on 10 W. Chase St. in Mt. Vernon.

Kemp Byrnes and Brad Byrnes’ company Byrnes & Associates, Inc. is a boutique real estate company providing an array of commercial real estate brokerage, leasing, redevelopment, and asset management services to institutional and private investors, companies, and other owners. Since 1981, the company has been involved in a number of historical redevelopment projects including The Professional Building, The Latrobe Building and The McDowell Building.

Renderings from Heath Design Group

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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 [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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