Retail and Office Collective ‘Riverside’ Aims to Start Construction this Winter

| October 6, 2021 | 0 Comments

A retail and office collective planned for 1900 Light St. is hoping to begin construction at the end of this year. The project, which is called Riverside, is a partnership between building owners Stephen and Cheryl Wilhide and development company Urban Pastoral Collective. The project team has applied for State and Federal tax credits and are awaiting approval before construction will begin.

The two-story, 34,500 sq. ft. property is made up of four buildings that were combined over the years. The property was recently the home of the Wilhide family’s Wilhide Draperies Inc. (WDI), along with spaces for additional businesses and apartments. WDI recently moved to an 8,000 sq. ft. building at 2802 Frederick Rd. in Southwest Baltimore.

The property at 1900 Light St. dates back to 1885 and for many years it was the home of slaughterhouses Heinz Riverside Abattoir and Southern Beef. The property was gutted and cleaned up in recent years.

Riverside will be a collective comprised of a brewery; a combined restaurant, boutique grocery store, bar, and liquor store concept; a coffee shop; additional retail; a hydroponic agriculture production facility; and office space for startups.

The first floor of Riverside will have 20,000 sq. ft. of collective retail space.

The project was first announced in late 2019.

The front of the property facing E. Wells St. will be the restaurant, boutique grocery store, bar, and liquor store concept. It will open up to a 2,000 sq. ft. common area with two-story ceilings, a skylight, a restored boiler, and the original catwalk. The common area will have a coffee shop and cocktail bar.

The coffee shop will be adjacent to a retail space. Urban Pastoral Founder and CEO JJ Reidy said in 2019 the retail space could be a connected concept with the coffee shop, such as a coffee shop with a book store and plant shop.

The Wilhides and Urban Pastoral are working with restaurateurs on the concepts, but they are not ready to make any announcements.

The one-story garage building on the southern end of the property will be the brewery. The brewery will mostly serve as a tap room rather than be a full-size production brewery.

The hydroponic agriculture production facility will be in the basement. Some of the leafy green and herbs could be integrated into the concepts upstairs. Urban Pastoral has a background in indoor agriculture projects and partnered on a 4,000 sq. ft. greenhouse at Green Street Academy.

The second floor will be about 10,000 sq. ft. of office space.

The Wilhides also own the one-story white and blue garage at 1827 Marshall St. It is across E. Wells St. from 1900 Light St. This property could be a phase two of the project.

“The Wilhides wanted to do something interesting and exciting,” said Reidy. “They had the patience to find the right entrepreneurs to fit their values of sustainability, health and well-being, culture and diversity, entrepreneurship, and innovation.”

“You got to give Steve and Cheryl credit – a historic project like this is three times as expensive as a new-build, and it’s a lot more complicated,” Reidy added.

The Wilhides and Urban Pastoral will partner with adjacent apartment buildings to provide free parking to visitors and employees of Riverside.

The project will cost about $9 million.

The development team wants Riverside to be the commercial hub of the growing Wells St. corridor that will eventually have more than 1,100 apartments within a block. Wells St. is seeing a wave of new investment that includes a new storage facility and an apartment building under construction. Another apartment building is also planned and National Federation of the Blind is leasing up to 100,000 sq. ft. of office space.

Renderings of Riverside 

Photos of 1900 Light St.

1827 Marshall St. 

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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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