Developer Ernst Valery Wins RFP for Pigtown Library Redevelopment

| March 15, 2022 | 0 Comments

Developer Ernst Valery of SAA/EVI told SouthBMore.com his firm won the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) request for proposal (RFP) to redevelop the Pigtown Library at 856 Washington Blvd. in Pigtown.

The City’s objectives for the project include a mixed-use building which includes a new library; job creation; tax generation; and a redevelopment that fits within the context of the Washington Village/Pigtown Urban Renewal Area.

Valery said he is currently discussing the scope of the project with the community, but it will be a new library on the first floor and multi-family above. The height and number of housing units on the new building has not yet been decided.

“We’d like to use the additional height to bring more vitality to the street,” said Valery.

The property has 65 ft. of frontage on Washington Blvd. and approximately 100 ft. of depth, which equates to 6,435 sq. ft. of total land area. The existing library is a one-story, 2,945 sq. ft. building that was once a bar.

The RFP stated the library must be at least 3,600 sq. ft. and include a children’s space, teen’s space, adult space, computer stations, a pubic meeting room, a staff area, mechanical rooms, and storage.

SAA/EVI redeveloped Bath House Square at 906 Washington Blvd., a project which added eight apartments and a 1,700 sq. ft. retail space to Pigtown. Milk & Honey Market by Vagrant Coffee recently closed in the retail space and Valery hopes additional developments like he’s proposing at the library site will boost retail in Pigtown.

SAA/EVI, along with Valery’s Aqueo Fund which underwrites women and minority developers, is keeping a lot of its focus on Southwest Baltimore. “Pigtown and Hollins Market are two areas we want to focus on to deliver transformative projects,” said Valery.

The Aqueo Fund is supporting a three-townhome project in Hollins Market, and SAA/EVI is also planning a mixed-use redevelopment of a vacant lot and art deco gas station on the 1200 block of Hollins St. in Hollins Market.

Valery said the Aqueo Fund has 40 projects in the pipeline in Baltimore.

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