New Places To Live, Work, Study, and Enjoy!
From homeowners standing on ladders in their rowhouses, to construction cranes in the sky, people are working every day to make the renaissance of Central Baltimore a concrete reality. The past few years have witnessed a series of exciting new buildings, and renovations of historic structures for every kind of use imaginable: from homes, to studios, to shops, to classrooms, to workplaces, to performance spaces. Here's a sampling of what's happening right now!
Turning Dreams Into Prototypes and More
Built on the site of a former ice cream factory, the 34,000 Square foot, $11.5 million. Open Works was opened in September 2016, by BARCO (Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation). It is the largest non-profit Makerspace in Baltimore and is situated right across from Greenmount Cemetery, which (contains among other notables) Elijah Bond, the deceased creator of the Ouija Board. That's fitting, because Open Works is the kind of place of place where someone like Bond (who had no manufacturing experience when he started) could take a world-changing idea and turn it into a prototype in no time flat. Its state of the art facilities include a: wood shop, metal shop, digital media studio, digital fabrication studio, digital textile studio, and 3D printing. There are also classes available in how to use the equipment (all skills levels) onsite in addition to classes in entrepreneurship, accounting, project financing, and product marketing. Partners in the educational program run the gamut from the Baltimore Jewelry Center, to the Station North Tool Library, to the Community College of Baltimore County, to Sew Lab Usa. Core Location: 1400 Greenmount Avenue, Greenmount West neighborhood.
Synthesizing Baltimore’s Past and Future
It looks a fabulous rehab of an old factory building, and the site has had previous industrial uses (according to the Baltimore Sun, it formerly contained “Kimmel tire shop, a filling station and Walter Shock's ice house”), but Remington Row is a spanking new building. Its high ceilings, exposed beams and concrete, and large windows blend in harmoniously with the neighborhood which has long balanced work spaces (including factories) with homes. It also reflects Baltimore's pride in the achievements of its industrial past that earned it the nickname "City of Firsts," for introducing everything from bottle caps to refrigerators. Though not industrial, Remington Row itself contains many places of work In addition to its 108 market rate apartment units, there is 30,000 square feet of office space occupied by Johns Hopkins Community Physicians. The ground floor businesses include Mend Acupuncture, Balance – the Salon, Rite Aid, and Remington Cleaners. When it comes to amenities, the resemblance to a factory ends, Remington Row Residents have access to a 24-hour fitness center, bike storage, a car wash area and a concierge. Core Location: 2700 Remington Avenue, Remington neighborhood.
The SNF Parkway Film Center
The Spectacular Return of Baltimore Cinemas' Sleeping Beauty
In 1915, a couple years before silent film great Charlie Chaplin first starred in a feature-length film, the eyepopping interior of the Parkway Theater opened to the public. In 2017, a couple of years after the building’s 100th birthday and decades of neglect, new Baltimore audiences will once again have a chance to glimpse the same magnificent plasterwork that their great-grandparents first laid eyes on. And just like their ancestors, they will be able to see a great film at the Parkway. The SNF (Stavros Niarchos Foundation) Parkway Film Center as it's now known, will serve as the year-round home of the Maryland Film Festival and present a wide variety of topnotch movies "not currently being shown in Baltimore" with a goal of screening “nearly 200 new films” annually. The $19 million historic restoration will feature three screens, 600 seats and concessions. MICA and Johns Hopkins University will co-use the SNF Parkway for their film programs, which also have space across the street in the restored Centre Theater. These 2 spaces combined with Baltimore’s much-loved arthouse cinema, The Charles Theater, have made Central Baltimore the film hub of the city and its gateway to international film and filmmakers. Core Location: 5 W. North Ave., Charles North neighborhood.
The Baltimore Eagle
Newly Reborn Eagle Has a Hippo in Its Family Tree
For a $1 million price tag, local developers Ian and Charles Parrish (with managing partners John & Paul Gasser, and Charles & Greg King) have redeveloped the Baltimore Eagle, which had been shuttered since 2012. The cost could have been far higher, as many community members donated "time" and "expertise," and fixtures were obtained from the recently closed Hippo in Mount Vernon at "bargain prices." The Hippo (which also transferred its liquor license) was a mainstay of Baltimore’s LGBTQ community for more than 50 years and its presence in the new Eagle can be seen as symbolic of the aspirations of the new venture to be a destination for the community as a whole, rather than a simply a leather bar, as was the original Eagle. The new Eagle is nearly twice the size of its predecessor and is more entertainment complex than watering hole. It will contain a sports bar, restaurant, nightclub, catering facilities, packaged goods store, event space, outdoor space, leather store, and, true to its roots, a leather/fetish dress code bar. Core Location: 2022 N. Charles Street, Charles North neighborhood.
9 East 33rd
Student Housing Atop a Retail Paradise for Everyone
At the groundbreaking in 2015, more than a dozen people, ranging from community activists, to some of Baltimore’s most powerful politicians, picked up a shovel with leaders of the organizations behind 9 East 33rd (Johns Hopkins University, Beatty Development Group, and Armada Hoffler Properties) to kickoff the 330,000 square-foot project. The collective energy was testimony to the potential impact of the development on the neighborhood. Though its residential space (and luxurious facilities) are devoted to JHU students, its 31,000 square feet retail space is open to everyone; and the hope was that it would add exciting new retail options to this corner of Central Baltimore. That hope was justified. The diverse assortment of retailers assembled after the building's opening in 2016 is already prized by the community. They range from Bird in Hand (a café-bookshop collaboration between James Beard Award chef Spike Gjerde and iconic indy bookseller The Ivy Bookshop) to Race Pace Bicycles (one of only 2 bike stores in Central Baltimore). And the other retail tenants are equally diverse. They include: the 5,570 Square foot Red Star Bar & Grill, THB Bagels & Deli, fast-casual restaurant chain Honeygrow, innovative Peko Peko Ramen and a full-service CVS drugstore. Core Location: 9 E. 33rd Street, Charles North neighborhood.
City Arts 2
Housing that Preserves Central Baltimore's Viability for Artists
City Arts 2, is a vibrant, energy efficient, 60 unit residence created to provide affordable housing to artists of all stripes (including designers, fine artists, writers, actors, musicians and dancers). Dancers, might be especially motivated to move there because the facilities include a large dance studio with a specialized sprung (i.e. shock-absorbing) floor. But the open plan rental units, with industrial sinks, will have equal appeal to visual artists. One and two bedroom apartments are available to households, of between one and five members, with an income range of between $25,000 - $52,000. To qualify for one of these units, artists must go through a screening process where they meet with a committee that ascertains the artists' “commitment to their art form and …their community.” City Arts 2 came online in 2016, several years after the debut of its older sibling structure, known simply as "City Arts." It was created because of the overwhelming popularity of the earlier building, where 64 of the original 69 tenants renewed their initial leases. Together the two buildings signify the desire of artists to live in Central Baltimore, and the desire of area stakeholders to make that desire a reality. The $15 million development was made possible by Homes For America, Inc., Jubilee Baltimore, Inc., and TRF Development Partners. Core Location: 1700 Greenmount Avenue, Greenmount West neighborhood.
Transformation of the Farmers Market Site
Waverly Commons, is a work in progress whose transformation into a great public space is being spearheaded by Waverly Main Street, (1 of 9 officially designated Main Street Organizations in Baltimore). Construction is currently underway in the eastern section of the Commons, in an effort that will bring the same visual and practical upgrades that have already transformed much of the rest of the landscaping, and the parking lot. This has coincided with a parallel program instituted by Waverly Main Street to beautify the facades of nearby local businesses along the adjoining strip of Greenmount Avenue that includes the iconic Pete’s Grille and local favorites Main Street Hats, and Thai Restaurant. Notable among the upgrades already done is a beautiful W sculpture, designed by the Central Baltimore firm Post Typography that has turned the commons into an instant photo op. Current work does not affect the weekly, year round, farmers market, known to its fans alternately as “the Waverly Farmers Market” and the “32nd Street Farmers Market.” Core Location: between Merryman Lane, Barclay Street, 32nd and 33rd Streets — in the Abell neighborhood (just over the border from Oakenshaw and Waverly).
Barclay/Midway/Old Goucher Redevelopment (BMOG)
Telesis' North Barclay Green
In 2006, Telesis Corporation was selected by the BMOG community along with the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) to serve as the master planner and developer for the large-scale, multi-phased Barclay/Midway/Old Goucher revitalization. Through a participatory planning process, Telesis created a redevelopment strategy through scattered-site infill developments. Telesis has been working with the community for the past 10 years to regenerate over 20 city blocks into a beautiful mixed-income, rental and home-ownership community (more than 500 homes) with retail opportunities along Greenmount Avenue and high-quality green spaces. The work includes hiring residents in the construction of their neighborhood. View the North Calvert Green homes here and North Barclay Green at the link below. Core Location: 400 block of 21st Street, the 300 & 400 blocks of 20th Street, and 1900 & 2000 blocks of Greenmount Ave.