ore and more people, especially the younger generations, are becoming more conscious about the food they eat and where they buy it from. It could be the still-soaring obesity rate in this country, which without the continuous news briefs would still be jarringly evident. It could be the growing collaborative stream of consciousness resulting from more public eduction on “green”/sustainable living like food labeling, ad campaigns, books and film (Fast Food Nation, Food, Inc.). For all I know it could simply be a fad.
Regardless, the demand for restaurants/dry good stores that offer healthier items is more present than ever. People want to be able to live in a neighborhood where they can frequent a place that sells organic products, fresh/local foods, gourmet goods, etc. And if you happen to live in a city (of course many young people do), these places need to be walkable. And if you happen to live in Baltimore, they’re usually not (if they’re there at all). In the case of Federal Hill, for example, 7-Eleven, CVS and Royal Farms have become the go-to destinations to meet these needs. And when you look at what those stores do offer, they’re really not (although CVS has taken the hint and begun to sell a number of products that are “natural and organic”).
And there’s no denying the lack of alternatives has meant more profit for these generic quick-grab stops. Just walk into any of the three previously mentioned businesses and see what kind of sales they’re doing. Even though Harris Teeter recently opened its doors in Federal Hill (basically Locust Point), you can’t walk there from the residential pockets where most people live! People don’t want to get in their cars and drive through the city. And walkable doesn’t mean miles…it means a few blocks. Hampden primarily offers two options: The Giant at the Rotunda (maybe the most unkempt, shoddy Giant in the country) or the relatively new Fresh & Green’s, which walking into reminded me of Post Cold War Russia.
A smart businessman/woman would see the potential for a start-up in this “new”, niche market, be it great prepared foods, gourmet items, local/organic produce, etc. Places like Gourmet Again in Pikesville do it right, but 9 out of 10 times, these places are only accessible to the car-driving pedestrians of the suburbs. There are great opportunities for an experienced operator in neighborhoods like Federal Hill, Fells Point and Hampden. Think Whole Foods, but shrunk down to 6,000 SF, keeping the prepared food section the same size, and including a beer/wine selection. JBL Real Estate has listings available to meet the need, AND the ability to help build the business, market the business, so it can grow. And rents are low. Give us a call if you want to find out how we can help you to help meet the community’s needs.
has been one heck of a year for Baltimore. There was the Labor Day weekend Baltimore Grand Prix, which came off as a bit of a polarizing achievement…the unfortunate passing of former mayor and governor William Donald Schaefer…the impact of Hurricane Irene and previous earthquake on a portion of the East Coast in August…the fire that devastated Baltimore’s beloved Mt. Washington Tavern early Halloween morning (they’ll be back come the spring)…and of course, the Occupy Baltimore protestors who moved into McKeldin Square in early October and were promptly removed by police in mid-December.
And then there was the real estate. A couple of 2011′s facts:
In 2011, commercial property values rose faster in Harford County than any other MD jurisdiction in the past 3 years.
The largest sale last year was a portfolio in Gambrills, where CSHV Waugh Chapel LLC bought $98.9 Million worth of properties from JBG/Waugh Chapel Retail LLC.
Harbor East welcomed the opening of the $200 Million Four Seasons to its President Street traffic circle, including 256 rooms, a 13,000 SF spa, and an 84-foot pool that sits feet away from the Inner Harbor. (image below)
The former McCormick spice lot at Light & Conway Streets sold at a foreclosure in early January for $11.5 Million to Baltimore developer Stephen M. Gorn of Questar Properties.
McHenry Row, the $120 Million multi-use development two years in the making, wrapped up construction at the end of the year, boasting 250 apartments and a much-anticipated 61,000 SF, two-level Harris Teeter.
The Fitzgerald apartments in Mount Vernon, just blocks from the University of Baltimore, MICA, the Lyric, and the Meyerhoff, not only completed construction this past year but also easily filled its residential doors. (image below)
Greenberg Gibbons acquired the vacant Solo Cup plant in Owings Mills in September, with plans for a retail complex there to include a Wegman’s.
The Greater Baltimore Committee unveiled renderings in May for a new arena, hotel and expanded convention center at the corner of Charles & Conway Streets that would clock in at just under $1 Billion. (image below)
In July, Under Armour completed a deal to buy its Tide Point headquarters in Locust Point for $58 Million, with plans for a massive expansion of the development.
Baltimore’s plans for a $1.5 Billion State Center complex in CBD/Midtown that was set to begin construction in 2010 continued to stall as legal battles volleyed between downtown property and business owner and the MD attorney general’s office. (image below)
Towson University officials broke ground May 10 on the school’s new $62 Million, 5,200 seat arena.
And things you can look forward to in 2012:
The Fell’s Point waterfront anticipates the further construction of The Bozzuto Group’s Union Wharf, a $72 Million residential and retail development that will include 281 apartments, 4,500 SF of retail space and nearly 500 parking spaces. The project, which broke ground on Dec. 13, will aim to earn a LEED Gold rating, and is expected to complete in the Fall of 2013. (image below)
1111 Light Street, the four-story project in Federal Hill across from the Cross Street Market, is expected to be complete the first quarter of 2012. It will include a 93-unit apartment building with garage parking, 20,700 SF of Class A office space, and a 7-Eleven and M&T Bank, both of which are relocating from nearby locations.
Also expected to complete by year’s end is a $3 Million, 40,000 SF wellness center near Interstate 95 in Howard County by Baltimore developer Donald Reuwer. The project already has an anchor tenant (Select Eye Care – 10,000 SF), with between 8 and 10 tenants expected in all. (image below)
The much-talked-about Canton Crossing, the proposed 375,000 SF multi-anchored retail shopping center along Boston Street in Canton, should hopefully begin construction sometime in 2012. The development, which will sit on land previously owned by Exxon Mobil, is set to be built in two phases…the first to include 275,000 SF of retail space, and the second, 100,000 SF, on land which Exxon is currently cleaning up.
Last but not least, the end of 2012 should expect to see the completion of the Gunther Apartments, a 162-unit apartment complex in Brewers Hill that was once a brewery dating back to the late 1800s. The final product is set to be rated LEED Silver, and will also feature over 5,000 SF of restaurant space with additional outdoor seating. (image below)