It has been reported that a local developer in Baltimore has plans to build a 10-story modern building with apartments, retail, and a rooftop pool, replacing Eddie’s Grocery Store in Mount Vernon–if the developer’s concept for the site is approved by the city. The Plans, which have been submitted to the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation, are for a gray building with tall glass windows at the corner of Cathedral and West Eager streets, across from City Cafe in the historic neighborhood. Businessman and developer Dennis Richter bought the property through his company, 13 West Eager LLC, and in November obtained permission to demolish Eddie’s of Mount Vernon and other historic buildings at 7-15 W. Eager St. Will this 10-Story building replacing Eddie’s be let through? Or will the city put up a fight to stop it?
Well, Richter’s proposal for the site includes eight stories of one-, two- and three-bedroom residential units, 14,560 square feet of first-floor retail space and an underground parking garage.
The plans also show a pool, pool bar, dog park, meeting room, gym, event space and patio on the roof. The project is being designed by Ziger/Snead Architects, a firm with offices around the block from the proposed development.
Baltimore Business Journal reports that CHAP, which is responsible for reviewing plans that affect the city’s historic properties, will take up the application at a public meeting scheduled for April 10. The commission could approve or reject the concept, or it could approve the concept with amendments, CHAP Executive Director Eric Holcomb said.
Richter, who lives in Mount Vernon, did not respond to requests for comment on the proposal.
In the fall, he told the CHAP panel that he needed to tear down the block’s existing buildings, which were built in the 1800s because they were beyond saving and had already been altered several times. He called the site “a catalyst to unlock the center of Mount Vernon and create more development, which is vital to attract the type of tenants and homeowners who want to invest in an historic neighborhood.” Richter has said the project would cost $30 million.
The developer’s other projects in the neighborhood include renovating and restoring the buildings at 13 W. Mount Vernon Place, 812 N. Calvert St., 202 E. Madison St., and 12 W. Madison.
Dennis Zorn, who has owned Eddie’s market since 2000, supports redevelopment of the lot, saying his current 6,000-square-foot store is “tired and old.” Eddie’s remains open.
Though much of Mount Vernon comprises rowhomes that only rise a few stories, the proposed new building would not be the tallest in the neighborhood. The Belvedere Hotel, a few blocks away, is 11 stories tall, and Hotel Revival, opening soon in a former residential building across from the Washington Monument, is 13 stories, according to Ziger/Snead. Chase House Apartments, Horizon House and St. Paul at Chase condominium complex are 17, 18 and 20 stories tall, respectively.
Reaction to the project was mixed among residents in a neighborhood Facebook group. Many praised the building as an opportunity to spur economic development and deter crime in the community, while others lamented the loss of historic structures or worried the building would look out of place.
How do you feel about this? Do you like the idea of growth, or will you miss the historic Eddie’s of Mount Vernon? Let us know! Send an email to Outreach@ConsiderTheConsumer.com, find us on Twitter or Facebook, or even connect with us directly on our website! We look forward to hearing from all of you.