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Chesapeake Shakespeare Company building theater downtown

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company building theater downtown

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The historic Mercantile Trust and Deposit Co. building downtown will soon be converted to hold a 250-seat theater for the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company in a deal worth $6 million, including renovation costs.

The Helm Foundation this week purchased the former bank that was built in 1855 and is located at 200 E. Redwood St. When completed, the space will be ready for performances of the Bard’s classics, educational programs and community events. Scott Helm, a trustee of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, directs the foundation.

“Chesapeake Shakespeare Company is in its 10th season serving almost 12,000 people every year,” said Ian Gallanar, the company’s founding artistic director. “We are thrilled about our expansion into the thriving Baltimore theater scene. While we will continue to serve our current patrons with outdoor performances at our home stage in Howard County, this second location will broaden our reach and help foster a new community of classical theater enthusiasts.”

Local architectural firm Cho Benn Holback + Associates Inc. is designing the plans using a model of Shakespeare’s famous Globe Theatre in London.

“The design combines the intimacy of a traditional Elizabethan playhouse with a contemporary sense of design and convenience,” a press release said.

Cho Benn Holback + Associates also designed the performance spaces at the new Everyman Theatre, the James Rouse Center in the American Visionary Art Museum and the Creative Alliance at The Patterson Theater.

Renovations at the Mercantile Trust and Deposit Co. Building will begin in early 2013. The new theater is expected to open in 2014.

“The building’s substantial mezzanine, elaborate and colorful carved ceiling, and Corinthian columns all echo elements of Elizabethan theaters,” says Lesley Malin, managing director of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company. “We are enthusiastic about working with Cho Benn Holback to incorporate these beautiful architectural features into a modern-day Globe in downtown Baltimore.”

The recent real estate purchase creates a “theater triangle” in downtown Baltimore between the nearby Hippodrome Theatre and the new Everyman Theatre.

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company will stage an eight-month season downtown and provide after-school and weekend programs for the city drama students. The company has also announced plans to hold an international theater festival at the site, which will attract classical theater companies to Baltimore.


Look for a June 14 auction for a rare 5.2-acre property on the waterfront in Port Covington.

Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co. has scheduled the trustee-ordered auction of the property at 301 East Cromwell Street at 1 p.m. in the offices of Miles & Stockbridge PC located at 10 Light St.

The property is located just off of Interstate 95 and is zoned for multi-purpose use, and the auctioneers say it could hold a combination of retail, office, hotel, commercial, industrial, residential and possibly a marina. The zoning calls for a Planned Unit Development at the site.


Bring your appetite to the 300 block of Charles Street Saturday beginning at noon for the third annual “Let’s Eat! Charles Street Festival” featuring the city’s first sushi food truck, Noodlerolla, owned by James Sin, the former executive chef at Sticky Rice.

The foodie event will feature 40 options for food and retail vendors under tents, including Mick O’Shea’s, The Beef Brothers, Midtown BBQ and Brew, the Brewer’s Art, Urbanite Magazine, The Woman’s Industrial Exchange and MAC Cosmetics. Live music will also be featured — the band Carousel Rogues will play at 4 p.m.

“It’s the best thing to happen to Charles Street since Starbucks,” said Haluk Kantar, owner of Cazbar Restaurant and Lounge. “It’s what puts us on the map, just like a Starbucks does when it opens in a new neighborhood.”


Dorsey Ridge, a new luxury apartment complex near the Arundel Mills mall in Anne Arundel County, was recently opened by Questar Properties.

The apartment community has 561 one, two and three bedroom units and 22 floor plans. Amenities include large, airy floor plans, nine-foot ceilings, fireplaces, kitchen islands, granite countertops, stainless appliances, bamboo wood flooring, premier carpeting and baths with soaking tubs.


TIDBITS: Merritt Properties recently inked a lease with The Link Builders LLC, a search engine optimization company in 1,005-square-feet of office space at 10045 Red Run Blvd. in Owings Mills. The company also recently signed a lease in Columbia for Friends & Farms LLC, an organic farm produce distribution company, at 9305 Gerwig Lane, Suite S. The company will use 4,500 square feet of office and warehouse space. … Melissa Parker has joined Champion Realty as a sales associate in the Annapolis office at 711 Bestgate Rd. Parker’s focus will be residential properties. She previously specialized in new-home sales and sold more than $40 million in homes over three years. … The basketball courts at the Harrison Sykes Brown Playground at Cloverdale reopened this week after being closed for a year for renovations and repairs. The project included renovation of the 1950s field house at the site as well as resurfacing of the playing courts with a new seal coating and game lines. The Coverdale logo for the Cloverdale Basketball Association Community group was painted in the center circle design of the main court for extra community spirit. … Ouzo Bay, the city’s newest Greek restaurant, is expected to open in Harbor East this summer.

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