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Motor House, a converted former car dealership in Baltimore's Station North Arts and Entertainment District, opened Monday. (The Daily Record / Maximilian Franz)

Motor House opens in Baltimore’s Station North

Motor House, a converted former car dealership in Baltimore’s Station North Arts and Entertainment District, opened Monday, and the project’s developer announced two more tenants at the building.

Baltimore Arts Realty Corp. announced that the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and FutureMakers are the latest tenants to locate to the 24,800-square-foot building, at 120 W. North Ave.

Baltimore Arts Realty Corp. purchased the building in 2013 and spent about $6.5 million acquiring and rehabbing the structure. The project was financed through a variety of methods, including grants, tax credits and a state bond bill.

“It was the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance’s good fortune that our need for a new home coincided with BARCO’s plan to develop a creative hub at the Motor House,” said Jeannie Howe, executive director of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance said in a news release.  “Aside from the benefits of a beautiful, historic building, we will have space for the kind of convening and collaboration that are central to our mission. We can only begin to imagine the conversations and partnership that will emerge from sharing space with other innovative non-profit cultural organizations.”

The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance is set to move into their office space Nov. 24. FutureMakers, a team of science, technology, engineering, arts and math experts who facilitate  project-based learning experiences for students, is scheduled to move into their new office space Friday.

Baltimore Arts Realty Corp. plans to hold a grand opening for the building in January.

The building has a cafe and performance space on the first floor. The second floor consists of artist work studios, and office space is located on the third floor. Other confirmed tenants at the building include Arts Every Day, Maryland Citizens for the Arts, Neighborhood Design Center, and Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc.

The century-old building was originally the first Ford dealership in the state, which inspired the Motor House name. The building had been closed since 2012 due to safety and code violations. The rehab on the building required a new roof, heating and plumbing systems. Construction also required a new elevator and two new stairwells.

“I think what BARCO is doing is unique in that we’re a nonprofit trying to develop real estate in a neighborhood in Baltimore City using sort of a new model,” said Baltimore Arts Realty Corp. Managing Director Laurens “Mac” MacLure earlier this year. “And I think our hope is that if we can refine the model and make it successful, find a way to deliver safe, affordable and sustainable space for artists, and arts organizations, it is something we’d like to replicate in other parts of the city.”

About Adam Bednar

Adam Bednar covers real estate and development for The Daily Record.