Ground Up

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Poverni Sheikh Group ‘strong believers’ in Baltimore

Poverni Sheikh Group celebrated Thursday the ceremonial start of construction on its Howard Row project in a section of downtown Baltimore that has struggled with disinvestment.

The developer intends to preserve the historic facades of the five buildings at 407-415 N. Howard St. Plans call for 41 market-rate apartments with ground-floor retail. The multimillion-dollar project is expected to be delivered next year. Rockville-based Revere Bank, which is focused on the Baltimore and Washington corridor along the Interstate-270, provided construction financing for the project.

“So we believe that by doing these targeted investments and developments we’re just kind of expediting this process of redevelopment and revitalization. We’re just strong believers in the city,” said Grigoriy Kostrikin, vice president of development at Poverni Sheikh Group.

Ibrahim Sheikh, president of Permira Construction, the developer’s general contracting division, said the historic conversions will be completed to match the architecture along the corridor from when it was at its peak more than 60 years ago. The section of the city was once part of a thriving retail district. But when department stores, such as Hutzler’s, Hochschild Kohn’s and Hecht’s left the Westside started its long decline.

“We hope this is a catalyst… and the rest of Howard Street towards Lexington Market, and the Westside, can grow and become a vibrant community that people walk and stay in the area as well,” Sheikh said.

The Baltimore Development Corp. selected Poverni Sheikh Group to redevelop 407-415 Howard St. in May among six proposals. The developer offered $75,000 for properties the city valued at $609,950.

Brian Greenan, an economic development officer for the Baltimore Development Corp., described the buildings in May as being in awful condition.

“Folks, these properties stink,” Greenan told the board of the city’s quasi-public economic development agency.

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