Grocery store Streets Market and Café plans to open its second Baltimore location at the Yard 56 development in East Baltimore.
The regional chain signed a lease for 23,000 square-feet of space with MCB Real Estate at the mixed-use Yard 56 project at 5601 Eastern Ave. It joins L.A. Fitness as the development’s only other announced tenant. Streets Market and Cafe’s first Baltimore location opened downtown in 2015.
“Streets Markets Café fills a significant void on the eastern side of Baltimore City for a high-quality grocery store, as there are currently scarce few options,” P. David Bramble, managing partner of MCB Real Estate said in a statement. “Among the most important anchor tenants a development can attract is a supermarket, given the consistently high traffic that is generated, coupled with the formation of the identity of the project in the eyes of the local community.”
MCB Real Estate started construction on Yard 56 this spring ,roughly four years after purchasing the blighted and environmentally contaminated property. The 20-acre site was previously home to Pemco International Corp., which manufactured porcelain products, such as the signature orange roofing tiles for Howard Johnson Hotels.
Plans for the first phase of construction, requiring $77 million in private investment, will include up to 90,000 square feet of retail. The buildings are expected to be delivered late summer next year.
Eventually the mixed-use project, as planned, will include 150,000 square feet of retail; 100,000 square feet of office space; 300 residential homes; and a 150-room hotel. MCB Real Estate intends to build the project in two phases with construction on the residential and hospitality buildings slated to begin in 2021.
Over the last few years the site was primarily known for catching fire. Baltimore firefighters battled a two-alarm blaze in a warehouse on the site last November. During a ground breaking ceremony in May, Bramble quipped the property was his firm’s only asset where a blaze didn’t make an aesthetic difference.
“This is the only property we own that looks the same before and after a fire,” Bramble said.
When Streets Market and Café, which has seven locations total in Maryland, Washington, and Virginia, opened at 222 N. Charles St., it was hailed as filling a long-missing piece in the neighborhood’s retail mix. The site had sat vacant for nearly two years, much to the annoyance of groups like Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, after Fresh & Greens shuttered in December of 2013.
Downtown boosters pushing to transform the area from strictly business district to mixed-use residential community viewed the lack of grocery store as a hindrance to those efforts.
“This is one of the most important downtown developments that has taken place this year,” Kirby Fowler, president of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, said when the market opened.