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First Cross Street Market vendors announced

A rendering of Cross Street Market. (Submitted)

A rendering of the renovated Cross Street Market. (BCT Architects)

Cross Street Market’s developers announced Tuesday a first round of tenants for the renovated food hall that they hope becomes an anchor of the Federal Hill neighborhood.

Ten of the initial vendors were announced, including some previous tenants. The market expects to have about 26 stalls. Four of those stalls are uncommitted, said Michael Morris, principal at CANAdev, which is managing the market’s vendors.

The first stalls could open around Thanksgiving while the entire market is on track to open next spring.

With the tenants, the developers wanted to get a mix of legacy tenants and new ideas, hoping to find the right blend to generate excitement about the market’s redevelopment.

“It will be an inviting place for locals and visitors, as well as people of all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds,” said Arsh Mirmiran, of Caves Valley Partners. “We are confident that these design changes, coupled with strong management and an improved and more diverse tenant mix that blends legacy tenants with exciting new ones, will give this neighborhood the energy it needs to keep it among Baltimore’s best.”

Existing vendors Fenwick’s Choice Meats and Steve’s Lunch will be among the first to open. New vendor Ceremony Coffee will also open in the first phase and will include its own street entrance. These tenants will all open on the Light Street side of the market.

Development of the market is moving from east to west. The second phase of the project will finish the Charles Street side of the market.

Other vendors announced Tuesday included existing vendors Nunnally Bros. Choice Meats, Smoke and The Sweet Shoppe. Phubs and Sobeachy are existing restaurants in the Baltimore area that will open new locations in the market. Burger Bar and Rice Crook will bring entirely new restaurant concepts to the market.

Smoke and a yet-to-be-announced pizza vendor will have carryout windows, allowing access from outside of the building.

Leases for other vendors have been signed but have not been announced to allow those tenants to continue to build out their concepts and to help create more buzz in advance of the market’s opening.

The entire redevelopment is expected to open during the spring next year. Mirmiran estimated about half of the work has been completed to this point.

While he initially expected that most of the market would have to be gutted for the renovation, it required more work than initially thought. 

“We’re reusing the market’s shell by completely replacing everything within, including the walls, the stalls, the floors, the plumbing, the electrical and so on,” he said. “Once completed, the aesthetics of the market will have a retro feel, reminiscent of its reconstruction in the 1950s, with some classic modern touches that will make it attractive for decades to come.”

Overall, the market will be able to seat about 600 patrons, between communal seating, outdoor seating and seating in vendor stalls.

One of the new touches will be reopening the market’s exteriors to the public. Giant windows have been installed. The windows were a part of the original market building, but were covered at some point.

“We’re also opening the market back up to the exterior and adding these spectacular windows and doors … to fully integrate the market with its surroundings, rather than remaining a bunker in the middle of the neighborhood,” Mirmiran said.

The developers also emphasized that they hope the redeveloped market will bring more people into the Federal Hill neighborhood to patronize surrounding establishments.

With more patrons, though, come concerns about parking. The developers said they have approached the Parking Authority of Baltimore City about expanding the West Street garage, which was constructed with the ability to add a fourth floor. But those plans may wait until a need for more parking has been demonstrated.

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