HOT HOUSE: 1008 Hollins Street, Baltimore 21223
Circa 1871 New York style loft building, former livery stable, then fruit warehouse in SoWeBo (Southwest Baltimore). Zoned commercial/industrial. Partly heated, rudimentary kitchen and bathroom. 8,000 sq. ft. with skylights, rope-operated freight elevator, remote control door: $575,000
What: A jaw-dropping, raw, Tribecca brand of loft space, one of the few left here in Baltimore. Originally a livery stable for a large undertaking operation on Baltimore Street, some of the interior wood has had a former life as caskets. The owner, an artist in the film industry, is half-hearted about selling. He has great plans (and materials) for a sweeping staircase, a reading loft and more. It was “very raw” space when he acquired it, 15 years ago, and served as party/performance space through the 90’s.
Still unfinished by most standards, he’s installed plumbing, new windows, and a giant triple-insulated skylight with a prism that attracts light to the interior in winter and refracts it in the summer. There are just enough amenities to support life, (stove, bathtub and toilet) if you’re pretty relaxed. Also “the roof is bad.” But there is real beauty in the giant scale of the place – 30 foot ceilings and exposed surfaces that reveal an ancient industrial past. Light that streams through clerestory windows, turning floating particles into hypnotic fairy dust. In the right hands, this would surpass the Woodberry Kitchen as a successful architectural renovation. Any takers?
Where: Hollins Street is on the other side of Martin Luther King Boulevard, the bad side. Gentrification, however, is well underway. The sleek new buildings of University of Maryland are just 100 yards away, across MLK, and coming this way. There are funky shops, cute restaurants and interestingly, many beauty salons already here. Not to mention the bustling Hollins Market right on the corner. Follow MLK Boulevard south to West Baltimore Street, take a right and then a left onto S. Schroeder Street, and a quick right onto Hollins.
Why: Because you have either the eye of an artist or the head of a real-estate investor.You need one or both of those to realize the potential here.
Would Suit: Andy Warhol. This could be the Factory of Baltimore.
NB: See “bad side” above, so no kids. Also, obviously, tons of work needed. It would be a labor of love.