Plans to expand the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Pigtown branch would double the size of the current library and add apartments.
The Baltimore City Board of Estimates on Wednesday voted on the sale of the city-owned property at 856 Washington Boulevard in the Washington Village/Pigtown neighborhood to local developer, Ernst Valery, operating under Library Flats LLC.
Library Flats, who budgeted $270,000 to this library redevelopment, will purchase the property for $1 in exchange for providing a larger space for the library and a new addition of modern apartments.
Meghan McCorkell, the library’s chief of marketing, said Valery will work out a lease agreement for the library to remain in that building. That agreement would go to the Board of Estimates for approval and Enoch Pratt Free Library will lease the new space back from the developer at no cost.
“The Washington Village branch library is in an ideal location in the heart of Pigtown,” McCorkell said. “This public/private partnership would double the footprint of the building and provide a modern, state-of-the-art library for the growing neighborhood. This is a model we’ve seen be very successful in a number of other cities. We look forward to further engaging the community when we start getting into the design process so we can hear what they want in their library.”
The expansion is expected to double the footprint of the existing library to approximately 7,741 square feet. The increased size will allow flexible space for staff, centralized service, collections, digital media, and community gathering.