Grocers are among the many businesspeople who see opportunity in the new development sprouting up around downtown Baltimore. But even as deals in a pair of separate spaces on Fleet St. and N. Charles St. supposedly develop, officials haven’t been willing to put names to these potential grocery suitors.
Even though Whole Foods has already staked out territory in Harbor East, past talk suggests that the upscale, organic-focused chain could be the as-yet-unnamed grocery store that’s set to occupy a new development at the edge of Fells Point.
According to the Baltimore Guide, officials with The Bozzuto Group said a grocery store would be on the first floor of a new mostly-residential development that’s in the works for the corner of Central Ave. and Eden St. Residents from Fells Point asked if the grocer was a Whole Foods, but officials declined to comment.
The new development is moving onto the property as H&S Bakery is moving a distribution facility out (Baking operations will remain in Fells Point). In a 2013 Baltimore Sun article, H&S officials indicated they were planning to build a Whole Foods that was three times the size of the current location on the parking lot adjacent to the distribution center. Along with more space for healthy stuff, there could also be a 280 ft. building inspired by the sails of tall ships. If Whole Foods moves, that will trigger a new round of shuffling for the current Whole Foods space at Fleet and S. Exeter Sts.
Over on N. Charles St., a space that once housed a Fresh & Green’s also appears poised for redevelopment. According to the Baltimore Business Journal, an unnamed “regional grocery store chain” wants to take over the space at 222 N. Charles St.
There’s a central location, plenty of space and lots of potential customers. So what’s the problem? Turns out, the deal is on hold as Fresh & Green’s also wants to pass along the debt owed for the building’s 2007 renovation. Downtown Partnership’s Kirby Fowler tells BBJ he is attempting to negotiate with the building’s landlord. But until a compromise is worked out, it looks like the mystery chain can remain in the shadows.
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