New Apartments on Park Avenue, a Home for Robicelli’s, A Showroom for Baltimore Furniture Makers and more

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Welcome to our new column Urban Landscape by former Baltimore Sun architecture critic Ed Gunts. Every week, Ed will compile smaller items he comes across in his reporting into Urban Landscapes to keep readers up on what’s what in Baltimore residential and commercial real estate.

500 Park Avenue - Aerial Overview

There hasn’t been a formal groundbreaking ceremony yet, but ground has been broken, and construction is underway on Baltimore’s newest apartment building at 500 Park Avenue.

Contractors have torn up a parking lot at Park Avenue and Franklin Street to construct a six-story, $30 million building that will be a companion to 520 Park Avenue, the successful conversion to 171 apartments of the old Hochschild Kohn warehouse.

500 Park Avenue - Facade Detail

Designed by Alexander Design Studio, the project will contain 153 apartments, a garage, street-level retail space and a pool. It follows the strategy of 520 Park Avenue, which is to use Park Avenue as a front door and address, rather than Howard Street, and to capitalize on its proximity to Mount Vernon and the central business district.

500 Park Avenue - Residential Entrance

The developer is a joint venture of The Time Group and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. Completion is expected by mid-2017. A groundbreaking event with city leaders has been set for early June.

500 Park Avenue - North on Park

Possible Home for Robicelli’s Bakery

Robicelli’s Bakery, the popular Brooklyn shop whose owners caused a stir last year when they disclosed plans to move to Baltimore, may have found a home. The bakery has been identified as a likely anchor tenant of Lifestyle Offices @ Howard, a commercial development planned by Aziz Housseini of the AZ Group. AZ has offered to pay $79,000 to purchase city-owned properties at 423-425 N. Howard Street and 217-225 W. Franklin Street for the development and is working with bakery owners Allison and Matt Robicelli to be part of the project. The plan has been presented to the Baltimore Development Corporation, which oversees West Side development, and is waiting for a decision from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Flickering Treasures Author Finds a Publisher

Amy Davis, a Baltimore Sun staff photographer who has been working for years on a book documenting Baltimore’s old movie palaces, has a publisher. The book, entitled Flickering Treasures, pairs photos of landmark movie theaters with people who remember them or were associated with them. Davis is both the writer and the photographer, and it has been a labor of love for her. “I just signed a contract with Johns Hopkins University Press,” she wrote recently on the Flickering Treasures Facebook page. “They are enthusiastic and share my goal to produce a high-quality, full-color book. No publication date yet, but I’m guessing it will be available in late 2017.”

Made in Baltimore Furniture Showroom

The Made in Baltimore Furniture Showroom, a sales center for local furniture makers, will have its grand opening party Friday, May 13, from 5 to 8 p.m. With nearly 1,000 square feet of space, the showroom is in the Second Chance recycled goods store at 1700 Ridgely Street in South Baltimore. Furniture makers with work at the new showroom include Cedar & Cotton; Goodwood Design; La Loupe; Metis Collective; Monkey in the Metal; Surface Project; Zimmerman Woodworks; and Joshua David Crown Studios.  The free event is presented by the Industrial Arts Collective.

Mergers and Expansions

…The BricknFire Pizza Company, which offers private catering services for parties of 30 or more with a mobile brick oven, is building its first “brick and mortar” location at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards, 110 South Eutaw Street. Nathan Oliver is the executive chef.  Megan Lanasa opened BricknFire in May 2014.

…Graham Landscape Architecture of Annapolis, founded by RTKL alumnus Jay Graham, has merged with Moody Landscape Architecture of Washington, D. C. and is now Moody Graham.  It specializes in landscape architecture, garden design and ecological planning for public and private clients.

…Marks Thomas Architects of Baltimore has opened an office on West Leigh Street in Richmond, Va. It’s the first office outside Maryland for the company, which will turn 50 next year.

Ed Gunts

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.
Ed Gunts

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