Sunday isn’t a workday on most construction sites, but workers were on duty yesterday at the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore hotel in Fells Point.
With just three weeks to go before the target opening date of March 20, crews are working around the clock to make sure the $60 million, 128-room hotel is ready.
This week, the owners will seek to move past a key hurdle when they appear before Baltimore’s liquor board to obtain a license to serve alcoholic beverages on the property at 1715 Thames Street.
The liquor board has scheduled a March 2 hearing in City Hall to consider the hotel’s application.
A team led by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank is developing the hotel. According to its application to the liquor board, the license holders will be John Poss and Laurie Ann Davidow of 1715 Thames Street Licensee LLC. Carolyn Hecker of Rosenberg Martin Greenberg is the attorney. Besides serving alcohol within the hotel, the team is seeking to provide outdoor table service and off-premise catering. It also requested permission to provide live entertainment.
The liquor board requires projects seeking a hotel license to have at least 100 rooms and make a capital investment of at least $500,000. The hotel is under construction in and around the historic Fells Point Recreation Pier, which dates from 1914. The hotel team provided the liquor board with descriptions and floor plans of the different venues where they plan to serve alcohol.
The application includes an Italian restaurant called the Rec Pier Chop House and a variety of meeting rooms and lounges, including a grand ballroom with seating for up to 230. Pendry’s website also mentions The Cannon Room, a bar featuring “curated whiskey, rye and bourbon cocktails,” and The Pool, a waterfront grill and bar on the hotel’s private pool deck. Chef Andrew Carmellini, a winner of the James Beard Award, has been tapped to oversee the hotel’s food and beverage operations.
The Fells Point project will be the second hotel to open under the Pendry flag, which is part of Montage Hotels and Resorts. The first Pendry hotel opened this month in San Diego.
The Baltimore team had two previous dates for their liquor board hearing, but they were postponed. The Fell’s Point Residents Association and the Fell’s Point Community Association have written letters to the liquor board in support of the license application. Thursday’s meeting is part of a hearing that begins at 11 a.m. in Room 215 of City Hall.
Karzai Expanding to East Baltimore, Gypsy Queen Opening in Clipper Mill
At its meeting on Thursday, the liquor board is also scheduled to consider applications for new licenses or license transfers involving several other restaurant projects in Baltimore.
Helmand Karzai, owner of The Helmand at 806 N. Charles Street, is seeking a license for a new restaurant called Helmand Kabobi at 855 N. Wolfe Street, part of the East Baltimore Development renewal area.
Thomas Looney and Annmarie Langton of Gypsy Bar LLP are seeking a license for a new restaurant called Gypsy Queen at 3515 Clipper Mill Road in Clipper Mill. The location would be a permanent outpost for the operator of the Gypsy Queen Café food truck. Looney and Langton will each own 50 percent of the business. Looney was a partner in Helen’s Garden Café at 2908 O’Donnell Street from 1995 to 2009.
Efstathios Dosis of Kuru, Inc. is seeking to obtain by transfer the liquor license of Jimmy’s restaurant at 801 S. Broadway in Fell’s Point. The restaurant’s longtime owner, Nick Filipidis, agreed to sell the restaurant last year to an entity headed by Rustem “Rudy” Keskin, who has a restaurant in Howard County. Dosis will own one percent of the business and Keskin will own 99 percent, according to documents on file with the liquor board. Keskin is not seeking to be on the liquor license.
Broadway Plaza Undergoing Renovation
Across Thames Street from the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore hotel, a public plaza at the foot of Broadway is fenced off and under construction. The area is getting a makeover and will remain public space.
Fairfield Inn & Suites on President Street Sells for $24 Million
Fairfield Inn & Suites, a 40-room, five-story hotel at 101 S. President Street, has sold for $24 million to a group called MHF Baltimore DT Investor V, according to a document on file with the city’s liquor board.
The buyers are seeking to transfer the hotel’s liquor license to people affiliated with their team. If the liquor board approves, the licensees will be Tizita Ephrem and Patrick Buttarazzi Jr.
Ephrem was the licensee of the Holiday Inn BWI in Anne Arundel County from 2015 to early 2017, while Buttarazzi was the licensee of J. Paul’s restaurant at Harborplace from 2008 until it closed in 2015.
The hotel bills itself as “Baltimore’s first LEED Certified Green Hotel,” meaning it meets standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design set by the U. S. Green Building Council. It is part of the Marriott reservations and rewards system.
Ephrem and Buttarazzi will each have one percent ownership of the business, and MHF Baltimore DT Investor V LLC will own 98 percent. The liquor board will consider the application at a hearing on March 9.
More Upscale Housing for Hampden
More housing is on the way for Hampden: Emerald Builders of Baltimore says it has acquired a 1.46-acre parcel in the 1400 block of Redfern Avenue in Hampden for $925,000 and plans to build 15 four-story, 2,150-square-foot townhomes starting in several months. Prices are expected to be in the low-to-mid $300,000 range, and the first homes will be ready this summer.
Emerald Builders is the homebuilding and general contracting division of Emerald Properties Group. Thistle Design LLC is the architect for the Hampden houses.
“We consider Hampden among the most attractive areas for new residential homes, not only locally, but nationally based on the surrounding demographic population, the momentum of young people moving into the neighborhoods, and the mature restaurant and retail amenities that presently exist,” said Luke Yorke-Hart, Chief Executive Officer of Emerald Builders, in a statement.
Yorke-Hart referenced Redfin’s listing of Hampden last year as the “eighth most active submarket in the United States.”
“We intend to develop a residential product that caters well to the Hampden submarket, featuring a fourth-story loft with a walk-out balcony, and leverages a location that is within walking distance to The Avenue and the entire shopping district,” he said.
Developers Submit Proposals for 109-111 W. Lexington Street
Baltimore has received four proposals for a vacant, seven-story, city-owned office building at 109-111 W. Lexington Street.
According to a presentation last week to the Baltimore Development Corporation’s board of directors, two of the proposals were not responsive to the agency’s request for proposals and were not considered. Attendees and the board discussed the other two at the meeting.
In one proposal, Yalcin Development and the Neighborhood Development Company proposed to build the Lexington Lofts, a development with 22 luxury apartments.
In the second, Okoro Development proposed a mixed-use development containing 12 apartments and office space.
The BDC board went into a closed session to discuss the proposals further. When the meeting ended, representatives declined to say what action they took.
BDC President Pleased with Legg Mason Tower Agreement
Before the board went into its closed session, BDC president and CEO William Cole told the board he is pleased with a deal in which the city agreed to give up its claim to profit sharing on the Legg Mason tower in Harbor East for a one-time payment of $1.5 million.
Cole said it was difficult to predict how much the city might have earned from the profit-sharing agreement and he believes $1.5 million was a fair figure for all concerned.
The transaction, approved by Baltimore’s Board of Estimates this month, has drawn criticism for short-changing the city and benefiting the Paterakis family, which led the development team and is now negotiating to sell a portion of its interest in the tower.