Fader's headquarters moving to 12 S. Calvert 107 E. Baltimore site will be razed for tower


September 24, 1998|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,SUN STAFF

Fader's Tobacconist, the century-old cigar and pipe emporium that the Fader family sold in February, will move its downtown flagship store early next year to a former Cadillac dealership on South Calvert Street.

Fader's building at 107 E. Baltimore St., home to the tobacco products supplier since 1972, will be razed sometime next year to make way for construction of a 34-story skyscraper set to include a suites hotel, office space, restaurants and a parking garage.

Fader's expects to close a $265,000 deal to buy the 7,500-square-foot building at 12 S. Calvert from Williams, Jackson and Ewing within the next 10 days, said Michael J. Goeller, Fader's new owner and president.

The new location, one of the city's earliest automobile dealerships early in the century, with preserved arched plaster ceilings, leaded glass skylights and Cadillac emblems, will become Fader's flagship store in February. The retailer, which has six stores in the Baltimore region and is opening its seventh Oct. 1 in Bel Air, will move its office headquarters onto the second floor in November.

"We're going to try to restore as much as we possibly can because the building's just beautiful," Goeller said yesterday, adding that he began searching for a new downtown site shortly after buying the business, when he learned the lease would not be extended because J. J. Clarke Enterprises Inc. planned to redevelop the block. "We wanted to stay at a location that was still convenient for our business clients. This location gives us a view of the harbor, and we hope we will pick up the tourists we are not servicing."

The larger building, with three times the retail space of the current location, will allow Fader's to expand its product lines and incorporate new features, such as in-store shoe shine and barber services and a lounge. Plans call for a 500-square-foot, cedar-lined, walk-in humidor in which to preserve and display cigars, Goeller said. The retailer carries pipes, pipe tools and lighters and 300 blends of tobacco, which the company blends in a Towson warehouse.

Throughout the century, the Calvert Street building has housed manufacturers, a furniture store and more recently a series of restaurants and bars -- the latest the Redwood Grill, said Keith Barnett, an associate with KLNB Inc., the brokerage firm for Fader's.

Since buying the business, started in 1891 by Abraham Fader on the corner of Baltimore Street and Guilford Ave., Goeller has begun an international mail order business via the Internet, serving clients in Australia, Finland and Thailand and throughout the United States.

He is considering opening stores in the Washington area and eventually expects to have about 10 stores in the Baltimore region.

Pub Date: 9/24/98

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