New Plans Sought For Block In Pigtown

Attempt To Start Apartments, Shops, Restaurants Failed

August 11, 2009|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

After plans fell through for new restaurants, shops and apartments along Pigtown's main commercial district, city development officials are seeking new proposals for a dilapidated block of Washington Boulevard.

The Baltimore Development Corp. said Monday that it has reissued a request for proposals for five contiguous properties in the neighborhood southwest of downtown, also known as Washington Village.

The BDC hopes to attract proposals for the 900 block of Washington Boulevard that could include a restaurant, coffee shop, small grocer, bookstore, bakery, video store, pharmacy, florist, ice cream shop, hardware store or art gallery. The properties, some of which the BDC wants to see renovated, include a two-story former tavern, a two-story house and vacant commercial and residential properties.

The city first offered the properties for redevelopment in 2006, but the selected developers could not continue with the project once the economy worsened, the BDC said. The original proposal by Historic Pigtown Development LLC called for a $1.6 million renovation of the mostly vacant properties into a restaurant in a corner building, with offices and apartments on upper floors. The team had planned to combine three more rowhouses for a ground-level shop with upper level apartments and an art gallery and upstairs residential loft in another building.

The deadline to submit new proposals is Nov. 10.

The BDC also said Monday it is negotiating a land sale agreement with developer Magnum Construction Inc. for a separate mixed-use project along Washington Boulevard. The city had awarded four properties in the 700 block to developers in 2006, but the partnership, New City Partners, dissolved in October 2008. The city then selected Magnum through a new bidding process and awarded the properties in March. Magnum plans to build a project with a restaurant, shops and apartments.

Pigtown's commercial strip is part of an urban renewal area bounded by Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Russell Street, the Carroll Camden Industrial Park on the south, Carroll Park and the southern edge of Mount Clare Junction/B&O Railroad Museum.

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