Baltimore’s historic preservation commission has approved the demolition of Eddie’s in Mount Vernon to make way for a new grocery store and mixed-use development.
The project by Mount Vernon resident and developer Dennis Richter required approval from the Commission on Historic Architectural Preservation because Mount Vernon is a historic district.
The commission previously rejected Richter’s bid to demolish the buildings at 7-11, 13 and 15 W. Eager St. because of their historic character, but it ruled on Tuesday that the neighborhood would be better served by demolishing the 19th-century buildings and redeveloping them.
“You have to look at how it relates not just to that particular property, but how it relates to the context of what’s happening in Mount Vernon,” said Larry Gibson, a law professor at the University of Maryland who serves on the commission. “We pretty much concluded Mount Vernon needs a modern grocery store.”
As a condition of Tuesday’s approval, Richter will need to present design plans to the commission before the building can be demolished.
Richter, who could not be reached for comment Wednesday, has said previously that there are plans to include a new grocery store, additional retail, apartments and underground parking in the project.
The development is supported by the Mount Vernon-Belvedere Association, which represents the area, and Eddie’s owner, Dennis Zorn.
Eddie’s, the neighborhood’s lone grocery store, occupies the space at 7-11 W. Eager St. Neighboring 13-15 W. Eager St. most recently served as Eden’s Lounge, a nightlife venue, and has been vacant since 2013.
Richter also owns the adjacent lot at the corner of West Eager and Cathedral streets. He bought the former family-owned Comprehensive Car Care in 2015 after it closed following 90 years in business.