Proposed Broadway Market overhaul calls for restaurant, seafood market, green space

Harbor East-based Atlas Restaurant Group has teamed up with Klein Enterprises and the Dolben Co. on the lone bid to overhaul Broadway Market in Fells Point.

Under a plan submitted to the Baltimore Development Corp. and Baltimore Public Markets Corp., the group hopes to renovate the north and south sheds of the market on the 600 and 700 blocks of South Broadway, adding a restaurant, seafood market, butcher shop and public green space.

Klein and Dolben partnered on the Marketplace at Fells Point, a mixed-use project on the 600 block of South Broadway. They became interested in developing Broadway Market when another firm’s plans to do so fell through several years ago, Klein Enterprises president Daniel Klein said.

“We have a personal relationship with Alex Smith and the guys over at Atlas Restaurant Group, and we knew that they had expressed concern about sort of the vacant structures over at Broadway Market the past few years, as well,” Klein said. “When you have two groups that have ambitious plans for Baltimore City, it makes more sense to come together as a team.”

The team submitted its proposal, designed by BCT Architects, in February. It was the only proposal fielded for the market, which is comprised of two separate sheds that date to 1864.

Under the proposal, the north shed, which is currently vacant and stretches between Fleet and Aliceanna streets, would be downsized to about 2,400 square feet of retail space. The development team would also build a green space, “Broadway Lawn,” and amphitheater in its footprint.

The south shed building would remain at about 5,000 square feet and would be transformed into a restaurant by Atlas, which owns Ouzo Bay, Loch Bar and Azumi in Harbor East, among other restaurants. The restaurant would incorporate a seafood market and butchery, Smith, who owns Atlas, said in an email. It would seat 250 inside with up to 125 seats outdoors, he said.

“Our objective is to try to activate both the north and south blocks of the Broadway Market as much as possible so that they become not just something that lies in the community but something that exists as a benefit for the community,” Klein said.

Vendors currently operating in the south shed, between Aliceanna and Lancaster streets, would be given the chance to relocate to the renovated north shed, Klein said.

“We were extremely conscious of the businesses operating in the south market,” Klein said. “We didn’t want to put a plan together that appears we’re trying to displace them.”

He said he hopes a redeveloped market adds “vibrancy, pedestrian activity,” to the neighborhood. “I hope it provides a sense of place, a landmark, a gateway to Fells Point.”

Broadway Market first opened in 1786 as the Fells Point Market and once stretched to Thames Street. The north shed was damaged in a fire in 1969, and the south shed underwent renovations in 1979. WorkShop Development had planned to renovate and reopen the north shed as a grocery store in 2013, but the project was delayed by plans for the Red Line, a now-cancelled Light Rail project, and the Baltimore Public Markets Corp. did not renew its contract.

The Baltimore Development Corp. issued requests for proposals to redevelop Broadway Market and Hollins Markets, two of the city’s six public markets, in December. Meanwhile, a $40 million rebuild has been proposed for Lexington Market, and Caves Valley Partners is revamping Cross Street Market in Federal Hill.

Spokeswoman Susan Yum said in an email Tuesday that the Baltimore Development Corp. would have no further role in the markets’ development process. “When we received only one response to each [request for proposal], we turned everything over to the [Baltimore Public Markets Corp.],” she said.

Robert Thomas, executive director of the Baltimore Public Markets Corp., said in an email Tuesday his organization is still weighing proposals for both markets.

“The Markets Board and members of the city administration are considering proposals for each market and determining whether we have a path to a deal,” he said.

Klein said his group has discussed the project informally with community stakeholders but has not yet held formal meetings because it has not been awarded the redevelopment rights yet. Thomas said in an email he expects the market corporation’s board to reach a decision this summer.

“When that happens, we welcome community involvement,” Klein said.

If the project is approved, Klein said he expects construction to take about a year.


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