Building on Charles Street in Federal Hill collapses

A vacant building at 1007 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill partially collapsed Wednesday.

The building, which sits next to a former Shofer’s Furniture clearance center, is owned by the furniture store, owner Henry “Hank” Shofer said. Although it’s unclear what led to the building crumbling, he said he suspects the recent frequent rain could be to blame.

The building has been vacant for at least a decade, and the adjacent clearance center space has been empty for about five years, Shofer said. A plan to redevelop the two buildings into apartments two years ago fell through, but Shofer said the collapse may prompt him to revisit the idea.

“Now that that came down, now that’ll probably give me a little impetus in getting it going again,” he said.

He said he’s hoping to receive tax benefits from the city as part of the redevelopment process.

“It was old, so water was probably getting in the property,” he said. “All that rain we got wasn’t helpful.”

In business since 1914, Shofer’s Furniture has a main showroom across the street from the collapsed building at 930 S. Charles St. The building at 1007 S. Charles St. was previously a barber shop with an apartment above, Shofer said.

Shofer’s contractor and demolition team are on site, he said, and crews will work to stabilize what’s left of the building and its neighboring structures. He hopes to clear debris from the downed building before the weather turns wet again and adds more weight to the building.

“We’re hoping it doesn’t rain today,” he said.

smeehan@baltsun.com

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