When Cross Street Market reopens in the spring, it will offer a mix of 26 current and new tenants, as well as fresh produce and prepared foods and coffee, in a building that was overhauled down to the cinder-blocks.
Developers announced Tuesday that the first few vendors likely will open for business by Thanksgiving, and include the Annapolis-based roaster Ceremony Coffee and the return of the sandwich place Steve’s Lunch and the butcher Fenwick’s Choice Meats.
The idea for the market, one of several public markets undergoing or slated for an overhaul in Baltimore, is to attract neighbors in Federal Hill and other South Baltimore and downtown communities to a familiar place for lunch and some grocery shopping. But the developers also want people to come from around the region for a night out to try new foods.
“Our goal in blending a new and old market presence is to invigorate the tenant mix with new and complementary concepts while staying in touch with the traditions of Baltimore and celebrating the vendors that have been popular among traditional market clientele,” said Arsh Mirmiran, a partner at Caves Valley Partners, which formed CSM Ventures LLC with CANAdev to redevelop and lease Cross Street Market.
The developers have been working on the project for a couple of years, overcoming protests and legal entanglements with tenants and neighborhood concerns. They offered a tour Tuesday of the block-long, 1950s-era building, which most everyone agreed had become outdated.
The large windows have been uncovered and replaced and new cement floors poured. The interior will have a more modern, industrial feel when it’s complete, with vendors creating their own looks for their stalls.
Cross Street Market remains city property, leased to the developers through the non-profit Baltimore Public Markets Corp. The renovation is expected to cost $8 million in city, state and private funding.
Baltimore-based CANAdev has developed and leased many similar markets around the country, including Mount Vernon Marketplace locally. Michael Morris, a company principal, said such markets have long been popular around the world and are gaining steam in the United States.
He said Cross Street Market will “provide the local community and the city of Baltimore with a food and artisan destination that reflects the quality and diversity of the city.”
There are about four stalls left uncommitted, he said. The lineup will include return of Nunnally Bros. Choice Meats, a butcher; Smoke, a barbecue place; and The Sweet Shoppe, a candy store.
New to the market will be Phubs, a Vietnamese soup and sub shop; Sobeachy, which serves Caribbean food; Burger Bar, for burgers and hot dogs; and Rice Crook, for Korean rice bowls. Separate vendors offering craft beer, wine and spirits are expected, and some food vendors also will be permitted to sell their own alcoholic beverages.
There will be seating for up to 600 people inside and outside the building that encompasses the block of Cross Street between Light and Charles streets.
Neighbors who came out for the tour said they were pleased that the market was getting an upgrade.
“There will be new blood and revitalization,” said Martin Christensen, a long-time area resident. “This place hasn’t seen any real change in 30 years.”
Greg Morris, another long-time neighbor, said the market had become partially empty and uninviting.
“It really needed to be opened up and cleaned,” he said.
Another neighbor, Peter Bartels, said he was glad to hear there would be freshly prepared food, “and not all fried and prepared in advance.”
There was a backlash from tenants after some were asked to freshen their menus or to close for the construction. The developers eventually offered to pay to move tenants to one end of the building while the other side was renovated. A few accepted.
One, Cheese Galore and More, moved spaces and then decided to move out of the market altogether when a much larger storefront became available on nearby Charles Street.
Several lawsuits against the city from vendors seeking relocation expenses were dismissed over the summer. Some didn’t want to change their menus and some were not asked to remain.
Cross Street Market is just one of several public markets undergoing or slated for an overhaul in Baltimore. Redevelopment of markets in Fells Point and Hollins Market are underway and an announcement is planned for Wednesday about the redevelopment of Lexington Market.
Baltimore Sun reporter Sarah Meehan contributed to this article.
Vendors coming to the new Cross Street Market
New to the market:
» Ceremony Coffee Roasters
» Phubs (Vietnamese soup and sub shop)
» Sobeachy (Caribbean food)
» Burger Bar
» Rice Crook (Korean rice bowls)
» Fenwick’s Choice Meats
» Nunnally Bros. Choice Meats
» Smoke (barbecue)
» Steve’s Lunch (sandwiches)
» The Sweet Shoppe