Eddie's of Mt. Vernon now plans to relocate to space on the ground floor of the Belvedere condo building a block away to make way for an apartment project.
Eddie's of Mt. Vernon now plans to relocate to space on the ground floor of the Belvedere condo building a block away to make way for an apartment project. (Jerry Jackson / Baltimore Sun)

Eddie’s of Mount Vernon, the Baltimore neighborhood’s longtime grocery anchor on West Eager Street, will move next year to the Belvedere condominium tower a block away, the supermarket owner said Friday.

The supermarket has faced an uncertain future amid plans for a 10-story apartment building on its block. Eddie’s will fill a 5,000-square-foot vacancy on the lower level of the Belvedere, with an entrance on North Charles Street. The Beaux Arts style building opened as a hotel in 1903 and was converted to condos in 1991.

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Eddie’s of Mount Vernon’s owner said Friday he had hoped to stay in the neighborhood, the store’s home since 1988.

“It’s a pleasure to be in this neighborhood,” said Dennis Zorn, who bought the business in 2000.

The store will remain open at 7 W. Eager St. until its new space at the Belvedere is ready, likely by next spring or early summer. Once Eddie’s moves out, construction is expected to start on the apartment project during the second half of next year.

Developer Dennis Richter plans a 165-unit building of efficiencies and one-bedroom, two-bedroom and some three-bedroom units with rents expected to start in the low $1,000 range. Plans call for some neighborhood service retail and a small amount of parking.

“Mount Vernon is a very attractive place,” Richter said. “It continues to bring more and more folks from across the country looking to relocate to Baltimore,” including Washington commuters drawn by proximity of Penn Station. “It’s a very dynamic neighborhood, a very diverse neighborhood.”

Richter and Zorn began looking for a new site for Eddie’s about a year ago after they determined it wouldn’t be feasible to move the grocer out temporarily during construction then back in. Richter ended up buying the retail space in the Belvedere and leasing it to Eddie’s.

“The community has been very supportive of this grocery business,” Richter said Friday. “We wanted a grocery option even while construction was going on, and that took a good year to line up.”

The new store will have new equipment but similar offerings, including a deli, prepared foods and a growing assortment of organic and natural foods, Zorn said.

“We’ve been pretty successful with the mix we have now,” he said, appealing to senior citizens, students and other residents, he said.

The Mount Vernon-Belvedere Association has supported the project and keeping Eddie’s in Mount Vernon, Richter said.

The city’s Commission on Historic Architectural Preservation approved the demolition of Eddie’s and two other adjacent 19th-century buildings in 2017 so the development could move forward. The project sits in a historic district.

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