Baltimore's Remington community launches 'Shark Tank'-style storefront contest to lure retailers

Baltimore’s Remington neighborhood is hoping to lure retailers through a “Shark Tank”-style contest that promises free rent for up to two years.

The Greater Remington Improvement Association, working with the Johns Hopkins University and developer Seawall Development, is looking for local entrepreneurs to open temporary concepts in two storefronts. Winners of the Remington Storefront Challenge will get space rent free for 12 to 24 months, funding to build out spaces and technical assistance.

Space is available at a former gas station site, now occupied by Pizza Boli’s, at 1300 W. 29th St., at the corner of Remington Avenue. The pizza delivery franchise will close this fall and move about a mile away to North Charles Street, and the 1,240-square-foot building will be renovated. The second site, 900-square-feet of finished space, is located in Remington Row, an apartment and retail building at 2700 Remington Ave.

Applicants will be asked to show their experience and ability to follow a business plan, including how their store will boost foot traffic, fit in with existing businesses and meet neighborhood needs.

Online applications are due Jan. 8 through the group’s website at Organizers will choose the top 10 entries, who will be invited to pitch ideas to a panel of residents, local business owners and anchor institutions. Besides Hopkins, sponsors include the Central Baltimore Partnership, Howard Bank, and Younts Design.

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