Developers Len Bush and John Roe are transforming the former Union Bros. Furniture and Plymouth Wallpaper property at 37 W. Cross St. in Sharp-Leadenhall into a 33,000 sq. ft. office and retail space. This redevelopment project, which will be called Union Bros., will include three connected buildings surrounding the BP station at the corner of S. Hanover St. and W. Cross St. Union Bros. is a block east of the Stadium Square redevelopment project and a block west from Cross Street Market in Federal Hill.
Bush and Roe purchased the property last year from a trust after about nine months of negotiations, according to Bush. As part of the planning process, they are working with the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) on guidelines for the approximately $8 million project. Bush and Roe are also working with Marks, Thomas Architects and Chris Deluca of McHenry Project Consultants, who is managing the development. They are in the process of selecting a general contractor.
The team hopes to begin selective demolition this Spring and have the building ready for occupancy in the first quarter of 2018. They met with the Sharp-Leadenhall community regarding the project last month.
The exterior of the buildings will be restored through brick work and the currently boarded-up windows will be reopened. Some existing windows will be restored, and many new windows that fit MHT guidelines will be installed. A facade on S. Hanover St. will also be restored.
The exterior will also include new neon or LED signage on S. Hanover St. and W. Cross St. and a lot of new lighting. “We want the signage to be seen from the former Porter’s (now The Outpost) and Stadium Square,” Bush told SouthBMore.com.
The team will also add lighting to the alley behind the building, which Bush said has been a problem area for trash, loitering, and drug activity.
The two-story building facing S. Hanover St. will have a 4,500 sq. ft. ground floor retail space with an adjacent outdoor courtyard. Bush said this would be ideal for a restaurant. Landscaping will separate the courtyard from the BP station.
There will be another 6,500 sq. ft. retail space on W. Cross St. The second and third stories of the buildings will be used for 21,000 sq. ft. of office space. The team is looking to create parking in the rear parcels of the development
Bush said they are considering adding a shared rooftop terrace and noted that the view from the roof is “phenomenal.”
Bush said Union Bros. will have a highly-collaborative atmosphere for tenants and that he envisions high-energy startups potentially occupying the space. The interior will include many historical elements including columns, exposed brick, beams, and 11 to 12 ft. ceilings. DeLuca told SouthBMore.com the layout across the three different buildings would be ideal for three office tenants or one large tenant.
The team is currently marketing the spaces and told SouthBMore.com that interest has been high.
Bush and Roe, who are both South Baltimore residents, previously built The Townes at Marshall Green, a five new-townhome development at Randall St. and Marshall St. “John and I like to stick to projects in Federal Hill where we live, work, and play,” said Bush.
Bush and his wife Donna are also the owners of LEN The Plumber, which purchased and renovated a 42,000 sq. ft. warehouse at 1552 Ridgely St. in Carroll-Camden Industrial Area.
Renderings Courtesy of Marks, Thomas Architects