A planned retail and office collective at 1900 Light Street hopes to begin construction later this year. The project, called Riverside, is a partnership between building owners Stephen and Cheryl Wilhide and development company Urban Pastoral Collective. The project team has applied for state and federal tax credits and is awaiting approval before construction begins.
The 34,500 square foot two-story property is made up of four buildings that have been combined over the years. The property was recently the home of the Wilhide Draperies Inc. (WDI) family, as well as space for additional businesses and apartments. WDI recently moved to an 8,000 square foot building at 2802 Frederick Rd. In southwest Baltimore.
Ownership of 1900 Light St. dates back to 1885 and was for many years the home of the Heinz Riverside Abattoir and Southern Beef slaughterhouses. The property has been emptied and cleaned in recent years.
Riverside will be a collective made up of a brewery; a combined concept of restaurant, grocery store, bar and liquor store; A coffee; additional retail trade; a hydroponic agricultural production facility; and offices for startups.
Riverside’s first floor will have 20,000 square feet of collective commercial space.
The project was first announced at the end of 2019.
The façade of the property facing E. Wells Street will be the concept of the restaurant, grocery store, bar and liquor store. It will open to a 2,000 square foot common area with two story ceilings, a skylight, restored boiler and original walkway. The common area will have a café and a cocktail bar.
The cafe will be adjacent to a retail space. Urban Pastoral founder and CEO JJ Reidy said in 2019 that retail space could be a concept connected with coffee, like a cafe with a bookstore and a plant store.
Les Wilhides and Urban Pastoral are working with restaurateurs on the concepts, but they are not ready to make announcements.
The one story garage at the south end of the property will be the brewery. The brewery will serve primarily as a valve room rather than being a full-size production brewery.
The hydroponic agricultural production facility will be in the basement. Some of the leafy greens and herbs could be incorporated into the upstairs concepts. Urban Pastoral has experience in indoor farming projects and has partnered with a 4,000 square foot greenhouse at Green Street Academy.
The second floor will be approximately 10,000 square feet of office space.
The Wilhides also own the one-story white and blue garage at 1827 Marshall Street. It is across E. Wells Street from 1900 Light Street. This property could be a phase two of the project.
“The Wilhides wanted to do something interesting and exciting,” said Reidy. “They had the patience to find the right entrepreneurs to match their values of sustainability, health and well-being, culture and diversity, entrepreneurship and innovation.”
“You have to give credit to Steve and Cheryl – a historic project like this costs three times as much as a new build, and it’s a lot more complicated,” Reidy added.
The Wilhides and Urban Pastoral will partner with adjacent apartment buildings to provide free parking for visitors and employees of Riverside.
The project will cost around $ 9 million.
The development team wants Riverside to be the center of the growing Wells Street corridor, which will eventually have more than 1,100 apartments in one block. Wells St. is experiencing a wave of new investment that includes a new storage facility and an apartment building under construction. Another apartment building is also planned and the National Federation of the Blind is renting up to 100,000 square feet of office space.
1900 Light St.
1827 Marshall Street
About the Author: Kevin Lynch
Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime South Baltimore resident and graduate of Towson University. Unconditional fan of Ravens and O, father of three, amateur pizzaiolo, skateboarder and “bar food” gourmet. Write to me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.