Some developments make great waves.

When Plano-Coudon Construction began a $3.8-million renovation of Broadway Market for Baltimore Public Markets, the project team knew they would face a plethora of construction challenges. They would have to preserve and restore the North Shed’s historic façade, but gut everything else. Upgrading the site’s infrastructure included contending with one shutoff valve so old it could no longer stem the flow of water from a main line. Realizing they couldn’t reuse the building’s slab, the crew began digging out concrete that ranged from three to 12 inches thick to uncover items including uncharted power lines and a set of railroad tracks.

The result of those efforts, however, was a dramatic revival. The design restored the market’s original, towering, arched windows, which many years ago had been blocked over. Filled with natural light, the new interior blends historic bones with industrial elements and the bustle of a city food market. Outside, the project team converted a parking lot into a public plaza with seating, a bar and event space.

The project both “activated the building, bringing local businesses back and also created an inviting public space that enhances the urban fabric,” said Kuo Pau Lian, Principal of PI.KL Studio, the project’s architect. “That block had been struggling for so long and having an eyesore [the long-abandoned North Shed] in the middle of the block was not helping. Now, the market has become a very cool, energetic space that has enlivened that block.”

The project’s “halo effect is exemplified by The Marketplace at Fells Point, a mixed-use residential and retail site owned by Klein Enterprises that surrounds Broadway Market on both the east and west side.  Since the completion of the market renovation, the project is 90 percent leased in its residential component and has leased retail spaces that were previously vacant, including a new fitness concept, F45 Fitness, backed by Mark Wahlberg,” said Kimberly Kohlhepp, Business Development Manager at Plano-Coudon.

The renovation of Broadway Market has also won multiple awards, including the Good Design=Good Business Award from the American Institute of Architects-Baltimore and the Urban Land Institute’s Wavemaker Award for its exceptional quality, sustainability, vision, sense of place and potential to make waves in the community.

For more on how food markets and food halls are energizing Baltimore neighborhoods, read the article “Local Appetite: Food halls stoke small business success, community growth” which appeared in the January/February 2020 issue of NAIOP-MD INSITES magazine.