The project will create a multi-tenant commercial property in the vibrant residential Greenmount West neighborhood, located in the heart of Baltimore’s Station North Arts and Entertainment District. Built in 1900 as a warehouse that once stored horses and carriages, the building has been underutilized and disinvested by the City of Baltimore as a surplus storage facility for many years.
Ernst Valery Investments (EVI), a long-time Reinvestment Fund borrower and minority-owned development company with deep connections in Baltimore, is committed to making the approximately 30,000 sq ft building a center for Black-owned and women-owned businesses featuring affordable commercial rents and a community-development focus.
During the center’s ribbon-cutting ceremony in the fall of 2022, EVI announced that the old facility had been brought back to life with extensive renovations and improvements to the two-story building, including refitting and cleaning both floors, installing bathrooms, common areas, security, and repair loading docks and industrial access.
The first-floor anchor tenant Oyin Handmade is a family-owned, woman- and Black-owned artisanal manufacturer of moisture-rich personal care products, especially formulated for highly textured hair and dry skin. The other suites on the ground floor are 1812 Beverage Solutions Company and another woman-owned production business. The second floor features three office suites with shared amenities.
By focusing the project on several tenant opportunities with minority and women-owned businesses, this EVI warehouse transformation directly addresses Reinvestment Fund’s goal of wealth creation in under-resourced communities. While the area was once overshadowed by a rundown abandoned building, the Greenmount West neighborhood revitalization now attracts young artists and professionals.
Project developer Ernst Valery has pledged an ongoing commitment to give back to the community and uplift others. In the press release concerning the project, EVI stated their purpose of investing in select underserved and undervalued key emerging domestic real estate markets, stating, We believe in Baltimore and The Greenmount West Neighborhood and all the great small business owners/ entrepreneurs, especially the women and minorities who rarely get the opportunity to scale their business. The future is diverse!
Central Baltimore has been an important locus of investment activity for Reinvestment Fund for many years. This Baltimore Investment Partnership-backed predevelopment loan allowed Reinvestment Fund to offer EVI a low-interest rate and early investment in this important project.
Learn more about our work in Balitmore here.