Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Another Ribbon Cut in Station North

Ernst Valerie was at hand as the developer, his wife Dana gave the tour, and the Mayor held a speech. Commercial Group, the builders, had stuffed gift bags and the Karzai family had provided the snacks which caused councilwoman  Rikki Spector to be present as Councilman Stokes needled when he had the podium. Donald Kann is the architect of the phase two conversion of the upper stories above the Chesapeake restaurant, (now Penn&Quill) which opened over a year ago as phase one of a BDC project. Finally the once fabled and then long vacant "gateway to Station North" (Valery) is fully occupied with restaurants, incubator offices, an event space and six apartments.

Valerie who chose Baltimore as the home of his national operations reaching from Buffalo to Oakland, with teaching stints at Harvard, has several investments in Baltimore, including the renovation of a Rowhouse  and a partnership with Somerset Homes for 32 townhomes on Calvert Street, for both ArchPlan was the architect. His biggest project is the Professional Arts Building on Read and Cathedral with the Milk & Honey coffee shop run by Ernst's wife Dana.

While it isn't obvious how the creative and attractive use of the second floor can make money (Valerie may use the space himself in the end), the biggest part of the Chesapeake project is still to come in form of infill with an alley spanning apartment building on the the two lots behind the Chesapeake on Lanvale. The design by a New York firm will be unveiled mid-month at UDARP. 
Station North is humming, here near Penn Station one could even call it gentrification, but I hate that word. 

Klaus Philipsen, FAIA

Incubator work cubicles with a touch of living room (Photo: ArchPlan Inc.)

Incubator workers (cubicles see background room) also share what was called a "kitchenette" (Photo: ArchPlan Inc.)

Ribbon cutting reception in the "event space" (Photo: ArchPlan Inc.)

Mayor Rawlings Blake reminding people of the history of the original Chesapeake Restaurant 
The Chesapeake Restaurant in 1939 (photo: BGE collection)

Ernst Valery with Chesapeake building in background (photo: Business Journal)

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