Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Its all about food

It was canning that moved William "Bill" Struever into the major league of development when he converted three tin and canning facilities into apartments, condos and mixed use. The projects are by now part of Baltimore's vernacular: Tindeco, Canton Cove and the American Can. Struevers come-back after a rough stretch takes the reverse approach: converting an old Hoen Litograph company building into a canning facility. Even though Spike Gertje's canning isn't all there is to the project, it is still illustrative of how strong a driver food has become in the Baltimore economy.
Private food market 

From innovative gourmet restaurants that combine new seating arrangements with local food sourcing to battling food insecurity through community gardening with food trucks and markets in between, the spectrum of food driven initiatives is almost endless.

Food has become an element of community and economic development, job creation, workforce training and social justice. 
Baltimore is well positioned in this trajectory where many communities score well when restaurants, coffee shops, brewpubs, bakeries, edible gardens and food trucks are applied as metrics of community success, or as some would say: gentrification.
Rendering of the Food Hub

With the Baltimore Food Hub located north of the Amtrak tracks in East Baltimore in an area of high abandonment and disinvestment, a food themed investment gains another dimension. The hub combines aspiration for healthy food with social impact from job creation to training and addressing food insecurity. The social impact project has been in the making for quite some time. It looks like this fall will be the time when the shovel will in the ground. 

Klaus Philipsen, FAIA

BBJ article about the Food Hub
BBJ article about Hoen Lithograph conversion
Hoen Lithograph 

Food Hub current condition