The Avenue Market - Baltimore, Maryland
METROVENTURES provided real estate advisory and development
management services to create the new Avenue Market in the West Baltimore
Empowerment Zone. This venture involved redeveloping the former 35,000-square-foot
Lafayette Market. Once a part of Baltimore City's public market system,
this site had deteriorated over the last decade resulting in very low
occupancy and sales productivity.
implemented a comprehensive redevelopment plan that included preparing
a design program translated into architectural design concepts and a detailed
construction budget. Additionally, we conducted existing conditions analysis
of the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor, and market demand and supply analysis,
and developed and managed a detailed merchandising plan and leasing strategy,
generated proforma income/expense projections, facilitated tenant financing,
and conducted operations planning.
METROVENTURES assisted The Avenue Market Corporation,
a nonprofit organization, in securing funding for the $4 million project.
The funding included a Community Development Block Grant, funds from the
City of Baltimore, a capital grant from the State of Maryland, and funding
from private foundations. Accomplishments of the Project Team, which incorporated
architects Brown & Craig, Inc., and construction managers Barton Malow
- Fast-track schedule: Schematic/design development drawings
and construction documents were completed within an eight-week timeframe.
- On time and within budget: The base building renovation was
expedited on a design-build basis. Substantial completion was achieved
and a Certificate of Occupancy was issued as planned within a nine-month
construction schedule. Construction also was completed within the programmed
Guaranteed Maximum Price of $2.75 million.
- Project financing: The $4 million financing goal for the project
was not only met, but exceeded by $115,000. Eleven financing sources
were successfully solicited along with relationships important to developing
Loan/Grant Agreements and disbursing funding.
- Leasing commitments: Commitments were achieved for approximately
70 percent of the leasable area by Grand Opening. We also fulfilled
The Avenue Market Corporation's objective of a cultural tenant base,
which is currently 60 percent African-American and 30 percent Korean.
The team solicited and interviewed more than 150 minority tenant prospects
to achieve this goal.
- Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MBE / WBE):
More than 50 percent of the total project expenditures were made to
Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises. The team successfully
used small minority subcontractors in the construction phase achieving
a 55 percent MBE utilization for the project, which exceeded the City's
requirement by 25 percent.
- Merchant Development Program: Established with assistance from
the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this program facilitated the training
of 20 Avenue Market small minority merchants in critical areas of business
operations, including personnel management, accounting and financial
- Tenant Finance Program: Established with assistance from the
Council for Economic Business Opportunity, this program facilitated
loan funding to small, minority merchants with limited resources, enabling
many smaller, less experienced merchants to open businesses in the Market.