Historic Tobacco Warehouse on North Washington Street the Latest Redevelopment in East Baltimore

The nearly 150-year-old historic tobacco warehouse located at 1103 N. Washington Street in the Middle East neighborhood of Baltimore has been acquired by Cross Street Partners (CSP) and BECS Investing (BECS) who are partnering on the redevelopment of the 23,000 square foot building.

The building’s three floors will provide a combination of office, production, and/or retail space in close proximity to community anchors such as the Johns Hopkins Medical Campus, the Hoen & Co Lithograph campus, and the amenities of the $1.8 billion East Baltimore Development Initiative. Building Envelope Consultants and Scientists will be merging their corporate headquarters currently located in Clarksville, MD with their Maryland operations center to the location. The building’s first two floors – which feature a loading dock and a ground level entrance on N. Washington street– are available for lease.

“BECS is proud to be a part of owning and restoring a historic building like 1103 N. Washington,” says Mark Howell, vice president of BECS. “This move aligns with our vision and goals for serving our community and our commitment to the revitalization of Baltimore City.”

The project was awarded $1.75 million under the Maryland Historic Revitalization Tax Credit program for fiscal year 2022. The project is one of six historic buildings from across the state that received an award. CSP, as general contractor, will preserve the building’s historic features to meet the Secretary of the Interior’s standards, while incorporating modern building systems and pursuing LEED Gold certification.

According to Bill Struever, principal at Cross Street Partners, “The redevelopment of 1103 N. Washington will not only preserve one of the last remaining industrial buildings in Middle East, but it will bring more investment, jobs, and commercial opportunities to the neighborhood. We love being part of EBDI’s growing momentum.”

The Tobacco Warehouse was constructed for leaf tobacco storage circa 1875 by Becker Bros., a Baltimore firm formed by German immigrants. Under the ownership of Gieske & Niemann from 1900 to the World War I era, the warehouse continued its use for tobacco storage and housed a cigar making operation on the second floor. Since the early 20th century, the building has been a warehouse for the Baumgarten & Co. toy manufacturers and stationers’, an upholstery shop, a roller-skating rink, a mattress factory, cabinet makers, a furniture repair shop, and artist and maker studios.

Struever adds that to commemorate the preservation of this historic East Baltimore building, “we’re looking forward to a celebration on roller skates on the 3rd floor skating rink!”

The redevelopment will honor the warehouse’s nearly 150-year legacy of providing space for Baltimore enterprises to create and innovate.

About Cross Street Partners: Headquartered at the Hoen Lithograph building, Cross Street Partners is a vertically integrated real estate company focused exclusively on rebuilding communities by creating vibrant, mixed-use neighborhoods on a foundation of innovation and entrepreneurial activity. The company specializes in adaptive reuse of historic properties, brownfield remediation, sustainable design and building practices, and transit-oriented development. Started in 2010, the principals of Cross Street Partners bring decades of experience in transforming urban neighborhoods. A special focus is the company’s adaptive reuse of magnificent but neglected old buildings.

About BECS Investing, LLC: BECS Investing, LLC is a boutique, privately held, real estate investing group that provides value-added investments that revitalize urban landscapes and build communities. We engage in value creation by leveraging the professional backgrounds of our founding partners to source acquisitions that are on the fringe of emerging geographies with sound economic fundamentals.

Utilizing our expertise and innovative foresight, BECS Investing focuses on historic, adaptive reuse, and brownfield properties as they pose a unique opportunity, one that many operators might not see. As a result, we can redevelop these existing structures in a manner that drives value to both the property, the building, and the surrounding communities they serve.