May 28, 2015

Seven Retailers Sign On to Marketplace at Fells Project

It's been years in the making, but the $41M retail and residential project Marketplace at Fells, on the 600 block of South Broadway in Fells Point, is in its final stages.

Developers have signed on seven tenants, while the apartment complex is at 70% occupancy, according to developers The Dolben Co and Klein Enterprises. The luxury studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments wrapped up construction this year and rent for $1,400 to $2,800 per month. The project includes 159 apartments, housed in two buildings, and will contain about a dozen tenants.

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Amenities include a rooftop deck, landscaped courtyard with fireplace (pictured), fitness center and game room. From the rooftop, you can see the 17-story CareFirst Tower in Canton (formerly the First Mariner Tower), Johns Hopkins Hospital and Under Armour's Tide Point HQ, says Klein Enterprises president Daniel Klein.

On the retail side, a Wells Fargo and Mattress Discounters will open by the end of the year. They'll join Future Nails and Unleashed by Petco. Sammy's Trattoria, the Italian restaurant in Mount Vernon, will open a 3,200 SF restaurant and wine bar around Labor Day, joined by Kippo Ramen. Denver-based Smashburger opened April 30.

The 75-seat Kippo Ramen will serve donburi, a Japanese dish containing meat, fish or vegetables simmered together and served over rice, says owner Shigehiko “Jacky” Okiebisu. Call it Japanese comfort food. He's pictured performing research in a noodle factory in Japan (wearing the black cap). The Japan native came to the US in 1984 to work for Benihana and says the time was right to own a restaurant since his two daughters are grown.

The developers have also signed letters of intent with two New York-based tenants. One is an entertainment use (bowling? karaoke? bowling/karaoke combo?) and the other is a food tenant. That leaves 10.5k SF of the 28k SF of retail space, or enough for three additional businesses, Daniel says. Food vendors will likely occupy two of those spots, says Daniel, who is pictured here with his newborn daughter, Essie.

“We started with a crater in Fells Point, with a building that had been demolished and boarded up. We now have transformed that block into a vibrant part of Fells Point,” says Dolben EVP Drew Dolben. He's pictured in Key Largo, FL, at a vintage auto show. Dolben acquired the rights to develop the retail and residential component of the project from South Broadway Properties' Dave Holmes three years ago. It had stalled during the recession, and the original plans were scaled back to lower the cost.

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