Lexington Market Announces Seawall will lead redevelopment of Lexington Market

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Lexington Market Announces Seawall will lead redevelopment of Lexington Market and issues Request for Proposal for the West Block of Lexington Market.

Over the last nine months, LMI has worked with Seawall to assess the feasibility of a proposed redevelopment plan. As our nation’s oldest continuously operating market, we know Lexington Market is an essential part of the Baltimore experience. Now, with community support and participation, we will begin writing the next chapter in its storied history. LMI’s Board — with support of the Mayor and City Council – will engage Seawall Development to refine the redevelopment plan in order to: (a) ensure the financial viability of the market project and its operations; (b) right-size the market; (c) incorporate sustainability and clean energy features; (d) reopen Lexington Street for pedestrian use and farmers markets; and (e) preserve and renovate the east market structure for potential new uses that strengthen the market and neighborhood.

LMI and Seawall will be working to gather community input into the design and operation of the future market properties. Seawall believes that re-imagined, the real estate industry can be used to empower communities, unite our cities and help launch powerful ideas that create massive movements: they listen first and build second. All of their projects have been driven by community demand, shaped by constant outside feedback; and, Lexington Market will be no exception.

Essential to the City’s priority of revitalizing our neighborhoods is attracting the level of investment that will truly enhance the quality of life of all residents. Lexington Market is one of our City’s most iconic neighborhood markets and the City is committed to creating an environment that reflects the needs and desires of the community, while re-imagining all that City markets can and should be for those who depend on them.

LMI, thanks to City and State funding and its own capital funds, has raised more than $17 million towards this project. By implementing cost saving measures, the total cost of the new market is estimated to be in the range of $30 to $40 million, significant less than previously budgeted concepts. The City is supporting LMI’s request for federal financing for project as well as solicitations for other potential financial resources needed to fund the project.

LMI has authorized Seawall to start working on community outreach, architectural designs, additional funding, and construction documents immediately. Seawall is eager to engage with the Market’s vendors, patrons, and neighbors, listening to their ideas and desires, and learning from their expertise. Beginning this week, Seawall will be engaging Market vendors to initiate the process of bringing tenant voice and perspective into the redevelopment process. After a year of concerted listening and dialogue with all of the Market’s core stakeholders, LMI’s intent is to break ground in late 2019 or early 2020.

“Lexington Market is the City’s market and every stakeholder – vendors, patrons, and neighbors – matters. We are beyond honored to have been selected and we look forward to working with the entire city to help transform Lexington Market,” said Thibault Manekin, a partner with Seawall.

LMI is also announcing, today, the issuance of a Request for Proposals for the west parcel block, owned by the City but leased by LMI. The block is bordered by Paca, Saratoga, Greene, and Lexington streets. LMI hopes to attract market-rate offers to lease and redevelop the site. LMI intends to require the winning bidder to preserve LMI’s existing net profit from the site, preserve a certain number of parking spaces for LMI’s use, to share future financial gains with LMI, and to create a project that benefits the neighborhood.

The transformation of this important public space and the continuance of the long and cherished tradition of Lexington Market’s operation will have a major impact on the revitalization of Baltimore. The design will be faithful to its history and honor its extraordinary legacy.