Community, Hopkins Set To Meet on Proposed Olmsted Lot Development
Some community members are upset the project’s developer is considering a grocery store competing with Eddie’s Market of Charles Village.
JoAnn Robinson, who has lived in the Charles Village and Abell communities since 1966, said Eddie’s Market of Charles Village is more than just a local business.
So she and several other residents were alarmed when a developer chosen by Johns Hopkins University to build on the vacant Olmsted Lot at 33rd and St. Paul streets floated the idea of building a grocery store across the street from Eddie’s Market.
"We all just consider Eddie’s an extension of our families. We’ve all shopped there for years," Robinson said.
Residents will have a chance to discuss the project with Johns Hopkins University representatives during a community meeting at 7 p.m., Tuesday at Sts. Philip and James Catholic Church, 2801 N. Charles St.
Jerry Gordon, the owner of Eddie’s, previously told Patch he is worried about the impact a new grocery store would have on his business.
"If a big store came in there it would be very detrimental," Gordon said.
A recent market analysis, done for the neighboring Waverly Main Street master plan, supports Gordon’s concerns. The analysis, done by Mahan Rykiel and Associates, reported that there wasn’t a need for a new full-scale grocer in the 21218 zip code.
Dennis O’Shea, a spokesman for the university, said last month the project will involve community input.
"The developer is exploring a wide variety of possible uses. These options will be discussed with many stakeholders, including the community, before decisions are made. All of us want this Charles Village site to be an asset to the community," O'Shea said in an emailed statement from February.
Robinson, who is part of a group of residents called the Eddie’s Market Steering Committee, said that she is looking forward to discussing the project with Hopkins.
"I hope that it will open up some very creative thinking together, and brainstorm new ideas that would make truly transformative retail up on the Olmsted lot,” Robinson said.
In February, Johns Hopkins announced that it had hired Armada Hoffler to develop the site. The lot has sat vacant for several years after Struever Bros., Eccles and Rouse were unable to build on the lot as planned following the economic collapse of 2008.
Shortly after the developer sold the land to Hopkins, which built a building with dorms, office space and a Barnes & Noble across the street from the vacant lot.