(UPDATE 3:57 p.m.)—The developers of the Johns Hopkins University owned lot at 33rd and St. Paul streets are interested in including a grocery store in the planned development—an alarming proposal for a locally owned grocer across the street.
Jerry Gordon, owner of Eddie’s Market of Charles Village, said he recently learned during a conference call with Hopkins officials that developer Armada Hoffler was considering including a grocery store in its plans for the lot.
"If a big store came in there it would be very detrimental," Gordon said.
Eddie’s Market has been in Charles Village for 50 years, and Gordon said he’s worried that run could come to an end if a new store is developed across the street.
But Gordon, along with Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke and a group of Charles Village residents, are making their objections known to the university.
A letter from Gordon, residents and Clarke is expected to be delivered to Johns Hopkins University’s President Ronald J. Daniels office, explaining their concerns that including a grocery store in the proposed development could harm a neighborhood institution.
"I’m very optimistic because I’ve been assured by the people who live in Charles Village that they’re standing behind us 100 percent," Gordon said.
Clarke said that she was surprised that Hopkins would even consider including a grocery store in that development because residents made it clear when Struever Bros., Eccles and Rouse initially proposed a mixed-use development on the site several year ago they did not want any retail that would hurt local businesses.
"[Gordon] realizes that he has to reach out to and fight for his business now, before anyone signs anything on the dotted line," Clarke said.
The university announced earlier this month that it has selected Armada Hoffler as the developer of the lot, which has sat vacant for years since the university purchased the land after Struever Bros. was unable to bring the development to fruition.
In an emailed statement from Dennis O'Shea, a Hopkins spokesman, said the announcement of the project's development team was less than a month ago and that they will begin to discuss with the community project directions.
"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's statement reads.