Finding a space

From Baltimore Node Wiki
Jump to navigationJump to search

Search criteria

Price range

Less than $1000 a month, initially.

Ideal locations

Close to public transportation, near active culture. In the interest of safety, a neighborhood in which we won't attract negative attention.

Must have

  • At least 100 amps of 110v, preferably 300+ amps with options for 220v and three phase.
  • Bathroom, either part of the space or in the building... and it should work at least 9 times out of 10.
  • A neighborhood in which members feel safe coming and going.
  • Reasonable security including high-security locks. Must be able to secure windows at ground level.

Nice to have

  • 2,000 to 25,000 square feet stand-alone, zoned for mixed use.
  • Target of $0.50 to $1.00 per square foot total monthly cost.
  • Heavy power (400 amps or more, 3-phase).
  • Open flex floor plan.
  • Fenced back yard or secured side area for working on large projects.
  • Secured storage.
  • Roll-up door from yard into building for vehicle projects.
  • Nice enough area that a parent would drop off their children for classes, and feel safe if we offered intro to electronics projects classes.
  • Loading dock

Can't have

  • Heavy lead paint (ANY lead paint)
  • Asbestos
  • Limited ventilation options
  • No working plumbing
  • More than X hours of work required before move-in, where X is dependent on member availability.
  • Extremely high security risk.

Legal / insurance / zoning considerations


Location types

  • Church - Generally large open spaces, plus some office/residential space available. Sometimes includes parking.
  • Bank
  • Library
  • School - The following recommended for closing after 2008/2009 school year:
    • Highlandtown Middle #43
    • Harlem Park Middle #78
    • Dr. Roland N. Patterson, Sr. Academy #82
    • Elmer A. Henderson Elementary #101
    • Southwestern High School #412
    • Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy #429
    • August Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts #430
    • Renaissance Academy #433
    • Dr. Samuel L. Banks High School #420
    • Academy of Career and College Exploration #427
      • What kind of organization has the financial capacity to buy a school. Seriously!? Abachman 04:41, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Light Industrial - could be "easy" to find cheap space in a light industrial area, but it's very likely to be highly isolated (that's a negative).
  • Garages — Garage bays are very cheap, have large doors, and offer modular space. It might be possible to lease several neighboring garages for additional space. On the other hand, there is unlikely to be running water or bathroom facilities and heating/cooling could be problematic.
  • Store front — A store front would give us more visibility in the community, be easy to find, and invite passersby to see what we're up to. The price per square foot is likely to be higher than other location types.
  • Residential home — An entire town house would yield a lot of space with a kitchen and bathroom facilities. Neighbors might be upset with noise and lot of activity around the space. Wood and metal working could do damage to a residential interior. Closed or tight rooms may add a high uncomfortability/poor personal space factor.
  • Warehouse — Lots of cheap space where we can be noisy and messy. Bathrooms and plumbing could be dodgy and kitchens are unlikely. Warehouses tend to be out the way and more difficult to find for people unfamiliar with the location.

Possible Leads

Google Map showing all leads (Anyone can add markers to this map, try to keep it in sync with the table below)

In order to separate signal from noise, please add entries to the appropriate table.


Sortable table
Address Contact Info Description Square feet Monthly rent price / square foot (monthly) Links Contacted by us?
Load of Fun - 120 North Ave (Station North Arts District) Sherwin Kelly has email One big room, currently used as theater. See tour notes on LoadOfFun. ~700 (18.5' x 36.75') $600 $0.97 About Load of Fun pics 3d rendering Yes (Kelly + 7)
1015 hillen st, 21202 Mike 443-854-1310 Very nice 1st floor warehouse located in East Baltimore. Approximately 1500 Sq. Ft. 10’ ceilings, kitchen with dishwasher and sink but no stove and bath. Central Air/Heat, small 5’ wide overhead door (See photos). Zoning ok for Beauty Salon, Artisan's and Craft work, Battery & Tire sales, Dry Cleaners, Laundries, Photographer, Sign Shop, Printing, Upholstery, Warehouse, Wholesale, Retail Etc. ~1250 $750 $0.60 Craigslist AdOutside Street view, 1015 Hillen Notes Yes (Patrick + 3)
Address (copy and paste this row when you add) contact description square feet rent price / sq ft links contacted

Not considering due to high cost, location, or lack of contact

Sortable table
Address Contact Info Description Square feet Monthly rent price / square foot (monthly) Links Contacted by us?
1442 Fleet St. 410-866-8088 Fells Point Futon Factory, Zoned M3. Landlord would prefer to rent the whole building. See notes for more details 15,000 4 floors (~3750 1 floor) $8000 (~$2000) $0.53 Pics Notes Patrick + 4
463 E 33rd Street 21218 (Charles Village) Mr. David (410-653-0900) Former Blockbuster, so one big room. 4133 $4000 $0.97 ? Yes (Avery Boyce)
2980 Falls road (Hampden/Remington) Krauss Real Property Brokerage (410-329-9898) There are some tenants there now. Nice location on a bike route. Right above Ruintown and below an artist studio 1300 1300 $1.00 pics No
3500 Ash Street Preller Properties 410-235-7891 There's a big banner hanging on the building advertising Industrial/Commercial space. Preller Properties / Hilltop Mgt. has a few sites in Hampden that might be interesting. Left fairly generic message 6/29/09. 1000 - 5000 ? ? ? Yes (Avery Boyce)
920 Cathedral Street Mandy Lippman 301-770-2007 office 301-770-0898 cell two story, 5 bay garage, townhouses, parking spaces. Buildings are in "rough shape", Mandy is interested in doing a deal. Garage space or attached row houses are both possibilities. Said $1000 might be a little low, but would consider $1500 for two story garage space, potential for splitting with other groups. Adjacent to the Waxter Center, which may be redeveloped 8800 ? ? ? Yes (Avery Boyce)
432 E 32nd St David, owner (410-653-0900) Former Halal grocery store, so one room with half-finished basement. Power for industrial freezers etc. Bathroom in basement. Nice storefront on 32nd street, close to other stuff and parking. No outdoor space, only front door entrance, air conditioning but no info on additional ventilation. 1000 $1500 $1.50 pic Yes (Jon Lesser & Avery)
Around corner from Charles Theatre, Kelly Egan has address contact description 450-500 750 1.66 pic Yes (Kelly Egan)
20 N Eutaw Former club "The Tunnel" Current tax assessment ~$1m 55,000 available
506 N. Howard Mayfair Theater. City Owned. Probably no roof. (Beautiful facade, Definitely no roof -JL)
1002 N Eden St Ida Allred (410) 276-2772 SCOPE sale $29,900 ? ? ? ? ?
1518-1536 W. Baltimore St Chris Cooke 443.802.2728 Warehouse, 8 car parking, loading dock, office space w/ conference area, loft. 10,000+ offered at $3,500/mo. Negotiate! $.35 or less listing yes
2334 Guilford Ave Steve 202-320-1000 Negotiate! 5300 $2000/mo $.38
Address (copy and paste this row when you add) contact description square feet rent price / sq ft links contacted

Incomplete Listings

Sortable table
Address Contact Info Description Square feet Monthly rent price / square foot (monthly) Links Contacted by us?
301 E 29th Street Mark B Carp. 410-539-1333 Complete building with for sale sign. Has been for sale for a very long time, perhaps they're open to renting. The first floor is commercial with an unoccupied residence on the second and third floor. Right across the street from Barclay Elementary/Middle School. ? ? ? ? ?
720 S Montford ave April Love Raimond, Prudential Carruthers Realtors 443-474-4404 For sale (Guessing South, not North -JL) ? ? ? ? ?
1534 Fleet St. meatP Real Estate 443-630-9507 Three Floors (1000 sq/ft per floor) ? ? ? ? ?
3205 Fait Ave 410-935-2817 For sale ? ? ? ? ?
2713 North Point Blvd 410-592-6300 ? ? ? ? ?
Catonsville 410-979-0856 ? ? ? ? ?
Unknown 410-592-6300 ? ? ? ? ?
Essex 410-592-6300 ? ? ? ? ?
118 N Liberty
1600 Bush St
201 S. Central Ave
170 S. Central Ave
3 N. Central Ave
1601 Warner City Owned
Address (copy and paste this row when you add) contact description square feet rent price / sq ft links contacted

Questions for a Potential Landlord

  • What power is available?
    • Amps, 120v vs (what is it the big one?)
  • What kind of utilities are included (wireless, water, electric)?
  • What is the approx cost of utilties?
  • Can we weld, cut, grind materials in here?
  • Do we have roof access? Can we put antennas on the roof?
  • Policies regarding alcohol
    • Closest source of pizza/beer?
  • Lease length. Early termination fee?
  • Security deposit, first/last months rent?
  • Policy on number of keyholders?
    • Cost for key duplication?
  • Is liability insurance required, if so how much?
  • Hours we can access?
  • What are the neighbors like?
  • Bathroom facilities/water access (slop sink?)
  • What kind of alterations to the space are allowed?


Online Industrial Real Estate Search

Letter to potential landlords

should express who we are and what we seek to do in an extremely positive and socially uplifting light. the word "hacker" should be deemphasized.


We're hoping for something in the range of 500 - 20000 ft^2, amenable to being used as light industrial/technological workspace. A garage or something similar would be best.

The goal of Baltimore Node is to build a membership based, non-profit open creative space where folks can hold classes, attend workshops, and generally geek out on hardware and electronics. A few examples are: