by Rachel Sams
Financing the redevelopment of Brewers Hill in Canton led Mercantile Bank & Trust directly to its next new branch site. Mercantile hopes to open a branch in Brewers Hill by mid-2006, pending Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. approval, officials confirmed.
“It’s another piece in the redevelopment of Baltimore City,” Kenneth Bourne, president of Mercantile Bank & Trust, said of Brewers Hill. “We were happy to have been involved, and we’re happy to be a tenant.”
As area residents flock to neighborhoods like Canton, and industrial sites become high-end shops and condominiums, service providers are following.
Mercantile isn’t the only old-economy firm taking space in funky Brewers Hill, the office and retail project in two former breweries where Baltimore’s beloved National Bohemian beer was once made. The project’s first tenants included Baltimore-based Elder Health, which provides health care to Medicare beneficiaries, and insurance giant MetLife Inc.
The Brewers Hill location would be the bank’s first new branch within city limits in years. Mercantile felt it needed a location in East Baltimore because of the area’s growth, and the bank knew the Brewers Hill site’s strengths well, Bourne said.
The bank must conform to Brewers Hill’s historical redevelopment standards — but will still be able to have one drive-through window, Bourne said.
Mercantile helped to finance the development work at Brewers Hill by Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse and Obrecht Commercial Real Estate, Bourne said, but declined to divulge the amount the bank provided. He also declined to disclose how much the bank expects to pay for its new branch space.
Gail Chrzan, a CB Richard Ellis broker representing the landlords at Brewers Hill, could not be reached for comment.
Mercantile Bank & Trust is one of the community banking subsidiaries of $16 billion asset Mercantile Bankshares Corp.