Hampden Hawker: Hampden Real Estate: Dreams v. Reality

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hampden Real Estate: Dreams v. Reality

Here's one for you:

Hampden Food Market was recently offered $600,000 CASH for the building, but they said no.

They're holding out for $1,000,000.

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22 Comments:

At 12:36 PM, Anonymous westside said...

who even offered 600k for it?

 
At 2:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh come on. That "market" has a liquor license and comes with poker machines. How could it not be worth a cool mill?

 
At 2:07 PM, Blogger Miss Ruby Ruin said...

To westside:

That, I don't know. Just heard about the offer through a reliable source.

 
At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Ron said...

it's an attempt to get the locals off the avenue
bullshit

 
At 9:27 AM, Anonymous westside said...

Frankly, the market isn't exactly much of an asset to Hampden in its current form. I'd love to see it become a Trader Joes (yes, this is one chain I'd welcome with open arms to the Ave or any other place it wanted to be in Hampden) or something similar.

 
At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'd love to see it become a Trader Joes"

I'm sure you would. Why leave even one store on the Avenue that old Hampden people feel comfortable shopping in? I totally agree with Ron.

 
At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hampden Market is owned by "locals." They are voluntarily selling the business (as I understand it because they got sick of getting busted for poker machine violations).

So how exactly is that an attempt to get "locals" off the Avenue?

Many of the businesses on the Avenue are locally owned. Many are patronized regularly by those who live in the area.

How is that an attempt to get locals off the Avenue?

There are still several other places for people to play poker machines, buy liquor and cigarettes and cans of 2 year old food and play Keno and Lotto on the street.

So how is that an attempt to get locals off the Avenue?

Sometimes, Ron, it is best to think about what we say before we open our mouths instead of letting our own paranoid insecurity betray our ignorance and encouraging some childish Us vs. Them mentality that really only exists in a very small fraction of Hampden's population despite it being fostered by the Hampden Community Council.

And yes, I'm a local.

As for Trader Joes, they will not open in the city. I personally have talked to store managers, district managers and corporate on several occasions (as there have been rumors before of Trader Joe's opening in the area), and they have said each and every time that it is not in their business plan to move into the city.

So, instead of Trader Joe's, Westside, why not a locally owned/operated organic farmers market? How awesome would that be?

 
At 10:42 AM, Anonymous westside said...

That would be pretty awesome if such a store could offer competitive pricing and selection.

My ultimate desire is just to see Hampden be a community where everyone here, old, young, and in between, can obtain 95% of the goods and services they need all within walking distance.

 
At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Ron said...

"those who live in the area"
not what I meant by "locals." i should have said "natives." my bad.
there is a big difference between the tight-pants-wearing dudes in volkswagons and the yuppies and REAL hampdenites. i'm just saying.

how is it an attempt to get rid of the natives?

if you were around fifteen years ago, you'd remember when the avenue was where you could get things you needed like groceries, etc. all the stuff that is up there now is not a MAINSTREET. it's a mall. don't get me wrong. i enjoy the avenue now. but having at least one place left from the old days would be nice.

oh, yeah. irony. like anyone could get rid of the natives in hampden. we've all been here for generations. a lot of us, anyway.

thanks for being ignorant:
"Sometimes, Ron, it is best to think about what we say before we open our mouths instead of letting our own paranoid insecurity betray our ignorance and encouraging some childish Us vs. Them mentality that really only exists in a very small fraction of Hampden's population despite it being fostered by the Hampden Community Council."

i did indeed think before i opened my mouth. i am not being paranoid, nor could any reasonable person think that is what i meant. you are projecting. maybe YOU should think before typing, or, rather, think less. indeed, most of what you attibute to my sentence and a half is something you seem to have in your head. what do you take me for, some uneducated idiot? or have you beef against the natives and feel guilty enough about it that you have to characterize us as paranoid us-vs-them types?

thanks for making it you-vs-me. that's productive. see the type of crap you have me typing now?

and you are incorrect. the mentality you refer to exists in a somewhat large faction of the population of native hampdenites. sure, no one knows about this on the avenue and in cafe' hon, but it still exists.

WESTSIDE:
"My ultimate desire is just to see Hampden be a community where everyone here, old, young, and in between, can obtain 95% of the goods and services they need all within walking distance."

it used to be that way. before we got "saved" by the cafe' hon lady, that was what hampden was like. which is not to say it used to be a nice place or that it was not full of a lot of racists. it was just a walkable, self-contained neighborhood. for better or worse.

antique stores -- that is what we need more of now. totally.

p.s. screw the the Hampden Community Council. self-important wankers.

 
At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Ron said...

call me paranoid, but i misspelled attribute. sorry. hopefully trader joe's will sell dictionaries.

 
At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want "competitive pricing and selection" there is both the SuperFresh and the soon be be greatly expanded Giant.

If you want competitive pricing and selection, you most likely aren't shopping organic in the first place. (I make a joke. And I say that as a frequent shopper of SuperFresh, Trader Joes and Whole Foods.)

"My ultimate desire is just to see Hampden be a community where everyone here, old, young, and in between, can obtain 95% of the goods and services they need all within walking distance."

What exactly does this mean? Are you referring to the good old days when the Avenue had a Dollar Store, a G.C. Murphy and a Salvation Army? All of these businesses left Hampden either of their own accord (Salvation Army has a business plan that involves them closing locations in the city and opening locations in the counties closer to Targets and Wal-Marts - they were not forced out of the Ave. - they simply didn't want to be here anymore) or because the community no longer supported them (GC Murphy went bankrupt - they were not run out, Hampden simply stopped shopping there). These businesses left the neighborhood because they didn't think it was a viable community to be in. And that was most likely not a personal decision, but a business decision.

Those dollar stores were parasitic businesses that failed because of irresponsible management in one case (frequently closed for long stretches of time), and not enough business in the other for they're poorly stocked shelves of expired goods made in China.

So what exactly are you saying?

What needs are not currently being met within walking distance? Maybe I'm missing something.

I live in Hampden, and I can walk to everything I need. Moreso than any other neighborhood I've lived in in Baltimore (and I've lived in several) - I rarely have to leave Hampden for anything.

And before you say cheap socks & Underwear, please keep in mind that Sandy's, now back on the Avenue (as I believe Hawker previously reported) in a larger storefront, offers cheap socks and underwear.

So what needs aren't being met? Especially when you compare Hampden to other communities like Charles Village, Fells Point, Canton, Mt. Vernon, Mt. Washington, etc.

We have 2 grocery stores. We have at least 3 pharmacies. We now have 3 cafes. Hell, we have a movie theatre! We have numerous restaurants, several bars, a library, a community center, a family center, 2 parks on either side of us, several schools, 3 bookstores, a record store, a videostore, we can get Mexican food, Korean/Japanese fusion, Chinese, Indian carryout, greasy diner food, organic food, we can buy cheap liquor or fancy wine. We have heating/plumbing services. We have pet care. We have fast food, we have convenience stores.

More than any other neighborhood I can think of in Baltimore City, Hampden has it pretty damn good comparatively. We have a lot more than other neighborhoods.

Now, there are always other things that would be nice. An organic farmers market would be nice. But there's also Mill Center that offers locally grown, organic goods right around the corner, so it's not impossible to get to. Personally, I'd like to see more bars and restaurants.

But tell me, what exactly is Hampden lacking that other city neighborhoods have? I mean, I aside from Chipotle, Barnes & Noble, Panera Bread, Austin Grille?

Seriously, Hamdpen has it pretty freaking good, which is one of the reasons why I love the neighborhood.

I often suspect when people say things like "I just want a Hampden that offers something for everyone in the community" usually what I find they mean is that they want more of what they want. That's a completely different argument, to which I usually respond, keep your eye open for a "For Rent" sign and open one up.

That or they simply are afraid of/don't like change.

 
At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron, please see my comments above. It was in response to Westside, but it covers some of what you were saying to.

Your "locals" to mean "natives" comment is discriminatory.

People in tight pants are just as much a part of this community as the dudes who walk around all summer with no shirts on and the teen mothers how verbally abuse their children in the streets.

And I have been here for over 20 years. And I remember a period of time between what you describe as Hamdpen's glory days of G.C Murphy's and electronics stores, even a Little Tavern, etc (all of which closed or went out of business in Hampden because the community could not support/sustain them) and the new stores that have opened over the past 15 years as time with blight, litter, rundown streets, open prostitution, open drug sales and drug use.

Hampden still has these problems, mostly because many of the very same "natives" you enoble treat the neighborhood like a dump.

As for the Cafe Hon and the Antique stores, yes. Not everyone likes them. And actually, I don't really see many of the tight pants crowd that you seem to dislike going to the Hon there either.

But I will say this, some of these antique stores have been in the neighborhood a long time. And others are very new. And the ones that are very new took over spaces that were sitting blighted and vacant.

Would you rather have a couple of antique stores or blacked out store fronts? Cuz honestly, once GC Murphy left and Salvation Army (because the Hampden community couldn't support them adequately), they weren't coming back.

I think it's funny that some people are annoyed by/feel threatened by the presence of the Tight Pants kids, and other people are put off by the presence of the Long White T-Shirt gangsta (who a lot of people mean when they say locals).

I think everyone that lives here, tight pants or white-t shirter, 5 year resident, 20 year resident, life long resident, renter, home owner, all has and equal right to be in the neighborhood. And I've never heard a single business owner or tight panters say they want to get rid of the "locals/natives" except when they use that to mean drug dealers/junkies/prostitutes. And by get rid of, I think what they mean is to encourage them to partake in more legal endeavors.

At least we agree on the HCC though. Maybe we could use that as common ground and move forward.

 
At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Ron said...

"Your "locals" to mean "natives" comment is discriminatory."

how? being specific is discriminatory now? i was not discriminating against locals who are not from hampden. i like their money. seriously, though, it's nice to see non-white crackers around hampden. i'm not joking about that at all.


i never said hampden had "glory days." that would be a fairytale. why do you keep putting words in my mouth?


i never "enobled" the natives. i believe i called them ractist.


"I think everyone that lives here, tight pants or white-t shirter, 5 year resident, 20 year resident, life long resident, renter, home owner, all has and equal right to be in the neighborhood."

sans your projection of i-don't-know-what onto me, there is no way that can be directed against me because i neither said nor implied the contrary.

i think you're getting me wrongly, which may be my fault. the problem is not always natives beefing on the new kids. it's the other way around, to a large degree that might get rough, if hampden boys weren't mostly just talkers in long white shirts. LOL

 
At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what you mean by a "non-white cracker".

And to immediately assume that "locals" means only those born and raised in Hampden, and not those who live in Hamdpen reveals a bias. It's not a racist one. Didn't mean to imply that.

And from my vantage point, what I've seen are packs of "native" kids attacking, harassing, mocking, and mugging the kids in the tight pants.

Don't get me wrong, they attack each other with remarkable regularity too.

But I've seen "natives" yell things at a variety of people they don't think are like them. I've seen lesbians harassed for holding hands. I've had gay friends leave the neighborhood because they were tired of being harassed. I've seen latinos chased down the street by "natives" with 2x4s. I've seen blacks verbally assaulted for daring to walk through Hampden.

I've been drinking in Frijoles when a "new kid" came in with face all bloody because a pack "natives" jumped him and beat him up as he got off his scooter.

I've been eating at the Golden West Cafe on a crowded busy weekend night, only to have natives regularly walk by and bang loudly on the windows to startle everyone.

I've been in Zissimos when tightpants drinkers were refused service ("can I have a beer?" "Sorry, we just ran out of beer. Try Frazier's.") I've been in Fraziers when "natives have attacked tightpantsers.

Hell, I even got caught up in a crazy street fight outside of Frazier's one night because I happened to be walking home when a bunch of "natives" attacked a bunch of tightpantsers.

Man, I sound like an alcoholic.

So maybe we have had different experiences, but from what I've seen (and I could list at least 50 such stories), the tightpants kids just want to be left alone to smoke their American Spirits, drink their microbrews and listen to their neo-folkie bands in their ill-fitting clothes. Ha.

I can't recall seeing any "new kids beefing on the natives."

Doesn't mean it doesn't happen. I just haven't seen it - hence my perspective.

Sorry, I must have skipped over the part where you called natives racist.

Sorry if I was reading you wrong. There's just a lot of this silly us vs. them stuff going on that I really think doesn't much help the neighborhood. Mixed with an elementary schoolish - "We were here first" mentality. I am probably a little ready to pounce after hearing it from neighbors all the time.

 
At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Cuz honestly, once GC Murphy left and Salvation Army (because the Hampden community couldn't support them adequately), they weren't coming back."

I'm a bit confused. Did the Salvation Army own the building? I was under the impression that they left not due to lack of patronage, but because the rent was raised beyond a profit making margin. Wasn't the building then sold for almost a million dollars?

 
At 1:27 PM, Blogger Benn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 1:29 PM, Blogger Benn said...

From what I understand, Salvation Army did not own the building. But they were not forced out either. Their lease came up and they opted not to renew.

If you'll notice, you'll be hard-pressed to find any Salvation Armies left in the city anymore. (I believe there may be 1 or 2 left.)

It was part of their publicly announced new business plan to go after the Wal-mart crowd. In the counties.

They were not forced out, they opted out.

There seems to be a myth that they they were subject to rent inflation, but this is simply not the case with Salvation Army.

As for the building being sold for a million dollars, seems a bit pricey - especially considering the work that the new owners put in to restore the facade to that of the old Ideal Theatre.

 
At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Ron said...

i meant that it is nice that there are people on the avenue who are not just white crackers, not a non-white cracker as a specific entity.

i did originally mis-use "locals" when i meant "natives" for which i apologize.

i have never experienced the new kids actually start a fight with the natives, just a weird vibe.

a vibe that is not without its reason.

i grew up in hampden, and i personally loathe a lot of the natives (which is not to say ALL, since i count a number of fellow hampden natives as friends and family). when i was a kid, it was mostly talk. they'd get their "boys" while you got yours, and everyone would talk shit about "banking you in da mouf" (i never learned how banKing and banGing were different, if at all). unless you were a black kid on a bike, you were usually not going to get hit. that the natives have moved on to actually assaulting people is really alarming to me. i don't travel alone in hampden at night because i probably don't look like a native, and they will usually not mess with you if they are outnumbered. but with what's been going on, that might change, too.

that said, hampden is definitely safer than a lot of other parts of the city.

 
At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're in tightpants. How tuff can they be? Haha!

And thanks for the clarification. I see now we actually agree more than we disagree!

 
At 5:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amidst this "discussion" I read Indian takeout. Where might that be?

 
At 6:01 PM, Blogger Miss Ruby Ruin said...

Philly's Best at 101 W. 36th features Indian food along with cheesesteaks. It's really a take-out place, though there are a couple of tables. Folks give it mixed reviews, but Hawker's actually planning on getting samosas from there tonight to round out the Indian main dish she's making at home!

 
At 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess Im a bit pessimistic about that place since being from Philly originally and trying their ch.steak once, was quiet enough. It would be nice to have some good Indian on the Ave but Im guessing (and I could be wrong) that that isn't the place to pull it off.

 

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