| Follow Us:

Kid-centric : Development News

21 Kid-centric Articles | Page: | Show All

Ice cream store the Charmery opens in Hampden

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream on the Avenue in Hampden.
The Charmery opened at 801 W. 36th St. at the former location of the Chestnut Pharmacy July 20. The 1,400 square-foot, 15-seat store offers 16 flavors of ice cream made onsite, waffle cones and a dipping station. Flavors include Old Bay Caramel, Md. Mud and Lemon Stick. The Fat Elvis is a mixture of peanut butter and bananas. Other treats include vegan sorbets, homemade sodas and root beer floats. The Charmery will serve homemade hot chocolate in the winter.
Canton residents David and Laura Alima say they thought Hampden’s main drag was an ideal spot for an ice cream shop because there aren’t many other ice cream places in the area. The couple was also impressed with how supportive the neighborhood is of local businesses. 

The Alimas make most of their ice cream, brownies and cookies from local ingredients, like dairy, eggs and butter from Trickling Springs Creamery

It was always the couple’s dream to open an ice cream shop. The pair would visit area ice cream shops and carry a “black book” filled with ideas, Laura Alima says. Her husband attended the Frozen Dessert Institute in Missouri, which offers a course on running an ice cream store. Laura Alima will keep her job as marketing director for Timonium catering company Chef’s Expressions
The Alimas say they made a “substantial” investment in the shop, funded by a small business loan and personal savings. They signed a 10-year lease for the space and will employ nine part-time. The pair are applying for an outdoor seating license.
Writer: Jolene Carr
Source: David and Laura Alima, owners of Charmery

New $1.75M go-kart speedway racing into Howard County

A new indoor go-kart racetrack is pulling into Howard County May 3.  Autobahn Indoor Speedway LLC is building two Grand Prix-style tracks and Formula One-inspired Italian-style electric cars that can go as fast as 50 miles per hour.

General Manager Bill Harris says the company is spending $1.75 million to lease and renovate the Jessup building, buy the go-karts and mechanical equipment and install technology. Autobahn leased the 60,000-square-foot building in January and will complete its renovations this month.

Harris says it chose the site because of its proximity to Columbia, Washington, D.C, and Greater Baltimore. Research shows that customers will come as far as 25 miles to come to a go-kart racetrack. 
The speedway is the first facility of the corporate Autobahn Indoor Speedway, based in Tampa, Florida. There is an indoor go-kart facility in White Marsh, Baltimore County, that is not affiliated with Autobahn Indoor Speedway. Grand Prix is a style of racing that customers will recognize. Harris says that two of the partners in the corporation were from this area and suggested it as a site.
The facility has a 50,000-square foot racetrack area, with the remaining space divided among spectator areas, a meeting room that seats 40 and a party room that seats 20.  While individuals can purchase race tickets, the marketing effort is geared toward birthday parties and corporate events. The speedway is also setting up a racing league with cash prizes. 
“One of the reasons we selected this area is because there are so many corporate businesses and regional offices in the private sector, government agencies and military installations like Fort Meade,” says Harris, who says that the speedway has already booked a number of corporate events for May and June.
The speedway has 50 go-karts, of which 10 are “junior karts,” for children. Outdoor go-kart racing is a popular sport but indoor racing has been limited by the fact that go-karts are gas-powered.
“That doesn't lend itself to an indoor sport but recently a way was found to convert the go-karts to electric,” says Harris. 
Autobahn Indoor Speedway has a staff of 20 at its Jessup location. Harris says the goal is to generate $2 million per year in sales during its first 12 months of operation.
Writer: Barbara Pash
Source: Bill Harris, Autobahn Indoor Speedway LLC

Doggie daycare center opening in Canton

A new daycare in Canton will invite your four-legged children to sit, stay and play.
Dogtopia of Canton will open at the end of April. The 7,000-square-foot space above Ace Hardware will feature three playrooms for small, medium and large dogs.
Manager Becky Reece says the company will open more stores in the city and that the Canton location is a test run. Dogtopia Canton will have four or five playroom attendants and three shift managers.
Reece, owner of pups Aysha and Isabelle, says the neighborhood seemed like an ideal spot because it is pet friendly. The doggie daycare will be located at 2706 O’Donnell St., within walking distance of the Canton Dog Park.
The first Dogtopia opened in Tysons Corner, Va., in 2002. There are currently 22 locations, most of which are franchises. Dogtopia Canton will be the third Maryland location and the fifth company-owned store. Franchises cost between $275,000 and $476,000 in startup costs.
Dogtopia allows dogs to wrestle, chase and run while their owners are at work. “We give a piece of mind to dog owners who are gone long hours but still want their dogs to exercise and socialize. The dogs are nice and tired by the end of the day,” Reece says.
Dogtopia emphasizes interactions among dogs rather than dogs and staff. Customers will be able to bring their dog for the day, overnight or for a dog wash and shampoo. Dogtopia will charge $31 for a day pass with various discounts for multiple days. Overnight stays will cost $20 per night plus the daycare fee.
Dogtopia accepts canines of any size and age, and there are no breed restrictions. Each prospective dog has to undergo a “temperament evaluation” before acceptance into daycare.
Writer: Jolene Carr
Source: Becky Reece; manager of Dogtopia of Canton

Kilwins ice cream and dessert shop opening in Fells

Life is hectic but sweet for an Anne Arundel county couple opening Kilwins ice cream and dessert shop franchises in Fells Point and Anne Arundel County’s Crofton.

Dave and Karen Gilmore will open the 1,500-square-foot Fells Point shop in May at 1625 Thames St. Located at the former site of children’s clothing boutique the Corduroy Button, the 20-person shop will sell fresh chocolates, chocolate-dipped apples, fudge and ice cream. The Corduroy Button, an upscale children’s clothing store, has moved a few doors down to 1636 Thomas Street.

Karen Gilmore says the Fells Point store, which will be next to aMuse toys, should appeal to both families and tourists.

Just under 1,300 square feet, the Crofton location will employ between as many as 20 when it opens in April.

“The point of going to a Kilwins store is really to experience with all your five senses, with the sights of products being made in the store,” Gilmore says.

Michigan-based Kilwins has been expanding in recent years, and now has more than 80 stores. Its one Maryland store is in Annapolis, though some locals may be familiar with the shop from their vacations in Florida or Rehoboth Beach, Del.

“We weren’t worried about people not knowing the brand, and the quality of the product,” Gilmore says. “I’d say about three-quarters of the people we’ve talked with either already know about it, or are really excited about the fact that there will be one in their neighborhood.”

Opening a Kilwins' franchise costs $40,000 for the initial franchise fee. Equipment, promotions, real estate and other expenses can run nearly $500,000.
Writer: Amy Landsman
Source: Karen Gilmore, co-owner Kilwins in Fells Point and Waugh Chapel

Jewish Community Center Opening Federal Hill Branch

The Jewish Community Center of Baltimore is branching out to downtown Baltimore, opening a Federal Hill branch just for parents and kids. Opening Jan. 14, the center fills the void for city families who have long been frustrated by the lack of children’s gyms and other fun places for preschoolers’ downtown.

The JCC has leased 2,000 square-feet at 1118 Light St., between West and Cross Streets. The former office space will feature a drop-in playroom, a play area, a nursing room and a room that parents can rent for birthday parties.

 “We’ll have age appropriate toys and a clean, comfortable space that parents can come and have their kids play,” says JCC Family Program Coordinator Kim Jacobsohn. “Our goal is to create communities for families to connect with each other,” Jacobson says. “I’m very excited to finally be giving birth to this new project.”

The downtown branch joins the JCC’s two existing campuses in Park Heights and Owings Mills, both of which feature full-service fitness facilities and programing for all ages.

For the past five years or so, the JCC has been offering family programming in borrowed locations in Fells Point, Canton, and Federal Hill, and has long wanted a permanent place to call home.

“We decided to go to Federal Hill because we realized in Federal Hill there’s more likely to be a stay-at-home parent, or a parent who’s working from home, than other neighborhoods in downtown,” Jacobsohn says.

The first floor space is stroller accessible and members can park in a lot behind the building. Jacobsohn and a part-time program facilitator will staff the new facility.

The drop-in rate is $5 per child up to three times, after that, families are asked to join the Downtown JCC. The introductory membership rate is $50 a year.

The JCC is an educational, cultural and recreational agency. You do not have to be Jewish to become a member or sign up for a class.

The JCC will continue to offer its Hello Baby class for parents of newborns, and Infant Massage, in Fells Point and Canton. Other parent-child classes for babies and toddlers will move to the new location in Federal Hill.
Source: Kim Jacobsohn, JCC Family Program Coordinator
Reporter: Amy Landsman, [email protected]

Kids Clothing Store Relocates to Federal Hill

A boutique for fashionable youngsters has moved from Mount Vernon to Federal Hill, a neighborhood that the owner hopes will attract more shoppers.
Cottage Kidz Boutique opened for business Oct. 27 at 1129 Light St., the former location of Bobabooi's Treasure Chest. The move from 823 North Charles St. wasjust two days before Maryland started feeling the effects from Hurricane Sandy. Cottage Kidz assistant Phillip Hawthorne says shoppers were sparse during its first Saturday in Federal Hill when everyone was making Sandy preparations, but is now picking up.
Owner Kimberly Pitts believes her boutique is a better fit in Federal Hill. “There’s more kids here, and the traffic is much heavier,” Pitts says.
The boutique opened at its original location August 2009. The new location is about 1,000 square-feet, which is the same as the old one. Although there is no longer a play area, the Boutique now has a wall that young shoppers can doodle on with chalk.
Cottage Kidz sells apparel, footwear and accessories for kids toddlers through ‘tweens. The boutique also now carries baby clothing and brands like Bean Belt, Alpha Industries and True Religion. Merchandise runs from $10-$180.

Writer: Jolene Carr
Source: Kimberly Pitts, Cottage Kidz 

Group Fitness Studio Flexing its Way to Canton

Hoping to take its private training model to a wider group, a new fitness studio will open Oct. 15 in Canton.

Featuring yoga, pilates, Zumba, barre and classes for children, Inline Group Fitness will open in a 3,300 square-foot space at 720 S. Montford St, says owner Josh Kirk. The location is near Boston Street and Canton's Can Company.

Canton resident Kirk, who owns the business with his wife, started Inline Private Training in 2004 by offering individual and group fitness classes.The company's success led them to establish a larger, separate location for the group fitness division of the business. 

Kirk wants to address the fitness needs of children just don't exercise like they used to and need additional opportunities to get fit, he says. Of the 36 classes offered each week, seven classes will be targeted to children up to age 7. 

"Gym classes are cut way back anyway for the bigger kids, and TV, internet, and video games has cut down on playing outside for all ages – even the youngest. Most importantly kids need to build a relationship with their bodies through exercise that is not sports or play oriented, but enhances those activities and is still fun," Kirk says. 
Inline began as a movement in 2004 as a counter-approach to gym, sports, and boot camp style training that can create injuries and high dropout rates. Canton was selected as the location for the company's expansion because of the support from clientele in the area and the desire on the part of many residents to have a healthy, urban lifestyle, Kirk says.

Reservations for special series classes, including beginner yoga, prenatal yoga and children's ballet, have already begun.

Source: Josh Kirk, INLINE Group Fitness
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, [email protected]

Y Opens Childhood Development Center in Towson

The Y of Central Maryland has opened a new childhood development center in downtown Towson, replacing a 20-year-facility.

The Y is leasing the 6,100-square-foot space at 301 W. Chesapeake Ave., which was renovated by Timonium’s Obrecht Properties LLC. The new space houses six classrooms and can serve 80 children, ages two to five.

It is one of more 20 early childhood sites the Y operates, including Head Start programs, that serve more than 1,500 children. The move is one of several Y initiatives to expand resources for families throughout Central Maryland.

“We continuously look for ways to improve our curriculum and help young kids be better prepared to enter kindergarten,” Y Chief Marketing Officer Sara Milstein says.

Last year, the Y expanded its Carroll County facility and opened a new one in Parkville.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Sara Milstein, Y of Central Maryland

Living Classrooms Opening New Community Center

A community center providing services and programs for underserved families will open in a historic rehabilitated firehouse Thursday in the Perkins Homes community.

Called the P.O.W.E.R. House, which stands for Providing Opportunities to Work, Expand, and Rise, the community center is the latest facility created by the Living Classrooms Foundation. It is located at 316 S. Caroline St., just north of Fells Point.

With 688 units, Perkins Homes is one of the largest public housing developments in Baltimore City. Having a community center in the middle of Perkins Homes without having to travel outside of the neighborhood will be an asset, says Living Classrooms CEO James Piper Bond.

“It’s going to be a beacon of hope for the community, and we’re honored to lead the way,” Bond says.

The project is six years in the making, and a partnership between the public and private sectors. The house has received support from a variety of foundations and companies including Commercial Interiors and SunTrust Bank, Bond says.

Some of the amenities include multipurpose rooms for community meetings, after-school activities, a computer lab, and a financial literacy center. The Perkins Homes Tenant Council will also have an office in the space.

Living Classrooms will a offer after-school and summer programming on site for youth in education and career development, civic development, health and life skills and the arts.

The P.O.W.E.R. House is located within Living Classrooms’ Eastside Target Investment Zone, an initiative that seeks to provide opportunities and create safer neighborhoods for underserved communities through education and workforce development.

Writer: Alexandra Wilding
Source: James Piper Bond, Living Classrooms

National Pinball Museum Relocates to Baltimore

The National Pinball Museum is coming to Baltimore. Fans of pinball and classic game machines will soon have the chance to explore the museum's offerings at the Inner Harbor.
First opened in a retail center location in DC's Georgetown, the National Pinball Museum has opted to move into a new, larger space at Power Plant Live. The National Pinball Museum's new location in a sprawling 12,000 square foot space will offer owner David Silverman the opportunity to fully develop his concept for the facility.
The museum will display snippets of Silverman's collection of  more than 900 pinball machines. Displays ranging from historic French bagatelle style games to more modern games based on popular pop culture properties will allow games enthusiasts to explore the history of the classic game. The new National Pinball Museum will feature two floors of action, including playable “pay to play” machines of many varieties, party rooms and educational programs.
Tiffani Huskey, Director of Operations, adds, “The welcome we’ve received from Baltimore has been overwhelming. We are honored to become part of a community that values the art, history, and pastime of pinball. We’re looking forward to building partnerships with local organizations and businesses to launch our Education and Community Outreach Program as soon as possible.”
The original Georgetown location of the National Pinball Museum opened in 2010 and cost approximately $300,000. The new museum location is expected to be significantly more expensive. The National Pinball museum drew more than 6,000 visitors in its 9 months of operation, a number that the museum hopes to exceed in Baltimore.

Writer: Amy McNeal
Source: Tiffani Huskey,  National Pinball Museum

Dessert Shop and Cafe Opens in Federal Hill

Federal Hill has gotten a fresh jolt of sugar and java.

Afters Caf� opened this month at 1001 S. Charles St., serving up frozen yogurt, espresso, and pastries from Patisserie Poupon. Peter Hahn and his brother Andrew Hahn wanted to open a family-friendly place in the South Baltimore neighborhood.

"Me and my brother wanted to open a place where moms and kids can have some ice cream," Peter Hahn says. "There aren't that many places where you can take your kids."

Though the brothers live in Howard County, they wanted to open the business in the city to capitalize on the FroYo craze. And the market for that is already pretty saturated in Howard County.

Hahn says he tried to incorporate a contemporary design in the 25-seat restaurant to mimic the look and feel of European caf�s.

After spending six months in Italy last year, Hahn vowed to open a caf� like the ones he saw in Europe.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Peter Hahn, Afters

Living Classrooms, Corks' Jerry Pellegrino to Open Waterfront Restaurant

A restaurant with a waterfront view and seasonal menu will open by September at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park. Designed by Patrick Sutton, the 75-seat Vu at Living Classrooms will feature a menu crafted by Corks' Jerry Pellegrino and cost more than $900,000 to build.

Foundation staff are calling the Vu a "seed-to-plate" restaurant, because it will serve produce grown at Living Classrooms Foundation's after-school gardening program, says Richard Slingluff, the nonprofit's facilities manager. That program is known as Baltimore Urban Gardening With Students, or BUGS.

"We're excited to work with our students to get as much student-grown produce to be served at a high-end restaurant one block away," Slingluff says.

The first-floor restaurant will feature floor-to-ceiling windows facing the Domino Sugar factory and Fort McHenry, Living Classrooms CEO James Piper Bond says.

The restaurant will hopefully bring in revenue to support the maritime park, Bond says.

On Mondays, restaurant employees will provide hospitality and culinary training to Living Classrooms' students. The nonprofit oversees after-school and job training programs for at-risk youth.

"It's a beautiful space on the water," Pellegrino says. "How can you beat that?"

Writer: Julekha Dash
Sources: James Piper Bond, Richard Slingluff, Living Classrooms; Jerry Pellegrino, Corks

Midnite Confection's Cupcakery Slips Into Federal Hill

There's a new sweet spot in Baltimore's Federal Hill neighborhood. Midnite Confection's Cupcakery, brainchild of mother and son team Sandra and Aaron McNeil, opened its doors in October.

After finding her son busily baking one night just before the witching hour, attempting to satisfy his sweet tooth, mother and son teamed up to create several original recipes. They let their family and friends try them and were surprised when orders started coming in. The pair had been selling their cupcakes from their Prince George's County home before relocating their ovens to Baltimore.

"We were looking for an area to open our business that would be best for us. A friend of mine who lives in Federal Hill suggested the area. We came up looked at available properties. We kept our eye on the area to see if it was going in a positive direction. Everything looked good to us, we found a spot we thought was perfect and opened the shop," says Aaron McNeil who adds that he's planning on moving to Baltimore in the near future.

McNeil says the shop offers a variety of non-traditional cupcake flavors which will set it apart from other local cupcake retailers.

"We have six signature flavors and two specialty flavors every day. Other flavors can be pre-ordered. Our signature dozen includes vanilla, chocolate, carrot, lemon, and black velvet. Our vanilla cupcake is made with vanilla bean in the cake and icing. Our chocolate cupcake has a cream cheese and chocolate chip filling. We keep it basic for people who are no frills but like quality," he says.

The bakery also offers a line of "After Hours" cupcakes inspired by popular cocktails including, Mojitos, Fuzzy Navels, Pina Coladas and Kahluha and Cream.

Source: Aaron McNeil
Writer: Walaika Haskins

City Panel Approves $4.2M Design of New USS Constellation Visitor Center

It's been in the planning stages for 10 years. Now, it looks like this ship is almost ready to sail.

Baltimore City's Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel gave its final approval this month for a new Education and Heritage Center at the ship museum USS Constellation.

Now it just needs another $1.6 million in funding to open by spring 2012, Constellation Executive Director Christopher Rowsom says.  It's already gotten $2.6 million from federal, state and city government.

The new building will contain more extensive interpretative exhibits detailing what life was like on board the 19th century ship, Rowsom says.

Crafted by Museum Design Associates of Cambridge, Mass., the expanded exhibits will hopefully boost the city's cultural and heritage tourism promotions.

The exhibits will highlight the ship's role in fighting the African slave trade when it intercepted three slave ships from 1859 to 1861.

"Baltimore is a very historical place," Rowsom says. "We want to have everything interpreted and displayed properly."

Designed by W Architecture & Landscape Architecture of New York, the new wood-and-glass structure will be modern looking, Rowsom says.

At 12-feet high, the new visitors' center will be half the height of the current structure and won't block the view of other ships at the Inner Harbor, Rowsom says.

"It's not a very nice piece of architecture and it blocks the views of the ship," he says of the current education center.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Christopher Rowsom, USS Constellation

Celebree Learning Centers to Open in Severna Park

A day care center is opening its 20th location in Severna Park next spring.

Celebree Learning Centers
is opening a 9,142-square-foot location at the Robinson Crossing Shopping Center, its first in Anne Arundel County. The Forest Hill-based company is spending about $600,000 to open the new location at 450 Ritchie Hwy, Celebree Owner Richard Huffman says.

Construction will begin in November and the daycare and educational center will open in February.

"We believe it's an underserved market in Anne Arundel County," Huffman says of the new location.

It's the third lease that Celebree has signed with Continental Realty Corp. Its other centers with Continental are in Eldersburg and Perry Hall.
David Donato, a vice president at Baltimore's Continental, says Celebree should bring good traffic to the shopping center, especially the Food Lion supermarket.

"It's bringing parents five days a week to the center," Donato says.

The area is dense with parents working in either Baltimore or Washington, D.C., and limited space for other daycare centers to open nearby.

"There's not a ton of commercial spaces in that stretch of Ritchie Highway," Donato says.

Other tenants at the 114,000-square-foot shopping center include Dollar Tree, Quizno's, and Kids First Swim School.  

Open since 1994, Celebree employees 520 and has 2,000 children under its supervision. The Severna Park business will oversee as many as 150 kids and employ 30.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Sources: Richard Huffman, Celebree Learning Centers; David Donato, Continental Realty
21 Kid-centric Articles | Page: | Show All
Share this page
Signup for Email Alerts