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Businesses begin to open in Union Collective in Baltimore

Posted at 9:30 AM, Jul 18, 2018

For decades, the big warehouse that sits right next to 83 northbound in Baltimore has sat vacant. It was once owned by the department stores Sears.

Now it has new owners and a new purpose.

Businesses have started to open at Union Collective off 41st Street.

The project started almost two years ago when the founders of Union Craft Brewing were looking for a bigger location.

"During our search for more space, we came across several other Baltimore-based growing businesses that also needed more space in Baltimore City," said Adam Benesch, co-founder of Union Craft Brewing. "So the idea was born from there to create something we could all cohabitate under one building, share knowledge, share resources and just collaborate in many different ways."

There are seven businesses who have already opened or are just weeks or months away from opening under the same roof at Union Collective. Union Craft Brewing opened up their new taproom, which is about eight times the size of their old one at Union Ave. Their brewery will allow them to produce three times the amount of beer they were able to before moving into their new location.

On the other side of the warehouse, Earth Treks has opened its 20,000 square foot gym, which includes 11,000 square feet of space to do what's called bouldering.

"Bouldering is basically climbing without a rope to get to the top," said Joe Stedman, the assistant director of Earth Treks at Union Collective.

The climbing walls are 15 feet high. Tags and colored rocks guide climbers through each ascent, which vary in difficulty. Earth Treks is based in Maryland and this is their first location in Baltimore City. Stedman says they're excited to collaborate with their neighbors.

"We serve Union beer at our monthly rendezvous parties so there's a great partnership there already," he said.

Benesch said the owners of each store in Union Collective all share the same vision: to make Baltimore a better place to live, work and play.

"That's really the special thing here is allowing all these businesses to stay in Baltimore City add good jobs in Baltimore City and further develop what they've been doing in the community," he said.

The Charmery, which has two other locations, has also opened at Union Collective.

Baltimore Whiskey Company, Vent Coffee Roasters, Huckle's Hot Sauce and Well Crafted Kitchen are within weeks or a couple of months from opening.

Union Craft Brewing is hosting its grand opening party to coincide with its sixth anniversary on July 28.