Main Street auto repair shop Bart’s Motor Works is set to become the next revitalized property in the historic district.
The garage, which sits between Harryman House and Java Mammas, is set to be demolished in March and replaced with a two-story, 5,000-square brick office building, something the developers say will fit better with the area.
“It can just help things…anything on the street [that will] look better and more appealing,” said Java Mammas owner Carrie Gorham. “Even if I don’t feed customers of it directly, it looks better for the block all around.”
The two-story building will include office space on the second floor, a space inside the first floor where high-end, pre-owned vehicles will be sold and a 12-bay auto service shop will be located in the rear of the building, according to David Karceski, a lawyer, and Robert Hanna, an engineering consultant, both of whom represented the garage’s owners at a meeting in December of the Reisterstown-Owings Mills-Glyndon Coordinating Council.
Up to six used cars will be parked in front of the building, Karceski said. Demolition is slated to start in March, and the entire project is expected to be finished within eight months, Hanna said.
Gorham’s only concern is that the eight months of construction might make access to her coffee shop and eatery a bit harder for customers. However, BMW shop manager Bart Weinberg is a dedicated Java Mammas customer, and Gorham hopes he’ll steer construction workers in her direction.
Other Main Street advocates expressed concern in December that they weren’t aware of a public meeting held to discuss the project. Now, the concern is on the owners seeking Business Roadside (BR) zoning from Baltimore County, “the most permissive commercial classification,” according to the Baltimore County Department of Planning website.
“Some people are concerned that if that happens they may try to buy Java Mammas and expand it and make it a real car operation,” said Glenn Barnes, president of the Reisterstown Improvement Association.
He said he’s concerned that a large-scale auto operation would take Main Street further away from shops and restaurants, and contribute to Reisterstown’s reputation of being the place for auto parts, repair shops and gas stations.
Barnes is also concerned that customers at Harryman House and residents living in properties behind the shop will be looking at a repair garage if proper landscaping isn’t installed. But Barnes said his speculation is outweighed by his feeling that the new building will substantially brighten up the area.
“It will be a major improvement over what’s there currently,” he said. “…Obviously, it will be a welcome addition.”