Baltimore, Maryland – SAA|EVI Development is thrilled to announce the ribbon cutting (on April 6, 2018 at 11:00 am) of the Nelson Kohl – the first multifamily building to be constructed in Baltimore’s Station North arts and entertainment district. This eight story, 105-unit new construction building will offer tenants modern amenities—market rate living designed to the latest green standards that is steps from Penn Station, Route 83 North, and other public transit, next door to Baltimore’s premiere arts movie theater, in the heart of the city’s arts scene, and surrounded by restaurants, bars, and entertainment. Simply put—it will provide modern transit oriented urban living for the creative class in Baltimore’s most artistic neighborhood.

“For years, when I walked out of Penn Station and looked to the north there was a foreboding blank spot, an almost invisible barrier that inhibited me and others from moving to the north. The Nelson Kohl will be a gateway to Station North welcoming all to this incredibly diverse neighborhood” said Ernst Valery, president of SAA|EVI Development.

“We designed the building, inside and out, to pay homage to the arts and entertainment district in which it sits—from the colorful metal siding, to the large windows that offset each other vertically, to the use of local makers to furnish the model unit” continued Mr. Valery. The goal of the development is also to shift the economic paradigm. “The 21st century social justice movement is about economic development.” said Wendell Piece an investor in the project who played Detective Bunk Moreland on HBO’s The Wire. “In the 20th century, we memorialized how you empower yourself and organize community in changing laws and politics, understanding that laws can change people’s behavior. The movement then understood that beliefs may not change but that by forcing behavior to change through legal means, we can move the needle. Now we have to add the second part of that equation to make sure that economic development comes into our communities because that is true empowerment. I spent five years in Baltimore and I love this City. The work that SAA|EVI is doing with the Nelson Kohl building, the Developer Apprentice Program, and their other projects exemplifies the philosophy of gentrification without displacement.”

The Nelson Kohl is developed in partnership with the Baltimore Development Corporation who sold the land through a City issued RFP and LDA process to Michael Shecter and Ernst Valery. “This is how the public private partnerships are supposed to work” said Mayor Catherine Pugh. “The City provides the land, the private sector comes in with capital, and the City benefits through job creation, new residents, decreased blight, and increased property taxes. It really is a win-win.”

The building is named after two of Mr. Valery’s friends and mentors—Mary Nelson and Ben Kohl—who spent their lives dedicated to urban issues and helping people. “Many things excite me about this project but one, that may be less heralded but particularly heartwarming is the library that will be curated by Mary and Ben’s families. I hope that the library will become a place for modern-day salons to take place and discuss the very real issues of urban planning and economic empowerment that are at the heart of so many of the challenges we face as a society today” said Mr. Valery.


Designed by Warehaus Design from York Pennsylvania, the Nelson Kohl will be eight stories and will contain 103 market-rate apartments, a Gallery and a Milk & Honey Cafe and has a total development cost of $25 million. Kinsley Construction is the General Contractor. The project is expected to create approximately 180 construction jobs and 25-30 permanent jobs once construction is complete. Building amenities will include: City living next door to Penn Station; a Milk & Honey Cafe—featuring locally sourced foods; an arts gallery; modern open floor plans; a fitness center; a community room featuring a rooftop community room and deck featuring views clear down to the Washington Monument and beyond for playing pool, having conversations, or just hanging out; interior bike storage; package acceptance and storage; free cable and high speed internet, and secure access. More information can be found at